Wednesday, February 24, 2010

How Rest Helps Memory: Sleepy Heads

From The Economist:

Researchers say a nap prepares the brain to learn.

MAD dogs and Englishmen, so the song has it, go out in the midday sun. And the business practices of England’s lineal descendant, America, will have you in the office from nine in the morning to five in the evening, if not longer. Much of the world, though, prefers to take a siesta. And research presented to the AAAS meeting in San Diego suggests it may be right to do so. It has already been established that those who siesta are less likely to die of heart disease. Now, Matthew Walker and his colleagues at the University of California, Berkeley, have found that they probably have better memory, too. An afternoon nap, Dr Walker has discovered, sets the brain up for learning.

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