• May 30, 2024

Daytime naps improve brain health: Study 2023

According to University College London researchers, short daytime naps promote brain function and reduce brain atrophy.

A research reveals that daily 30-minute naps improve brain function. Short naps slowed aging by three to six years, since the nappers’ brains were 15 cubic centimeters bigger. Scientists recommend naps under 30 minutes. (Those 20-minute power naps may alter everything)

Napping may help everyone. Daytime naps are difficult for many professionals. (Can you picture napping at work or at home?) “Due to the demanding nature of the workplace and the constant grind, this situation can be tricky,” Dr. Victoria Garfield, a co-author of the study from University College London, told the BBC.

Study results

The UK Biobank research, performed by University College London and the University of the Republic of Uruguay, collected lifestyle, genetic, and health data from 500,000 people aged 40–69.

Genetic propensity to regular daytime napping and brain volume and cognition were studied in 35,080 Biobank subjects.

The research suggests that genetic tendency to daytime napping and bigger brain capacity prevent aging by 2.6 to 6.5 years.

The study found no significant difference in cognitive function assessments among frequent nappers, although it implies that brief daytime naps may help brain health as people age.

Study limits and importance

The British Neuroscience Association’s president, Professor Tara Spires-Jones, appreciates the study’s value in underlining the importance of sleep for brain function, despite its shortcomings.

The study focused on white British people, and the advantages of napping for those without a genetic tendency to frequent napping are unknown.

Valentina Paz, lead author and PhD candidate from University of the Republic and UCL, said, “This is the first study to attempt to untangle the causal relationship between habitual daytime napping and cognitive and structural brain outcomes.”

Bottom line

This study sheds light on frequent daytime napping, brain health, and cognitive results.

The study suggests that brief daytime naps may enhance brain health, but further research is needed to fully understand the processes and extend the findings to a more varied population.

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