Sunday, 26 May, 2024

Lifestyle

A daytime nap is good for the brain

Lifestyle Desk | banglanews24.com
Update: 2023-06-20 10:08:08
A daytime nap is good for the brain [photo collected]

Regularly finding time for a little snooze is good for our brain and helps keep it bigger for longer, say University College London researchers.

The team showed nappers' brains were 15 cubic centimetres (0.9 cubic inches) larger - equivalent to delaying ageing by between three and six years.

However, the scientists recommend keeping naps to less than half an hour.

But they said a daytime sleep was hard in many careers, with work culture often frowning on the practice.

"We are suggesting that everybody could potentially experience some benefit from napping," Dr Victoria Garfield told me. She described the findings as "quite novel and quite exciting".

Napping has been shown to be critical for development when we are babies, becomes less common as we age and then goes through a resurgence in popularity after retirement, with 27% of people over 65 reporting having a daytime nap.

Dr Garfield says advice to nap is "something quite easy" to do in comparison to weight loss or exercise which are "difficult for a lot of people".

The brain naturally shrinks with age, but whether naps could help prevent diseases like Alzheimer's will still need extra research.

Overall brain health is important for protecting against dementia and the condition is linked to disturbed sleep.

The researchers suggest poor sleep is damaging the brain over time by causing inflammation and affecting the connections between brain cells.

"Thus, regular napping could protect against neurodegeneration by compensating for deficient sleep," researcher Valentina Paz said.

However, Dr Garfield is not about to find a comfy spot to snooze at work and prefers other ways of looking after her brain.

"Honestly, I would rather spend 30 minutes exercising than napping, I'll probably try and recommend that my mum does it."

Source: BBC 

BDST: 1005 HRS, JUNE 20, 2023
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