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Napping Is Smart

Medically reviewed in June 2019

Becoming older and wiser may be especially easy for people who nap regularly.

A study of men between the ages of 55 and 85 revealed that taking an afternoon nap enhanced cognitive function not only immediately after the nap, but throughout the next day as well. Naps can be especially healthful for people who aren't getting a proper amount of sleep at night.

Many people experience a dip in energy levels in the afternoon and find it difficult to concentrate. Some of that dip may be due to a lack of quality, restful sleep. Many older people do not get the requisite 6 to 8 hours of sleep per night to maintain optimal health. Poor sleep habits are sometimes to blame. To get the most out of your snooze time, keep a regular sleep schedule; avoid stimulants, such as caffeine, close to bedtime; perform strenuous activities, such as exercise, during early day hours; and designate a cool, dark, quiet room as your regular sleep area. Often, an underlying medical condition is at the root of sleep problems, so it's important to see your healthcare provider if you suffer from chronic daytime sleepiness.

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