Napping for an hour may boost brain power

By Sean Dowling, Buzz60

Want to boost your brain function but aren't big on broccoli? Maybe take a nap instead!

Findings from a new study suggest napping for an hour in the afternoon may give older adults a mental boost, helping to improve memory and thinking skills.

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The research, published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, found that people who napped for an hour after lunch performed better on mental tests than those who didn't nap.

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Researchers looked at nearly 3,000 Chinese adults over the age of 65.

Just under 60 percent reported napping after lunch, with the average nap lasting around one hour.

All participants did daily tests that measured attention, memory, math skills, word recall and figure drawing.

Those who didn't nap, took short naps or very long naps showed decreases in their cognitive skills that were four to six times greater than people who napped for an hour.

What's more, subjects who took shorter or longer naps or didn't nap at all experienced about the same decline in mental abilities that's comparable to a five-year increase in age, according to Health-in-Aging.org which tracked the study.

The researchers note the study doesn't prove napping for an hour after lunch can keep your brain five years younger and that their study is observational.

The team says more studies are needed.