Health News – Study found that daytime short naps are not effective in relieving the potentially negative cognitive effects of sleep deprivation.
In a new study, researchers at Michigan State University recruited 275 college-aged participants to measure the effectiveness of daytime short naps in mitigating sleep deprivation deficits. They divided the participants into three distinct groups and asked them to complete cognitive tasks in the evening.
The first group was sent home to sleep, while the second group was asked to stay at the lab overnight and take either a 30 or 60 minutes nap. The participants of the third group didn’t sleep at all in the deprivation condition. The participants repeated the cognitive tasks (attention and place keeping abilities) the next morning.
The research result showed that slow-wave sleep (SWS – deepest and most restorative stage of sleep) was more effective to reduce the cognitive impairments associated with sleep deprivation than daytime short naps.
“When someone goes without sleep for a period of time, even just during the day, they build up a need for sleep; in particular, they build up a need for SWS. When individuals go to sleep each night, they will soon enter into SWS and spend a substantial amount of time in this stage,” said Kimberly Fenn, author of the study published in the journal Sleep.
As per the findings, the second group that stayed overnight and took short naps experienced sleep deprivation effects. They even made more mistakes in the tasks than the first group who obtained proper sleep. However, every 10-minute increase in SWS reduced errors after interruptions by about 4%,” Fenn added. Though the participants who got SWS made fewer errors on both tasks, they still performed worse than those who obtained proper sleep, Fenn later mentioned.
To Know More You May Refer To:
Stepan, M. E., Altmann, E. M., & Fenn, K. M. (2021). Slow-wave sleep during a brief nap is related to reduced cognitive deficits during sleep deprivation. Sleep. https://doi.org/10.1093/sleep/zsab152