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Scientists Show That Naps Really Are the Best

You should nap before, and after, trying to learn anything

smithsonian.com

If you’re a busy toddler who’s been running around and exploring your world at preschool all day, well, it might be time for a nap. Not because you’re fussy. You should take a nap because it could make you smarter. It could help you remember all the things you just learned. The BBC talked to paediatrician Robert Scott-Jupp about new research on the power of napping:

To be at their most alert toddlers need about 11-13 hours of sleep a day, giving their active minds a chance to wind down and re-charge, ready for the day ahead. We now know that a daytime sleep could be as important as a nighttime one. Without it, they would be tired, grumpy, forgetful and would struggle to concentrate.

But naps aren’t only important for the wee ones. Taking a power nap during the day can help adults remember things they just learned, too. The Wall Street Journal says that “the ideal duration of a nap is still being debated, but generally speaking the ’10-to-20-minute nap is really the optimal time in terms of bang for your buck.’”

But guess what else? Naps also help if you’re about to learn something. Live Science: “It’s not simply enough to sleep after learning… It turns out you also need to sleep before learning.”

Basically, sandwich anything important with naps. Because science.

More from Smithsonian.com:

New Maps Will Keep Ecotourists From Ruining Dolphins’ All-Important Naps
Why We Need a Nap Room in the Office
Experiments Show We Really Can Learn While We Sleep

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About Colin Schultz
Colin Schultz

Colin Schultz is a freelance science writer and editor based in Toronto, Canada. He blogs for Smart News and contributes to the American Geophysical Union. He has a B.Sc. in physical science and philosophy, and a M.A. in journalism.

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