liveonearth (liveonearth) wrote,

New on Napping

newer: getting inadequate sleep linked to early death:

Naps Clear the Mind, Help You Learn – Sun Feb 21, 9:32 am ET
new study
napping for an hour ish can refresh brain, boosting ability to learn
more hours awake-->mind more sluggish
"Sleep not only rights the wrong of prolonged wakefulness but, at a neurocognitive level, it moves you beyond where you were before you took a nap," --Matthew Walker
Walker = study author and psych prof at UC Berkeley

n = 39 healthy young adults
nap or no-nap group
12 noon: everyone does learning task intended to work out hippocampus
a region of the brain that helps store fact-based memories
both groups performed comparably
2 p.m.: the nap group gets 90-minute siesta
6 p.m.: new round of learning exercises
pts awake all day got worse at learning
nappers did better than in morning

researchers' hypothesis: sleep clears short-term memory, makes room for new info
fact-based memories are temporarily stored in the hippocampus
then sent to the brain's prefrontal cortex (may have more storage space)
memory rebooting seems to occur at specific stage of sleep
EEGs relate this refreshing to stage between deep sleep (non-REM) and REM dreaming state
otherwise we know no purpose for this sleep stage
mb why we spend min 1/2 of sleep in stage 2 non REM sleep
preliminary results presented @
American Association of the Advancement of Science (AAAS) meeting in San Diego

humans are "bi-phasic sleepers"
meant to sleep in bouts, not long stretches
~ 1/3 if US adults say they take a mid-day nap

Walker to study next:
whether less sleep in old age is reason why we have more difficulty learning with age
could help understanding of Alzheimer's disease
Tags: aging, alzheimers, brain, intelligence, memory, sleep

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