Do post-lunch naps pump up memory and thinking skills?

A little afternoon snooze can help you feel more rested — and it might do you good in other ways, too. A small study from China published online Jan. 25, 2021, by General Psychiatry suggests that afternoon naps (between five minutes and two hours long) may be good for your memory and thinking skills. Researchers put more than 2,200 older adults through a series of health screenings that included blood tests and cognitive assessments, and also asked participants whether and how often they napped.

About 1,500 of the participants were nappers. Compared with people who didn’t nap, the nappers performed better on cognitive tests, scoring better on location awareness, verbal fluency, and memory. The study was observational, so it can’t prove that napping caused the better cognitive test results. Previous studies have shown that afternoon nap benefits decline as age and nap duration increase.

Short, frequent naps (less than 30 minutes, four times per week) have been associated with reduced risks for developing Alzheimer’s disease. In contrast, people who take long naps (two hours or longer) appear to have worse cognitive function, although it is unclear what is cause and what is effect.

Bible verses for today’s meditation and inspiration: Matthew E. McLaren

I delight greatly in the Lord; my soul rejoices in my God. For he has clothed me with garments of salvation and arrayed me in a robe of his righteousness, as a bridegroom adorns his head like a priest, and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels. Isaiah 61:10 NIV

Until now you have not asked for anything in my name. Ask and you will receive, and your joy will be complete. John 16:24 NIV

Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. 2 Corinthians 9:7 NIV

A person finds joy in giving an apt reply— and how good is a timely word! Proverbs 15:23 NIV

That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong. 2 Corinthians 12:10 NIV

Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn. Romans 12:15 NIV

You are my hiding place; you will protect me from trouble and surround me with songs of deliverance.
Psalm 32:7 NIV

So that I may come to you with joy, by God’s will, and in your company be refreshed. Romans 15:32 NIV

Your statutes are my heritage forever; they are the joy of my heart. Psalm 119:111 NIV

But godliness with contentment is great gain. 1 Timothy 6:6 NIV

And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him. Hebrews 11:6 NIV

For the Lord takes delight in his people; he crowns the humble with victory. Psalm 149:4 NIV

Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment. 1 Timothy 6:17 NIV

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