The Benefits for the Brainof Taking a Short Nap During the Day

    The study is not based on long naps, but on those that do not last more than half an hour

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    Throwing yourself into the arms of Morpheus and taking a nap regularly may be the key to having a bigger, healthier brain for longer.That was what an investigation from University College London (UCL) concluded, which showed that people who nap had a brain 15 cubic centimeters larger, which is equivalent to delaying their aging by between three and six years.

    The key, scientists say, is that naps last less than half an hour

    “We are suggesting that everyone could potentially experience some benefit from napping,” Dr Victoria Garfield said, describing the results as “quite novel and exciting.”

    The problem, they say, arises with the work culture of modern society where this practice is often disapproved of, making it almost impossible for people to sleep during the day.

    From birth

    Napping is essential for the development of babies, but it becomes less common as we get older. However, its popularity resurfaces after retirement. 27% of people over the age of 65 claim to take a nap.

    People should take the advice to nap seriously, Dr. Garfield says, as it’s fairly easy to compared to losing weight or exercising, which is often more difficult for many people.

    Avoid aging

    While napping may slow brain shrinkage as it naturally occurs with age, its role in helping prevent diseases such as Alzheimer’s is unclear.General brain health is important to protect against dementia. This disease is related to sleep disorders.The researchers suggest that poor sleep damages the brain over time by causing inflammation and affecting the connections between brain cells.

    Taking this link into account, Uruguayan researcher Valentina Paz, from UCL’s MCR Unit for Health and Aging, believes: “Napping regularly could protect against neurodegeneration by compensating for poor sleep.”

    However, Dr. Garfield believes that it’s not just about finding a comfortable place to nap at work, so she prefers to opt for other ways to care for her brain.”Honestly, I’d rather spend 30 minutes exercising than napping. That being said, it’s something I’d probably try and recommend to my mom to do.”

    How to find the right answer?

    Studying naps can be quite a challenge for scientists.On the one hand it can improve health, but on the other it is also true that it can leave us so tired that we need more sleep.

    So the researchers used a novel technique to show that napping is beneficial based on the DNA, the genetic code, that we are born with.Previous studies have identified 97 snippets of our DNA that make us more likely to nap or get through the day with more energy.

    The team took data from 35,000 people aged between 40 and 69 as part of the Biobank project in the UK. Human talent compared sleepyheads to non-sleepyheads.

    The results, published in the journal Sleep Health, showed a difference of 15 cubic centimeters, equivalent to between 2.6 and 6.5 years of aging.In the study, total brain volumes were about 1,480 cubic centimeters.

    “I like short naps on the weekends and this study has convinced me that I shouldn’t feel lazy taking a nap. It may even be protecting my brain,” Professor Tara Spires-Jones, from the University of Edinburgh and president of the British Neuroscience Association, said.

    Spiers-Jones pointed out that the study results show a small but significant increase in brain volume, adding to other research indicating the importance of sleep for brain health.Although it is important to reiterate that the study is not based on long naps, but on those that do not last more than half an hour.

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