Nothing replaces a good night’s sleep. But scientists say you only need a few minutes of nap time regulate your emotions, allow you to cognitively retain information for longer, to consolidate your memories and improve your ability to concentrate. Companies like Nike, Google and Facebook, hoping to harness better employee productivity, have installed sleep pods in offices.
Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania found a short sleep in the afternoon improves people’s thinking and memory skills and makes the brain perform as if it were five years younger. The team studied 3,000 elderly Chinese people and looked at whether those who frequently took afternoon naps performed better on mental ability tests. The study suggested an hour was the best length of nap; people who had longer or shorter rests performed up to six time worse on the tasks. Taking an afternoon nap of the right length is so beneficial that it has the same effect as being five years younger, the researchers said.