Five Health Benefits of Afternoon Naps

They improve short-term memory

According to a new study, taking an afternoon nap can improve short-term memory in younger adults, but unfortunately not older adults. For the study, participants took afternoon naps and then were given a word-based memory test. The younger adults were able to remember more words after taking the nap.

The decrease blood pressure

In the same study, researchers took the blood pressure of participants before and after a nap. In healthy older adults blood pressure decreased after napping. This was not true, however, for people with sleep apnea--they experienced an increase in blood pressure after napping.

They improve alertness

A quick 20 -to 30-minute nap is great for short-term alertness. This type of nap will help you focus without the feeling of grogginess and will not affect your ability to sleep at night.

They improve cognitive performance

Takiing a nap can not only restore alertness, but it can enhance performance and help your brain function better. One NASA study found that a 40-minute nap improved the performance of military pilots and astronauts by 34 percent and increased alertness by 100 percent.

They increase happiness

Napping also has some psychological benefits. It provides an easy way to get some relaxation, rejuvenation and a boost of good feeling in your day. It can feel like a luxury and make you feel better.

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