Thursday, June 07, 2007

You Snooze, You Lose? Not True

You Snooze, You Lose? Not True

Tired after lunch or by mid-afternoon? You might think that you should go buy yourself some coffee. But according to UCSD researcher Sara Mednick, you’re better off taking a nap.

Mednick, a faculty member in the department of psychiatry at the School of Medicine, has been researching napping since graduate school and recently published a book, titled “Take a Nap! Change Your Life.”

I like it. This is really "news you can use."
Some of her most striking research looks at napping compared to drinking caffeine. In one study, Mednick had one group of subjects nap for 90 minutes, while another drank 200 mg of caffeine. She also set up a control group, who took a placebo. Then she tested her subjects on several tasks, including typing and spatial skills, such as remembering the layout of a room or a map. On both tasks, coffee drinkers performed much worse than the placebo group, Mednick said. “Of course, this is a bummer for Starbucks,” she added.

Think about it. What would you really prefer – being well-rested, or being a caffeine zombie?

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Blogger Alessia Maggi said...

After lunch snoozes proven to help productivity? Great! This may stop my colleagues teasing me for resting in my office arm-chair during the day... then again, I think they mostly tease for fun.

Anyhow, just in case you're interested in more adectodal evidence to prove the point: I am intollerant to caffeine, and have found that taking 15-20 minute snoozes when required keeps me slogging away productively the rest of the day.

6/10/2007 04:02:00 AM  
Blogger tdstephens3 said...

well, on the subject of productive sleep... I often find a that a difficulty in mathematics can become somewhat more tractable after a nap, or upon waking in the morning.

A professor mentioned this in class one day, encouraging students to try to prove trig identities before bedtime, and not to worry if they were unsuccessful in the evening, pointing out the possibility that the correct approach will be revealed in the morning. Most students laughed, but some were shocked at the amazing truth!

Caffeine does not have this effect, I do not find myself full of fresh ideas after a coffee, rather just slightly more irritated that my previous attempts have failed!

6/15/2007 10:42:00 PM  

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