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New York, Jan 23: Do you have sleepless nights and tend to sleep more during the day? It could be good for your brain, says a new study published in the journal Perspectives on Psychological Science. According to the study, young and middle-aged people who take short naps during the day or afternoon help them retain memory better and also protects against its decline as long as they night-time sleep is not skipped.
Sound sleep in young and middle-aged people helps memory and learning. 'As people grow older, they wake up more at night and have less deep sleep and dream sleep - both of which are important for overall brain functioning,' said Michael K Scullin, director of Baylor University's sleep neuroscience and cognition laboratory.
For the study, researchers' extensive review began with studies as long ago as 1967, including more than approximately 200 studies measuring sleep and mental functioning. The study included participants aged between 18 and 29 years who were then categorised as young; aged 30 to 60 as middle-aged; and older than 60 as old.
These participants were asked how many hours they typically slept, how long it took them to go to sleep, how often they woke up in the middle of the night and how sleepy they felt during the day. The research also correlated results from numerous brain-wave studies and experiments dealing with sleep deprivation, napping and sleep intervention such as sleep medications. 'It is the difference between investing up front rather than trying to compensate later,' Scullin concluded. (Read: Long naps can boost immune system and help fight infection better)
If a person lives 85 years, he or she may sleep nearly 250,000 hours - more than 10,000 full days. 'People sometimes disparage sleep as 'lost' time. But sleeping well is linked to better mental health, improved cardiovascular health and fewer, less severe disorders and diseases of many kinds,' Scullin noted. (Read: Why a quick afternoon nap is actually good for you)
Photo source: Getty images
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