Archive for November, 2012

Can napping improve memory?

We all know how wonderful an afternoon nap can be and according to an AARP article written by Peter Jaret, it has some great benefits- especially for the elderly!

The older we get, the more likely we are to nap. Studies show that more than half of people 75 and older nap at least twice a week. For decades, researchers have been performing studies to see how regular napping may affect anything from health conditions to sleep patterns. A few of these past studies have claimed to find a link between napping and health problems; however, the most recent study brings much better news- associating napping with a sharper mind.

“For most people, napping is perfectly healthy, and it may even have important benefits,” says Thomas J. Balkin, director of the behavioral biology branch at Walter Reed Army Institute of Research.

So, what specific benefits will your aging loved ones gain from fitting a nap into their daily routine?

Enhanced visual learning

According to Elizabeth McDevitt, a researcher at the University of California, Riverside, peoples’ visual performance deteriorates throughout the day. Her research has shown that performance doesn’t deteriorate (and even improves!) after a nap.

Improved memory

Because the brain seems to consolidate learning during a nap, McDevitt believes that this could be especially helpful in older people- counteracting the increase of memory loss as we age.

Better problem solving

A study conducted by NASA on military pilots and astronauts found that a 40-minute nap improved overall performance by 34 percent and alertness by 100 percent. Napping has also shown to improve test scores of creative problem solving!

With this being said, encourage your aging loved one to take time out of their day to get some extra shut eye- probably one of the easiest ways to gain a sharper mind!

How long should you nap? Check out this video from!


November 12, 2012 at 3:07 pm Leave a comment

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