Post-Lunch Napping Tied to Better Cognition in Elderly

Post-Lunch Napping Tied to Better Cognition in Elderly

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 28, 2016 (HealthDay News) — Moderate post-lunch napping is tied to better cognition in older adults, according to a study published online Dec. 20 in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society.

Junxin Li, Ph.D., from Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, and colleagues examined associations between self-reported post-lunch napping and structured cognitive assessments in older Chinese adults (≥65 years). Napping was characterized by length: non-nappers (0 minutes), short nappers (<30 minutes), moderate nappers (30 to 90 minutes), and extended nappers (>90 minutes).

The researchers found that 57.7 percent of participants reported napping (mean time, 63 minutes). There was a significant association between cognitive function and napping (P < 0.001). Moderate nappers had better overall cognition than non-nappers (P < 0.001) or extended nappers (P = 0.01). Non-nappers also had significantly poorer cognition compared to short nappers (P = 0.03). After controlling for demographic characteristics, body mass index, depression, instrumental activities of daily living, social activities, and nighttime sleep duration, moderate napping was significantly associated with better cognition than non- (P = 0.004), short (P = 0.04), and extended napping (P = 0.002).

“Longitudinal studies with objective napping measures are needed to further test this hypothesis,” the authors write.

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