Daytime Nap May Boost Memory
Feb. 1, 2008 -- Take a daytime nap, and you might wake up with a sharper memory. That's what happened in a new napping study that involved 33 undergraduate students.
First, the students took three different tests of their short-term memory.
In one test, they had to learn and remember pairs of unrelated words, such as "alligator" and "cigar." In another test, they had to navigate and remember a maze shown on a computer screen. And in the last test, the students had to copy a complex drawing onto a sheet of paper, and then sketch the drawing from memory.
Next, half of the students napped for about 45 minutes, while other students watched TV. Finally, all of the students repeated the three memory tests
Napping boosted scores on the word-pair test, but not the other two tests.A closer look at the test scores shows that on all three tests, people with the highest scores before napping were the ones with the biggest gains in their post-nap test scores.