Short Naps Don’t Relieve Sleep Deficit, New Study Finds

Short Naps Don't Relieve Sleep Deficit, New Study Finds

According to the latest study from the Michigan State University Sleep and Learning Laboratory, a short nap during the day does not serve to restore a sleepless night .

The study has been published in the journal Sleep and is one of the first to measure the effectiveness of shorter naps.

Naps of 30 to 60 minutes

Short 30- or 60-minute naps showed no measurable effect . As Kimberly Fenn, MSU associate professor, study author, and director of the Sleep and Learning Laboratory explains:

While short naps did not show measurable effects on alleviating the effects of sleep deprivation, we found that the amount of slow wave sleep that participants got during the nap was related to the reduction in impairments associated with sleep deprivation. sleep.

Slow wave sleep, or SWS, is the deepest and most restorative stage of sleep. It is characterized by high-amplitude, low-frequency brain waves and is the stage of sleep in which your body is most relaxed; your muscles are calm and your heart rate and breathing are slower.

Participants completed cognitive tasks when they arrived at the Sleep and Learning Laboratory in the evening and were then randomly assigned to three groups : the first was sent home to sleep; the second stayed in the lab overnight and had the opportunity to take a 30- or 60-minute nap; and the third did not nap at all in the deprived condition.

The next morning, the participants reconvened in the lab to repeat cognitive tasks, which measured attention and place maintenance, or the ability to complete a series of steps in a specific order without skipping or repeating them, even after have been interrupted.

The group that stayed overnight and took short naps still suffered from the effects of sleep deprivation and made significantly more homework errors than their counterparts who went home and slept through the night. However, each 10 minute increase in SWS reduced errors after outages by approximately 4%.