A recent study published online in the journal, General Psychiatry, looked at the records of 2000 elderly persons in China and concluded that “those who engaged in afternoon napping that lasted less than 2 hours had significantly better scores on cognitive function measures than their counterparts who did not nap”. (Napping is apparently a big thing for elderly Chinese).
So is it that napping leads to better cognition?
Or are those people who are able to nap – I cannot, no matter how often I’ve tried; too many things to mull over in the daytime – less likely to develop dementia in the first place?
The authors believe firmly that’s it’s the first explanation and they propose a theory about lower levels of inflammation in nappers that may account for the differences in cognition.
However, the bottom line is that they simply don’t know, so if you like napping, by all means go ahead and sleep in the time you could be doing so much more for yourself and for the planet.
If you don’t like napping, or you can’t nap, I wouldn’t take this study as a good enough reason to alter your habits.