Afternoon nap boosts brain's learning power: study

Taking an afternoon nap improves the ability of the brain to absorb new information, a new research by a team of US experts has claimed.

Researchers found that sleep is required to clear short-term memory from brain to make space for new information.

Speaking on the topic, lead researcher Prof Matthew Walker said, “It's as though the e-mail inbox in your hippocampus is full and, until you sleep and clear out those fact e-mails, you're not going to receive any more mail.”

Researchers divided 39 healthy young adults into two groups- nap and no-nap.

Both the groups were given a hard learning task in the morning. Both the groups gave the same results.

At 2 pm, the nap group was sent for a 90-minute sleep while the no-nap group was asked to stay awake.

When the tests were repeated in the evening, those who had napped performed better than those who had carried on without sleep.

The study also found that the more hours a person spends awake, the more sluggish his mind becomes.