Rebecca Goldin, Ph.D and Jenna Krall
A new study published in Journal SLEEP claims that naps assist in memory retention. As reported by the Washington Post, sleeping during the day may increase the ability to memorize facts. Individual participants showed marked improvement in tasks that they had previously undertaken after napping.
The study specifically analyzed non-REM sleep during the day and did not consider whether the same effects could be seen with increased hours of regular sleep. Scientists have already acknowledged the effects that good sleeping habits have on learning in the classroom. A study from 2002 praises naps for their restorative qualities, but neither this study, nor the one previously mentioned, compares naps with nighttime sleep habits.
Newsweek published suggestions for napping a few months ago under the premise that “a whole body of research shows [naps] increase productivity and alertness in the workplace,” citing the 2002 study. While science may seem to favor midday naps, would these same effects be seen with increased hours in bed at night? Perhaps the real argument is that if scientists cannot convince people to sleep more at night, at least they can persuade them to catch up in the daytime.