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Saturday, April 19, 2008

Short naps Boost Memory

Taking a nap is refreshing. When I have a stressful decision to make, I always take a nap to clear my head and the decision seems to shine through easily upon waking. Researchers are suggesting that naps are good for more than clearing the head, but can also be used to boost memory.

The study was performed by the University of Dusseldorf and included volunteers who were given a set of words to remember and then given an hour break. Some of the students were able to sleep the entire time, while others were only allowed a six minute catnap. Those who only napped did surprisingly better on memory tests.

While many studies and tests have been done to determine the relationship between sleep and memory, many are still unconvinced that taking a nap as short as six minutes could have an effect on memory. Most health experts feel that memory is boosted after a lapse into deep sleep, which takes at least 20 minutes.

The researchers of the six minute study believe that the moment of falling asleep can trigger a memory process in the brain and believe that a brief nap is an effective memory enhancer.

New Scientist magazine reported the study findings, though many health experts are still unconvinced.

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