Health: The Benefits of Napping

Researchers at Saarland University have shown that a short nap that lasts about an hour can greatly improve memory performance. The study involved memory recall testing of 41 participants. The subjects had to learn single words and word pairs and were then tested to determine how much information they could recall from the exercise. Half of the participants were allowed to sleep, while the others watched a movie, then the participants were retested to see how much information they could remember. The volunteers who had taken a nap demonstrated that they retained substantially more word pairs than the ones who had watched the movie. These results have been published in the journal of Neurobiology of Learning and Memory. The researchers concluded that a short nap is enough to significantly improve learning success, and that we should think seriously about the positive effects of sleep. A concentrated period of learning followed by a short relaxing sleep may be all that is needed to ensure the successful retention of information.

Contributor: Johanna Hartman

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Comments (3)

  1. Catie     March 25, 2015 at 5:49pm

    Interesting! Maybe I’ll try taking a nap when studying for my next test 🙂

  2. katherinegsalvatori     March 26, 2015 at 7:20pm

    I am curious which times of the day are best for achieving the highest benefits of taking a nap, and also if doing something like physical exercise instead of watching a movie would have any different effects.

  3. alunicorngirl     March 27, 2015 at 4:25pm

    it is true. i’ve tried both and a nap was better than the movie

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