31 Mar Ultimate Power Nap to Make up for a Bad Night's Sleep
Here’s some welcome news for those of us who didn’t sleep so well last night: New research suggests that a short power nap can make us feel and perform better.
The study, recently published online in the journal Neurobiology of Learning and Memory, looked at how much a nap can really help in a memory task. On the first day, the 41 participants all took demographic surveys and IQ tests. Then, for a week, they went back to their normal lives and kept sleep logs of their bedtimes, wake-up times, whether they took naps, and if they drank any alcohol. On the last day, they were asked to sleep one hour less than they normally do. Then, the real testing began.
Back in the lab, participants were presented with individual words and word pairings. They then performed a baseline memory test in which they had to decide as quickly as possible whether they had just seen certain words or pairs. Afterwards, half of the participants were allowed 90 minutes for some sweet, sweet shut-eye; the other half had to watch relaxing DVDs — and stay awake. Finally, all participants performed the memory tasks one more time.