Napping is something that everyone disagrees upon or punishes a person if they nap in between stuffs. Well, not anymore. Don’t let anyone tell you it’s wrong to nap; because there is a new study which proves that napping in fact good for your brain.
Read on to know further about the study.
Why is Napping good?
Basically, a research undertaken at the University of Bristol; suggests that short periods of sleep might actually enhance our cognitive skills; and help us make difficult decisions.
The study goes some way to proving that “sleeping on” a problem might actually work.
Scientists found evidence to suggest that during a nap, our brains turn information that we initially have unconscious knowledge of; into something we are fully and consciously aware of.
Dr Liz Coulthard, Consultant Senior Lecturer in Dementia Neurology at the University of Bristol Medical School said:
“The findings are remarkable in that they can occur in the absence of initial intentional, conscious awareness; by processing of implicitly presented cues beneath participants’ conscious awareness.”
More about the Research Study –
In the study, there were 16 healthy participants who were given two tasks.
Firstly, researchers showed the participants information, but “masked it”; so that it was never consciously recognized, but processed on a subliminal level within the brain. The scientists measured how much this subconscious information interfered with responses to consciously received information.
More Insight –
The second task was “active”. In this, the participants were asked to respond to whether they saw a blue or red square cross on a screen.
Following this, the participants either took a 90-minute nap or stayed awake before repeating the initial task again.
By way of an EEG, the scientists measured changes in brain activity before and after the nap. Basically, they found that sleep improved the participants’ processing speed in the “masked task” but not the “active” task.
The Verdict on Napping –
From all the above information, it was quite clear that sleep strengthens the mind. But this study suggests that information acquired during our waking lives could be processed in an even deeper way. All this while we’re asleep.
Dr Coulthard had suggested that further research with a larger sample size is now needed; in order to investigate the underlying neural mechanisms at work; and to compare if and how findings differ between ages.