Taking nap during afternoon improves memory, language skills in elderly: Study
China: Results from a recent study demonstrate that older adults who often take afternoon nap have a better cognitive function including language and memory. According to the study results, published in the BMJ journal General Psychiatry, people having a habit of afternoon napping had a higher level of triglyceride than non-napping.
Dementia is a disorder that interferes with domestic, social, and occupational functioning owing to decline in level of cognitive function. There is no effective dementia treatment currently. So, by identifying and modifying the risk factors it becomes possible to prevent and delay the occurrence of cognitive impairment. Several studies have shown afternoon napping promotes cognitive function in the elderly. Some studies, on the other hand, have shown opposite results.
Han Cai, Geriatrics, The Fourth People's Hospital of Wuhu, Wuhu, Anhui, China, and colleagues further examined the relationship between afternoon napping and cognitive function in the ageing Chinese population.
The stud included a total of 2214 elderly (napping group: n=1534; non-napping group: n=680). Cognitive evaluation were received by the the Mini-Mental State Examination, Chinese version of the Neuropsychological Test Battery, and the Beijing version of the Montreal Cognitive Assessment. Of the total subjects involved, 739 elderly volunteered to take blood lipid tests.
Key findings of the study include:
- Significant differences in cognitive function and blood lipids were observed between the napping and the non-napping groups.
- Afternoon napping was associated with better cognitive function including orientation, language, and memory in the present study.
- Subjects with the habit of afternoon napping also showed a higher level of triglyceride than the non-napping subjects.
"The study's results demonstrate that afternoon napping was associated with better cognitive function including orientation, language and memory. Subjects with afternoon napping habit showed a higher level of triglyceride than non-napping," wrote the authors.
The study titled, "Relationship between afternoon napping and cognitive function in the ageing Chinese population," is published in the BMJ journal General Psychiatry.