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Are you a midday napper? What effect does napping have on cognition?

Updated: Dec 6, 2022

Napping is considered an effective way to improve daily cognitive performance [1].

What benefits does napping have on cognition?

  • Improves overall cognition [1]

  • Positive effect on memory [1]

  • Improves declarative (long-term) memory [1]

  • Improves procedural (performing tasks without conscious awareness) memory [1]

  • No effect on executive function (behavioural control) [1]

  • Improves vigilance (sustained attention or awareness) [1]

  • Enhances speed of processing [1]

These effects were consistent and did not vary when adjustments for age group, nap length, nap timing, prior sleep restriction and pre-existing nap habit were applied [1].

Nevertheless, while there are gaps in knowledge, napping demonstrated improved effects on cognitive performance tests [1].

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[1] Leong RLF, Lo JC, Chee MWL. Systematic review and meta-analyses on the effects of afternoon napping on cognition. Sleep Medicine Reviews. 2022:101666.

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