Can power-naps boost our memory?

Having power-naps may help to boost our memory, according to a small German study. 1

The research was carried out by a team from the Saarland University in Germany. Researchers used a group of just 41 young adults, who were split into two groups and given word tests. The first group was allowed to sleep for 90 minutes after being shown a group of single and double words, while the second group had to stay awake.

Researchers found that those who had been asleep were more able to recall the double words than those who had stayed awake, although both groups struggled to recall the individual words in the test.

While this research is interesting and adds to the body of evidence that suggests sleep is important for our memories, it is not entirely conclusive in its results. This is because it was such a limited study that the researchers accept the results could have occurred merely by chance, and with all the results being achieved in one day, we have no idea if it could be replicated.

We also don’t know if the results could be replicated if a different demographic of people was used, and so larger and more extensive research is required before we know if naps can genuinely help our memory.

Reference

1 Studte S, Bridger E, Mecklinger A. Nap sleep preserves associative but not item memory performance. Neurobiology of Learning and Memory. Published online February 23 2015

Headlines

A 45-minute power nap can boost your memory five-fold, study finds. The Independent, March 23 2015

A power nap of just 45 minutes can boost the memory five-fold, according to new research. Mail Online, March 23 2015

How Power Naps Can Turbocharge Your Memory. The Huffington Post, March 23 2015

How a short nap can improve your memory five-fold. Daily Express, March 23 2015