Study: Naps Help the Brain With Healthy Aging

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    The Facts

    • Researchers at University College London and the University of the Republic in Uruguay have found that napping regularly may help keep the brain healthy as it ages. The scientists said that brief daytime naps may compensate for poor sleep and be correlated with more extensive brain volume.

    • As people age, the brain begins to shrink. From age 35, the brain begins to shrink at a rate of 0.2% to 0.5% per year; this can contribute to issues like memory lapses and dementia.

    The Spin

    Narrative A

    Researchers now say that a daily nap is good for you, can prevent your brain from shrinking, and improve cognition. Catching a little Zzz's for about 30 minutes after lunch can have meaningful neurological benefits. 30 (but not more than 90) minute naps daily are a major asset to long-term health.

    Narrative B

    Scientific consensus about the correlation between Alzheimer's and daytime naps is still mixed. While this most recent study says that daytime naps can slow brain shrinkage associated with aging and neurodegenerative diseases, previous studies claim that excessive daytime napping is a sign of cognitive decline. More research needs to be done on this topic before any sort of definite conclusions can be made.

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