The Journal of Sleep Research published a report that found that short bouts of sleep during the day benefits brain function.
It’s long been known that during sleep we process unconscious information, but now it’s been revealed that even short bouts of slumber can help brain function.
Published in the Journal of Sleep Research, the findings uncovered changes in brain activity before and after a nap, and helps us process unconscious information. A night of slumber is beneficial for a number of health reasons but this new insight led by researchers at the University of Bristol, suggests that “a period of sleep may help weighing up pros and cons or gain insight before making a challenging decision.” Researchers asked participants to carry two tasks—a masked one alongside a control—and then asked them when they saw a red or blue square on a screen. Then had to either stay awake or take a 90-minute nap before repeating the exercise.
Coauthor of the study Dr Liz Coulthard, Consultant Senior Lecturer in Dementia Neurology at the University of Bristol, said the findings were “remarkable” because “they can occur in the absence of initial intentional, conscious awareness, by processing of implicitly presented cues beneath participants’ conscious awareness.”
But daytime naps aren’t always a good thing. If you find yourself nodding off at your desk, it could be a sign of sleep deprivation and lead to more serious health problems. As well as increasing your chances of developing heart disease, a night spent tossing and turning also dramatically decreases your chance of successfully completing tasks and remembering information.