Siestas Are Beneficial
An afternoon nap may help seniors compensate for the sleeping problemsthat tend to occur with age, according to the results of a study reported in theJournal of the American Geriatrics Society (January 2005). The study alsofound that individuals between the ages of 55 and 85 who had the opportunityto nap between 2PM and 4PM did better on tests of mental ability on boththe day of the nap and the day after the nap.
For the study, the researchers asked 32 participants (16 men and 16women) to take a nap or stay awake and participate in quiet activities such asreading or watching television from 2PM to 4PM each day for 3 days. Theresearchers tested the participants'alertness after napping in a series of mentalexercises and monitored their sleep the night after napping or engaging inquiet activities. The participants in the sleep group who took naps averaged 81minutes of sleep. The researchers learned that individuals who napped sleptjust as well the night after as they did after the relaxing activities.