Nap to Increase Cognition


Summer 2010 Issue

Benefits in Cognition from Naps

Cultivating Interest in Science and Math

The results of a recent sleep study at the University of California at Berkeley show that volunteers who took a ninety-minute nap during the day performed better on a cognitive test than those who remained awake. Thirtynine healthy adults were asked to take a hard learning task in the morning, and again in the evening after half of them had taken a nap. When the test was repeated, the nappers outperformed those who didn’t get to sleep. Dr. Matthew Walker, who led the study, believes that sleep will move your cognitive skills beyond where they were before napping; he compares it to a full e-mail inbox that has to be cleared out before any more messages can be received. However, Professor Derk-Jan Dijk, director of the Surrey Sleep Research Centre, states that there is no clear evidence that daytime napping offers a distinct advantage over sleeping every twenty-four hours, and believes that the results might become more “clouded in the real world.”

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This article appeared in the Summer 2010 ISSUE,

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