Researchers: You can make your brain sleep smaller in the middle of the day

Researchers: You can make your brain sleep smaller in the middle of the day

“Our findings suggest that naps of up to half an hour may be part of the puzzle that can help keep our brains functioning as we age,” says Victoria Garfield, co-author and genetic epidemiologist at University College London.

A midday nap can rejuvenate the brain for six and a half years

The findings are based on an extensive study of 35,000 people between the ages of 40 and 69.

In addition to self-reported data on how often they nap, the researchers analyzed DNA samples and brain scans to measure lifetime genetic dispositions for taking regular midday naps.

“By looking at genes, we avoid confounding factors that run throughout life, and which can influence the relationship between sleep and health outcomes,” says Victoria Garfield.

The results clearly showed that people prone to napping generally had larger brain sizes.

They had brains that were, on average, 2.6 to 6.5 years younger than the others.

According to the researchers behind the study, a midday nap gives us the opportunity to catch up on important sleep—a problem that’s especially true for people over 60.

In the framework of research, it has become well known that sleep is very important for protecting the brain from aging.

But this study is the first of its kind to try to understand the relationship between daytime naps and cognitive changes in the brain.

The researchers hope the findings will reduce the stigma around midday napping in our achievement community.

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Dalila Awolowo

Dalila Awolowo

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