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Let's Take a Nap!

Posted January 14, 2017 12:00 AM by M-ReeD

I can distinctly remember nap time in kindergarten. While all of the other kids seemingly complied with the teacher, laying down on their mats and closing their eyes, I would feel a bolt of resistance course through my entire five-year-old body. I would remain electrified until we were offered milk and cookies as the drowsier kids started coming to. Countless decades later, I would do anything for someone to insist that I take a nap (or, better yet, to wake from said nap to a plate of cookies).

Lucky for those in the 65+ age bracket, that is exactly what is being recommended in a new study recently published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, which found improved brain function among senior citizens who napped every day for one hour.

The study looked at over 3,000 participants with varying sleep schedules: some taking regular daily naps and others not napping at all. The study revealed that of the 3,000 tested, fewer than 60% took regular daily naps.

The value of those naps was measured in how the people performed on simple tests upon waking up. The researchers administered memorization tests and word recall exercises and also required participants to recreate simple geometric figures.

The results of the study showed that those participants who napped for an hour a day performed better on all of the simple tests administrated than those participants who did not nap.

Unexpectedly, two other categories of “napper” also demonstrated declining mental abilities. Those participants who napped for less than an hour and those participants who napped for over an hour showed a four to six times greater deficit in cognitive skills than those who napped for an hour.

Alarmingly, participants who took shorter, longer, or no naps at all also seemed to experience a decline in mental abilities that is typically characterized by a five-year age increase, according to researchers.

While the study applies to the 65+ age bracket, it is hardly a stretch to imagine that the benefits of napping wouldn’t be universal. In recent years, large, well-known companies have started to realize the value of rest and its direct benefits to the company (i.e., improved employee performance, satisfaction, safety, productivity, etc.) and have been offering its employees “nap times” in places designated for resting.

So, while this study has its detractors, with other researchers insisting that a nap could disrupt our circadian rhythms and increase the incidence of insomnia and other sleep disorders, I think most of us (save a few hyperactive five-year-olds) could use a nap.

Do you nap as an adult? If offered as an employee benefit, would you nap in the workplace?

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#1

Re: Let's Take a Nap!

01/14/2017 2:13 PM

I will take your advice. I have a nap scheduled for this afternoon.

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#2

Re: Let's Take a Nap!

01/14/2017 5:12 PM

Years ago I read somewhere that 60% of industrial accidents occur in the first two hours after lunch. I guess there's something to be said for siestas.

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#3

Re: Let's Take a Nap!

01/14/2017 6:05 PM

There is an increased urge to sleep and difficulty concentrating after lunch.

http://sleepdisorders.dolyan.com/circadian-rhythm-sleep-disorder/

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#4

Re: Let's Take a Nap!

01/14/2017 9:26 PM

Don't sleep in public, you'll wake up with no shoes....

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#5

Re: Let's Take a Nap!

01/14/2017 11:32 PM

Instead of NAP at day time, 10 min meditation is better choice which enhances the ability of frontal, parietal, temporal, and occipital and so on ..... for those who have 8 hrs undisrupted sleep at night.

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#6

Re: Let's Take a Nap!

01/15/2017 1:13 AM

I don't remember nap time in kindergarten. In fact, I don't remember kindergarten at all, although I think I went to one... My first vague school memory is from second grade.

One of the perks of being an old-timer is that I have a couch in my office, and yes, I do frequently take naps. They are seldom as long as an hour, so according to your article, I'm not getting the full benefit.

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#10
In reply to #6

Re: Let's Take a Nap!

01/15/2017 10:01 PM

I remember, we (my twin sister, myself and my best friend Ricky) laid our mats out next to each other, and we always talked.

i came home, and my mom and dad were at the kitchen table, and they asked me and my sister what we did, we told them, and they asked if we to,e our naps, and we told them yes.

dammed if they didnt take out that days local news paper, and on the front page, they had a picture of my sister, myself and my best friend heads propped up and talking to each other while everyone else were taking their nap. Never saw the photographer, guess our conversation was more interesting.

that taught me to be very careful not to lie and to be very aware of what's going on around you.

