Cai, H., et al 2021| Relationship between afternoon napping and cognitive function in the ageing Chinese population|General Psychiatry|34|e100361| doi: 10.1136/gpsych-2020-100361
Research that looked at the potential relationship between having a nap in the afternoon and cognitive function in older people, reports an association between resting after lunch and improved cognitive function. Chinese researchers identified an association between demography, napping, napping frequency, physical diseases, and cognition in their sample of more than 2200 Chinese participants aged 60 or over at the study’s outset.
The authors add that n addition to reducing sleepiness, mid-day naps offer a variety of benefits such as memory consolidation, preparation for subsequent learning, executive functioning enhancement and a boost to emotional stability, but these effects were not observed in all cases.
Background Several studies have shown that afternoon napping promotes cognitive function in the elderly; on the other hand, some studies have shown opposite results. This current study further examined the relationship between afternoon napping and cognitive function in the ageing Chinese population.
Methods A total of 2214 elderly were included (napping group: n=1534; non-napping group: n= equal to 680). They all received cognitive evaluations by the Beijing version of the Montreal Cognitive Assessment, the Mini-Mental State Examination, and the Chinese version of the Neuropsychological Test Battery. Among all the subjects, 739 elderly volunteered to take blood lipid tests.
Results Significant differences in cognitive function and blood lipids were observed between the napping and the non-napping groups. Afternoon napping was associated with better cognitive function including orientation, language, and memory in the present study. Subjects with the habit of afternoon napping also showed a higher level of triglyceride than the non-napping subjects.
Conclusion The results demonstrated that afternoon napping was related to better cognitive function in the Chinese ageing population.
Full paper from BMJ Psychiatry
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Science Daily Afternoon napping linked to better mental agility