Regimens: For the Best Pick-Me-Up, Lie Down
By NICHOLAS BAKALAR
Published: December 1, 2008
Scientists spent a morning training 61 people in motor, perceptual and verbal tasks: tapping a keyboard in a specific sequence, discriminating between shapes on a computer screen and memorizing a list of words. Then the scientists randomly divided the subjects into three groups. The first took a nap from 1 to 3 p.m. At 3, the second group took a 200-milligram caffeine pill, and the third took a placebo. The subjects repeated the tasks they had been taught earlier and were scored by researchers who did not know which group they were in.
Those who had caffeine had worse motor skills than those who napped or had a placebo. In the perceptual task, the nappers did significantly better than either the caffeine or placebo group. On the verbal test, nappers were best by a wide margin, and the caffeine consumers did no better than those given a placebo. Despite their mediocre performance, caffeine takers consistently reported less sleepiness than the others.
“People think they’re smarter on caffeine,” said Sara C. Mednick, an assistant professor of psychiatry at the University of California, San Diego, and the lead author of the study, which appeared in the Nov. 3 issue of Behavioral Brain Research. “But this study is a strong argument for taking a nap instead of having a cup of coffee.”
Tuesday, December 2, 2008
More reasons to NAP with your baby (and not to drink coffee)
This article, just in from the New York Times, talks about how napping is beneficial to learning and caffeine isn't. We say any excuse to nap with your baby is a valid one. If your wife is skeptical of why you need to snooze a roo, print this out for her: