Nap ‘helps take in new information’
Berkeley, February 22, 2010
A nap during the day enhances the brain’s capability to take in and process new information, said a report.
Volunteers who took a 90-minute nap during the day did better at cognitive tests than those who made to stay awake throughout the day, the results of a study showed at the University of California at Berkeley, said a report in the BBC.
This process might be occurring in a sleep phase called stage 2 non-REM (rapid eye movement), when fact-based memories are moved from "temporary storage" in the brain's hippocampus to another area called the pre-frontal cortex, the report said.
"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,” Dr Matthew Walker, who led the study, was quoted as saying by the BBC.
"It's as though the e-mail inbox in your hippocampus is full, and, until you sleep and clear out all those fact e-mails, you're not going to receive any more mail.”
"It's just going to bounce until you sleep and move it into another folder,” the report quoted Dr Walker.