Dr Emer MacSweeney features in the Sun in an article which shared the tips of doctors for living a longer life

Did you know that doctors live around five years longer than the rest of the population with their inside knowledge to maintaining a healthy life?

Keep Your Brain Young

Why napping is important

Dr MacSweeney shared her tip about power napping, which is hugely beneficial for the brain. It helps to keep it healthy and improve cognitive performance. She advises that the key to napping is all about timing – both the duration of the nap and the time of day.

Napping in the afternoon

To energise your afternoon, a quick 20 minute nap after lunch will help boost alertness and increase your performance. This duration will keep you in the lightest stage of non-REM sleep, so you won’t have the groggy effects of a longer sleep. Instead, you will wake up feeling refreshed.

A great tip for the 20 minute nap is to drink a coffee before napping as the effects of the caffeine will kick in as you are waking up!

If you’re new to napping or can’t fall asleep; simply close your eyes for 15 – 20 minutes to reap the benefits.

Napping benefits

A 60 minute nap will help optimise memory. Naps of this duration put you in a deeper state of sleep which slows down your brain. There is a risk that you will wake up feeling groggy – like you have a sleep hangover – but when fully awake, you will have improved memory and creativity.

So diarise your nap to boost your brain performance. Mid afternoon is the best time to schedule naps (post-lunch lethargy) and it won’t interfere with evening sleep.

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