Earlier this year a group of sleep researchers from Singapore wanted to test whether or not a daytime nap could help improve cognative abilities in the brain. They took a group of 40 participants who had all received a full nights sleep the night before and broke them into 2 different groups. Group A would encode several word pairs, wait 3 hours and then repeat the same task with a new group of words. During the time between sessions, Group A watched a documentary to intentionally stay awake and focus on another task. Group B would complete the word pair task, be encouraged to take a quick 90 minute nap, and then take the word pair test again.
In the results, a significant correlation was found between that 90 minute nap and increased performance on the cognitive task. This suggests an increase in hippocampal activation following the nap suggest restored hippocampal function. Link to the full text below.
Volume 43, Issue 9
1 September 2020