BEIJING, Feb. 23 (Xinhuanet) -- A new study suggests that naps can make you learn better in the afternoon, media reported Tuesday.
Napping at midday, when the brain's ability to learn may have deteriorated, may clear the brain's memory storage area and make room for new information, according to study researcher Matthew Walker, PhD, an assistant professor of psychology at University of California, Berkeley.
The study recruited 39 healthy young adults and divided them into two groups. All 39 were asked to learn 100 names and faces at noon, and then to learn a different set of names and faces at 6 p.m. But 20 of the volunteers who slept for 90 minutes between the two learning sessions improved their scores by 10 percent on average after sleeping; the scores of those who didn't nap actually dropped by 10 percent.
"It's as though the e-mail inbox in your hippocampus is full and, until you sleep and clear out those fact e-mails, you're not going to receive any more mail. It's just going to bounce until you sleep and move it into another folder," Walker said in a release.
The findings were presented Sunday at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in San Diego.