The benefits of an afternoon sleep — The Accidental Ringer

A good friend, Mary Jones, posted this story on her blog on March 6, 2021:

The benefits of an afternoon sleep, on The Accidental Ringer

Good news. Taking a nap in the afternoon can improve your memory and keep your brain more agile.

Researchers in China persuaded 2000 adults to endure an afternoon nap of between 5 minutes (that’s no nap – that is just resting your eye lids for a bit) and up to 2 hours. They discovered that even 5 minutes rest after lunch can help people to remember things and to speak more fluently afterwards. The nappers were also found to perform better in problem solving tasks and were more alert and aware of their surroundings.  It appears that inflammatory chemicals are regulated by the act of napping, which in turn can prevent poor health.  We are therefore advised to grab 40 winks during the afternoon, if we can, in order to allow our brains to “do some housekeeping”. The most beneficial types of nap are either no longer than 40 minutes (before someone enters the deepest stages of sleep) or for two hours (to allow a full sleep cycle).

I will take the full two hours please.

I am surprised that someone felt it necessary to do the research.  I have been an habitual afternoon napper for most of my life.  Give me a horizontal surface and a comfortable ambient temperature and I am asleep, especially if I have eaten a largish lunch.  Actually, I don’t even require a horizontal surface.  Just the largish lunch will do it for me. When my kids were small, friends knew not to pop round or phone between 1.30-3pm because the baby would be asleep.  So would I.  Both of us co-sharing a queen sized bed.  Both of us boosting our brain power.

The same is still true today. Please do not phone between the hours of 1.30-3.30pm.  I will often be resting my eye lids.

Author: Dennis G Jones (aka 'The Grasshopper')

Retired International Monetary Fund economist. My blog is for organizing my ideas and thoughts about a range of topics. I was born in Jamaica, but spent 30 years being educated, living, and working in the UK. I lived in the USA for two decades, and worked and travelled abroad, extensively, throughout my careers and for pleasure. My views have a wide international perspective. Father of 3 girls. Also, married to an economist. :)

2 thoughts on “The benefits of an afternoon sleep — The Accidental Ringer”

  1. I am a lifelong napper too – a habit I picked up from my father, who would have lunch, a cup of coffee and then a nap. Indeed, all my family are nappers – after any family lunch, you will find us all sprawled out on some surface. It’s such a civilized habit.

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