Power-napping can make you smarter

Taking a midday nap can dramatically boost brain's learning capacity power, according to a new study...

It may not make you popular with your boss, but taking a midday power nap can dramatically boost brain’s learning capacity, according to a new study.

They found snoozing for just one hour in the day is enough to increase the brain’s ability to learn new facts in the hours that follow. 



On the other hand, the more hours we spend awake, the more sluggish our minds become, according to the findings. 

The new findings support previous data from the same research team that pulling an all-nighter – a common practice at college during final exams – decreases the ability to cram in new facts by nearly 40 percent, due to a shutdown of brain regions during 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 a nap,’ said Matthew Walker, an assistant professor of psychology at UC Berkeley and the lead investigator of these studies. 
 


Some of the most influential people on the planet were keen cat-nappers. Lady Thatcher claimed she got by on just four hours of sleep each night but had a short sleep in the day, while Bill Clinton famously took a 30-minute nap after lunch.

The researchers say sleep is needed to clear the brain’s short term memory and make room for new information. ‘It’s as though the email inbox in your hippocampus is full and, until you sleep and clear out those fact emails, you’re not going to receive any more mail,’ said Dr Walker.

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