Various researchers have suggested that napping is good for your health. For some people, naps are as restorative as a whole night of sleep. It offers various health benefits to adults including relaxation, reduced fatigue, increased alertness, improved mood, etc. But, it is not for everyone. It even includes some negative effects, for instance, sleep inertia, nighttime sleep problems, etc.
One more research held by scientists from Duke-NUS Medical School in Singapore have suggested that Napping before an exam could be even better than last-minute cramming. If you have some important exams, it might seem like a bad idea to waste your time snoozing.
But the research suggests that it’s better to have a nap before an exam. This might even better for your memory than extra revision.
Scientists think it’s something to do with the way sleep strengthen our memories. Additionally, they think cramming may be ineffective to recall in the long run.
Scientists involved 72 volunteers. The volunteers were asked to think about an unfamiliar topic for 80 minutes. Scientists then classified the volunteers into three separate groups. They then asked to choose what they did for the next hour. For example, either watch a movie, take a nap, or revise what they’d seen in the lesson before engaging in another 80-minute lesson on the topic.
Scientists then test the volunteers after the second lesson on what they had learned. After analyzing the data, scientists found that the nappers have got the highest scores. The crammers beat the movie watchers.
Even after the second cycle of an experiment, the nappers came with top scores again. Scientists noted, the slight edge, the nappers had over the crammers may not have been statistically significant. In this second list, the crammers and the movie watchers scored the same.
Lead researcher James Cousins said, “This indicate that cramming information might be good in the short term. But in the long run, the benefits might not be that great.”
He advised, “Don’t stress yourself out just cramming some information into your head. Taking a nap is just as good.”
But this is just the small piece of study. So there is a narrow gap between crammers and nappers.
Researcher Gillen-O’Neel said, “We expected that cramming might not be as effective as students think. Our results showed that extra time spent studying cut into sleep.”
“And it is this reduced sleep that accounts for the increase in academic problems that occurs after days of increased studying,” he added.
In short, this small study weight to the argument that napping helps us bring back what we have learned. It also makes us more alert and ready for further study.
Scientists suggest afternoon nap are the best way to stay focussed on their work.
Cousin said, “We do it in our lab. Napping is encouraged.”