Do you know the saying, “An Apple a Day, Keeps the Doctor Away”? Well, we have a new saying to add to that mantra, “Nap Five Minutes a Day, Keeps the Dementia Away.”
New research from China shows a potential correlation between naps, of as little as five minutes and a reduced chance of dementia symptoms.
As we get older, taking care of our bodies becomes increasingly important to stay healthy and reduce chances of diseases such as Dementia. And taking a nap appears to be a simple way to continue to help fight off these conditions.
Not only could it contribute to staving off Dementia, but also brings about better mental clarity, something I think all of us could agree we could use more of, especially without the reliance on drugs or medication.
Regular afternoon naps — even of just five minutes a day — may improve your mental agility and help to stave off dementia, a study has reported.
Researchers from China studied the sleep patterns of 2,214 healthy adults aged 60 or over who lived in several large cities — including Beijing, Shanghai and Xian.
Of the participants, 1,534 reported taking a regular afternoon nap of between five minutes and two hours, while the remaining 680 individuals did not.
Each of the subjects also took part in a dementia screening test — with the results revealing ‘significant’ differences between the napping and not groups.
Sleeping in the afternoon was associated with better locational awareness, verbal fluency and working memory in the senior adults.
As people age, their sleep patterns change — and napping becomes more common.
Previous research has been unable to reach a consensus as to whether napping might help fight off dementia, or whether it is in fact a symptom of such.
In the developed world, around 1 in ten people over the age of 65 have dementia — with numbers increasing as global life expectancies rise.
Regular afternoon naps — even of just five minutes a day — may improve your mental agility and help to stave off dementia, a study has reported (stock image)
‘In addition to reducing sleepiness, mid-day naps offer a variety of benefits,’ the researchers wrote in their paper.
These, they explained, include ‘memory consolidation, preparation for subsequent learning, executive functioning enhancement and a boost to emotional stability — but these effects were not observed in all cases.’
However, the team cautioned, the study could not establish a causal relationship between napping and mental agility — and, furthermore, noted that the study did not account for the length or timing of naps, which could be important.
The team did find, however, that those who took regular afternoon naps had higher levels of a fat called triglyceride in their blood — which means that napping is linked with associated cardiovascular disease risk factors, the study said.
The researchers also put forward some possible explanations for the findings — including the theory that sleep regulates the body’s immune response and napping could be an evolved response to inflammation.
‘Individuals with higher levels of inflammation also nap more frequently,’ the researchers wrote in their paper.
Researchers from China found that sleeping in the afternoon was associated with better locational awareness, verbal fluency and working memory in the senior adults (stock image)
‘Scientists continue to work to unravel the relationship between sleep and dementia,’ said Alzheimer’s Research UK’s Sara Imarisio.
The full findings of the study were published in the journal General Psychiatry.
To read the full article from the original source please click here.
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