Forget a good night’s sleep; all you really need to thrive is a decent nap sometime during the day. (Although a good night’s sleep is pretty important too.)
A new study reveals that our ability to learn diminishes the longer we go without sleep. However, we can improve our brain’s learning ability “significantly” by taking an hour-long nap.
According to USA Today, researchers took 39 adults and split them up into two groups, those who took a midday nap and those who did not. At the end of the day, both groups were given a set of “learning tasks,” and their performance was evaluated.
“The ones who hadn't gotten any shut-eye did markedly worse. Those who had caught 40 winks did much better and improved their capacity to learn,” USA Today reports. The lead researcher later explained that taking a decent nap “clears the brain’s short term memory storage to make room for new learning.”
Of course, the ideal situation seems to be getting a proper night’s sleep and then taking a “solid midday siesta,” much like they do in Spain. This way, you’ll be able to perform at your best all day long.
As Lifehacker notes, this isn’t the first study to confirm the value of naps. For example, one previous study proved naps can improve our ability to learn and remember new and complicated facts.
So the real question is whether American companies (media companies in particular) would be willing to sacrifice an hour or so each day for nap time so that their employees would function at their peak for the rest of the day?