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Study of More Than 2,000 People Links Afternoon Naps to Better Mental Agility

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A brief nap in the afternoon has been linked to better mental agility by a new study – improved locational awareness, verbal fluency and working memory was noted in participants who napped versus those who didn’t.

The research looked at a total of 2,214 people aged 60 or over in China. They were all asked what their napping habits were, and then given a series of tests to measure different types of cognitive ability, from solving problems to staying focussed.

While the length and frequency of the naps varied among the volunteers who were questioned, the analysis found “significantly higher” cognitive performance scores in people who said they regularly got some shut-eye around the middle of the day.

“Several studies have shown that afternoon napping promotes cognitive function in the elderly; on the other hand, some studies have shown opposite results,” write the researchers in their published paper.

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