A short nap in the afternoon, according to a recent study, can do wonders for your cognitive performance and mental well-being.
After a SHORT nap in the afternoon, performance in cognitive and affective tasks is improved for at least four hours.
The effects of four different sleep patterns on the mental and physical well-being of 32 young adults was investigated.
Taking a nap of any length, from ten to sixty minutes, was preferable to staying awake.
A 30-minute nap, however, was deemed to provide the “best trade-off between practicality and benefit” in the Singaporean study.
Dr. Ruth Leong of the National University of Singapore reported, “Following their usual amount of sleep at night, 32 young adults underwent four experimental conditions: wake, a 10-minutes nap, a 30-minutes nap, and a 60-minutes nap on separate days.
To evaluate how long the positive effects of each nap lasted, participants’ mood, subjective sleepiness, and cognitive performance were assessed five, 30, 60, and 240 minutes after waking.
Affect of nap duration on memory encoding was also investigated.
Naps of varying lengths (from 10 to 60 minutes) clearly outperformed staying awake.
Researchers found that even a 10-minute nap improved participants’ mood, subjective sleepiness, and alertness for up to 240 minutes afterwards.