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An Afternoon Nap Restores the Brain

An Afternoon Nap Restores the Brain

A new study has found that a brief siesta in the afternoon is exactly what the brain needs to operate at its best. Researchers at the University of California at Berkeley collected 39 young adults and asked them to take a memory-based test, then let 20 of the participants take an 100 minute nap. The adults who did not take a brief nap performed ten percent worse than the people who had gotten sleep. This correlates with the theory that people’s ability to learn declines about ten percent between noon and six in the afternoon. Study author, Matthew Walker, used a sponge analogy, explaining that the brain is like a sponge, constantly taking in new information throughout the day. But at a certain point, the brain becomes too water logged to retain any additional information. When a nap is possible, the brain has enough time to process all the information it’s received, giving it the pause it needs to restore itself.

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