Shut eye equals brain power
People who nodded off for an hour after lunch performed better in learning tests than those who stayed awake all afternoon, the scientists found.
A study of students revealed that their brains were refreshed by napping only if they entered what is called stage 2 non-REM sleep, which takes place between deep sleep and the dream state, known as REM or rapid eye movement sleep.
The research follows a recent study by the same group that showed that staying up all night reduced students’ ability to cram new facts by nearly 40%, a consequence, they said, of brain regions effectively shutting down through sleep deprivation.
“Sleep not only rights the wrong of prolonged wakefulness but, at a neurocognitive level, it moves you beyond where you were before you took at nap,” said Matthew Walker at the University of California, Berkeley.