Chinese scientists have found that people who sleep in the afternoon perform better on tests for orientation, fluency, and working memory. RIA Novosti writes about this with reference to a study published in the journal General Psychiatry.
Researchers from the Shanghai Mental Health Center and Shanghai Jiaotong University decided to uncover that afternoon nap in the elderly is a protective response that helps prevent cognitive decline, or one of the symptoms of dementia.
The MMSE dementia test found that cognitive performance was significantly higher in those who slept regularly during the day.
As the scientists note, their study is observational, that is, it proves that two factors - in this case, daytime sleep and brain health - are related, but does not reveal the cause of this connection.
The study authors believe that sleep regulates the body's immune response as an evolutionary response to inflammation. In addition, people with high levels of inflammation are more likely to sleep, and inflammatory chemicals play an important role in sleep disorders. At the same time, naps help prevent this inflammation.
However, at the same time, researchers believe that afternoon naps are often associated with a sedentary lifestyle and impaired circulation of leptin and ghrelin - peptide hormones that regulate energy metabolism.
Earlier, the head of the Center for Sleep Medicine at Lomonosov Moscow State University, Candidate of Medical Sciences, Alexander Kalinkin, warned that lack of sleep has a detrimental effect on immunity. According to him, if a person sleeps for less than five hours, then his chances of catching a viral infection increase by 250 percent compared to people who sleep the necessary seven to nine hours.