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More evidence an afternoon nap can be good for your brain

By | Rich Haridy |

A new observational study is building on an increasing body of data finding a correlation between afternoon naps and improved mental agility and cognitive function. The research hypothesizes afternoon naps may help moderate age-related neuroinflammation, helping keep the brain healthy.

The new research recruited more than 1,500 elderly subjects, all self-reported afternoon nappers. For the purposes of this study, afternoon naps were defined as short periods of sleep after lunch lasting longer than five minutes and no more than two hours. An age-matched control group of more than 600 non-nappers were also recruited.

“In this study, three major findings were presented,” the researchers write in the study. “First, the elderly individuals who took afternoon naps showed significantly higher cognitive performance compared with those who did not nap. Second, higher levels of TG [triglycerides] were found in napping elderly individuals. Finally, afternoon napping was strongly associated with orientation, language function and memory.”

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