Napping: Proven health benefits

Half an hour only, no more, no less, four times a week: these are the numbers of the perfect nap! Scientifically advocated, from the lofty and distinguished pages of General Psychiatry, which has identified this practice as a tool for improving brain function, especially in the over-60s.

So, if you happen to give in to the temptation of a postprandial nap, be indulgent with yourself and take advantage of it to recharge your mind, whatever your age.

According to experts, you will enjoy a sharper memory, improve the quality of language, increase spatial cognition and ward off the dark shadow of Alzheimer’s.

The study evaluated the habits of more than 2,000 Chinese (2,214 to be precise), all over 60. The sample was divided into two categories: those who did not used to rest after lunch and those who took a nap between 5 minutes and two consecutive hours.

The personal data were cross-referenced with the results of several language, mnemonic and logic tests.

From the findings, there were significant benefits on the mental faculties of those who took advantage of a half-hour nap, no more, no less.

Those who slept longer demonstrated clouded cognitive faculties; short recovery naps, on the other hand, would also be attributable to an 84% decrease in Alzheimer’s risk.

Surprising and heartening news! The experts, however, are of the opinion that the sample is not yet representative. They intend, therefore, to broaden the horizons to also assess the under-60s, of different nationalities, dividing them by benefits according to age group and origin.

The data collected remains, however, an interesting starting point from which to initiate in-depth investigations to corroborate a widespread belief: that of the benefits of a postprandial nap! In the meantime, let’s take advantage of it and sleep in, half an hour, no more!

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