Time for a Nap?

. Monday, February 22


Caught! Right before the starting line, Apolo Anton Ohno grabs himself a big ol’ yawn. That’s what we all do when faced with a daunting task at hand, especially a physical one, right? Actually, it might not be such a bad idea after all.

"It makes me feel better," he said. "It gets the oxygen in and the nerves out."

While the extra oxygen helps the skater across the ice in record time, another thing that just might not be such a bad idea after all is taking a mid-afternoon nap.

Researchers have finally figured out what happens between deep and dream sleep. That is the stage of sleep when fact-based memories are purged from short-term memory and moved to the prefrontal cortex.

Without a nap, learning decreases markedly. It seems there is a lot less room to take in more without clearing out the short-term memory banks. New information just bounces off.