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#7

Re: Let's Take a Nap!

01/15/2017 2:49 AM

You woke me up, just to tell me this?

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#8

Re: Let's Take a Nap!

01/15/2017 7:10 AM

"Doc! You gotta help me, man!"

"What seems to be the problem?"

"Well, I sleep well enough at night, and mornings aren't bad, but I toss & turn all afternoon!"

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#9

Re: Let's Take a Nap!

01/15/2017 9:09 PM

I'm part of the target age group, but I'm having problems with this sentence, "participants who took shorter, longer, or no naps at all also seemed to experience a decline in mental abilities that is typically characterized by a five-year age increase, according to researchers."

So, if I sleep for 70 minutes I'd be better off to not sleep at all? ?

I never take naps unless I'm really sick so I guess I'll just suffer the consequences.

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#11
In reply to #9

Re: Let's Take a Nap!

01/15/2017 10:19 PM

Yes, but at your age, how can youwe be certain youwe don't take naps? Don't just check the time, check the date too.

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#12
In reply to #9

Re: Let's Take a Nap!

01/16/2017 9:05 AM

Yes, the article seems to suggest that you need exactly one hour for your nap to get a benefit. I suspect that on average 50 or 70 min is less beneficial than 60 min, and that 30 or 90 min are less beneficial than 50 or 70 min...and so on (normal distribution). And I would also suspect that for some people, 45 min may be better than 60 min, but that's not how it comes across in the article.

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#13

Re: Let's Take a Nap!

01/16/2017 9:18 AM

These nap, I believe that what drives the benefits of taking a nap or not taking a nap is diet.

If you understand what protein, carbohydrates have and the effects that it has on your metabolism. Naps may be unnecessary to a certain degree.

To explain further, from my experience, the requirements for a nap, may be coming into a warm house after a day of logging in the woods. Taking a nap, prior to start milking that evening. (I Grew up on a dairy farm, and my dad logged in the wintertime to feed a sawmill we operated in our free time in the spring, summer and fall to keep the boys busy.)

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#14

Re: Let's Take a Nap!

01/16/2017 5:49 PM

If I feel sleepy during the day, I take a nap. If not, I don't. Funny thing is that if I felt sleepy before the nap, I feel more alert after the nap.

Sometimes it might only be 10 minutes, sometimes up to an hour. My body seems to know how much I need. Since I eat my lunch at home, it is easy to grab a nap in the early afternoon and just work a little longer that evening.

I'd say I've only napped during the day on average, one or two times a month. But I also make it a point to get enough rest at night. I suspect the day nappers may not be getting enough good sleep at night.

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#15

Re: Let's Take a Nap!

01/16/2017 6:27 PM

Schedule permitting, I've always napped around 3 pm, for between 45 minutes and 1h, and woken up refreshed, usually feeling the most refreshed I've felt all day. At night I sleep around seven hours. If I can't nap in the afternoon I drag arse until bedtime, so for me daily naps work out very well.

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#16
In reply to #15

Re: Let's Take a Nap!

01/16/2017 7:16 PM

I expect that many of you old timers need a little afternoon nap to keep you fresh enough to find your way home at night.

I'm sharp as a tak and I don'tt hav anee problems with fatige in the afternouns.

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Re: Let's Take a Nap!

01/16/2017 7:44 PM

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#18

Re: Let's Take a Nap!

01/17/2017 2:21 PM

Very interesting research. This would be a wonderful benefit -- possibly logistically difficult in an open office though. Barcalounger, anyone?

I'm surprised that the research advocates an hour nap. The conventional wisdom suggests that 20-minute naps -- no REM sleep -- are more refreshing. Evidently not so! No more power naps.

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#19
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Re: Let's Take a Nap!

01/17/2017 3:40 PM

A Barcalounger at work?

Hell yeah!

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#20
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Re: Let's Take a Nap!

01/17/2017 3:47 PM

For the active man

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