How can taking a power nap improve my memory?

You could turn fuzzy thinking into a killer memory with this brilliant little habit: power napping.

In a study, people who took a power nap after learning a new task performed 50% better than the non-nappers when they were later given a test on the task.

The process of making memories is complicated. And new memories are the most fragile. But in the recent study, researchers discovered that nappers who got quality deep sleep (slow-wave sleep) during their naps learned new material much better compared with the sleep-deprived participants. Scientists think something about deep sleep helps new memories encode into higher brain regions where memories become more permanent.

Getting seven to eight hours of sleep each night is a good health goal. It boosts your immune system, helps control stress levels and may even be essential in keeping your heart and other body parts healthy. And a power nap now and then can be a good way to catch up on lost ZZZs -- not only to keep your mind sharp but also to help you reach your immune-system-supporting, stress-reducing optimum.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.