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The benefits of short naps on the brain

The benefits of short naps on the brain

Flash nap, micro-nap, short nap: this daytime rest time would preserve brain volume and reduce the risk of neurodegeneration.

Posted on 11/09/2023

A nap is a moment of rest taken during the day to recharge your batteries. A recent study suggests that short, regular naps throughout the day could be beneficial for brain volume.

It was carried out by British scientists with data from UK BIOBANK collected on 35,000 participants between 40 and 69 years old, taking into account genetic factors, state of health and lifestyle, they highlighted a relationship between naps and brain size , a regular nap would save 2.5 to 6.5 years of aging on brain volume. Napping would reduce the risk of brain degeneration, the functioning of which would be impaired by damage to neurons and connections which would be the consequence of a lack of sleep.

The benefits of a nap as brief as 10 to 20 minutes are well documented and are recommended especially for those in demanding and high-stress professions. It brings many benefits:
- stimulation of learning abilities
- mood improvement
- reduction of blood pressure, stress and cardiovascular diseases
- rebalance of nervous functioning
- strengthening of the immune system thanks to the secretion of hormones by the brain
- improvement of cognitive functions thanks to physical and mental recovery (a study carried out by NASA showed that after a micro-nap the level of alertness of pilots increased by 54%, this is also why it is strongly recommended for drivers during a long car journey)
- release of creativity and renewed dynamism

Time of day favorable for naps

Generally we feel the need after the lunch break, when we tend to nosedive, this is the time when the body is in a slowdown phase with a reduction in body temperature and intellectual skills, a nap of one Twenty minutes between 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. is therefore ideal.

Nap at work

A nap of no more than 10 minutes corresponding to the light sleep phase allows you to recharge your batteries to be efficient in the afternoon. In Japan, nap rooms are frequently made available to employees, it is however possible to do so. at his desk, his back leaning against his chair or his head resting on his forearms on the desk. It consists of closing your eyes, concentrating on your breathing with deep inhalations and exhalations, relaxing the muscles of the body and trying to banish all thoughts.

In conclusion, taking a regular nap is beneficial for our health and well-being ; it allows, in the event of problems falling asleep or waking up at night, to recover from the lack of sleep accumulated over the course of a week.


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