Studying a second language? Have a bunch of stuff to remember? Just want to improve your mental acuity in general? Here’s one solution: take a nap.
A study published in Neurobiology of Learning and Memory has found that taking a short nap can help significantly help you retain learning. Researchers had 41 participants learn ninety single words and 120 word pairs, which had no relation to each other (for example: milk / taxi). Then, half the participants were allowed a nap, which lasted from forty-five minutes to an hour. The other half of the participants watched a DVD.
Then, everyone was retested to see how many of the words and word pairs the participants retained. The results were amazing: the participants who took a nap were able to retain five times as much as those who didn’t. According to researchers, “A short nap at the office or in school is enough to significantly improve learning success. Wherever people are in a learning environment, we should think seriously about the positive effects of sleep.”