It's no surprise to me that another study confirms what I've long known to be true: naps are magic bullets to dramatically boost and restore brain power.
Naps are exercise for the brain.
Here are the highlights from UC Berkeley's recent findings:
Sounds pretty simple. But here's the really cool part: Clearing out this clutter in the hippocampus to make room for new facts happens during Stage two non-REM sleep, which takes place between deep sleep (non-REM) and the dream state known as Rapid Eye Movement (REM). For a long time we didn't know the scientific reason for this stage, but this helps explains why we spend at least half of our sleeping hours in Stage two.
The Berkeley researchers are now going to find out whether the reduction of sleep experienced by people as they get older is related to the documented decrease in their ability to learn as we age. The older we get, the more challenging it becomes to pack a lot of new information into our heads. And it becomes more challenging to get that restful sleep, too, given the number of sleep-disrupting health conditions that can afflict us in our later years.
But what if the brain's waning in those golden years could be forestalled just by getting more restful sleep during the night--and taking a nap during the day?
Another win for the nappers. After all, age should be about wisdom--new and old.
Michael J. Breus, PhD, DABSM
The Sleep Doctorâ„¢
Follow me on Twitter: http://twitter.com/thesleepdoctor
This post about sleep and memory is also available at Dr. Breus's official blog, The Insomnia Blog.
Follow Dr. Michael J. Breus on Twitter: www.twitter.com/thesleepdoctor