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The nap stimulates motor skills and memory

Home » Economy » The nap stimulates motor skills and memory February 16, 2022

If you’re addicted to naps, you’re right. Taking an afternoon nap is good for our health and cognitive abilities. But when is the best time for naps to be effective? In a study published in the journal Neuroscience, American researchers from Northwestern University estimated that it took 90 minutes to stimulate motor skills and memory.

Improve motor skills
Sleep increases a person’s ability to learn difficult motor tasks because it helps the brain process and focus on the new skill. A short sleep, in particular, enhances this movement, allowing it to function faster and more efficiently. To reach this conclusion, the researchers asked the participants to perform a difficult motor task with and without sleep. The study involved playing a computer game in which the cursor had to move using specific arm muscles. After the training, the participants played the game blindfolded and moved the cursor according to the sounds synonymous with movement.

Patient rehabilitation

The results showed that people who took a 90-minute nap performed the movements better than those who didn’t. “We used directed memory reactivation, in which a learning-related stimulus is re-presented during sleep, to induce a recapitulation of awake brain activity,” says study lead author Larry Cheng. .
The researchers believe reactivation may be relevant to neurorehabilitation and areas involved in motor learning, such as kinesiology and physiology. Larry Cheng adds: “Current results show that components of execution-based motor skills can be reactivated during sleep, thereby improving performance after waking. Thus, the activation of motor control networks during sleep may be an integral part of the mechanism for improving motor skills. Finally, the researchers conclude that the results of this study provide a starting point for rehabilitation therapies for patients with stroke and other neurological disorders.

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