I remember that my dad always took a brief nap right after lunch. It might be a five minute nap, but he usually would try to work that into his schedule.
I also know that my dad lived a long time and had a great memory. It was oftentimes intimidating to be around him because of his great resource of energy and his ability to remember things.
I think I have just found part of his secret. Dr. William Fishbein, a cognitive neuroscientist at the City University of New York, was speaking at a meeting of the Society for Neuroscience and indicated that taking a nap may boost your memory. He cited new research that suggests that taking a nap may boost a sophisticated kind of memory that helps us see the big picture and get creative.
I love those kinds of medical findings. I have been looking for an excuse to take a nap more often. Now I have it.
Scientists are focusing less on sleep duration and studying more on the quality of sleep. The quality seems to help the brain process memories so they stick. Fragmented sleep can suppress the birth of new brain cells in the hippocampus, where memory-making begins.
The older we get the more important it is to remember things that are worth remembering. Now don’t forget this lesson. Improve your memory. Take a brief nap. Sleep well at night. Allow plenty of time for sleep.
If the next time I see you, I don’t remember your name—remind me to take more naps!
Remember every day, whether taking a nap or wide awake—who you are and whose you are.