Scientific Proof of the Benefits of a Siesta

Keep them shut. Researchers find a nap is the surest way to retain information

Nap

Gregory Mone

Next time you're caught napping in your cube, or some little hideaway in your office, just cite the work of Harvard Medical School scientist Matthew Tucker and his colleagues, which appears in the latest issue of the journal Sleep, then tell your colleague or boss to scurry away.

The afternoon nap, it turns out, provides a serious benefit to memory.

Subjects in the study were trained in a few memory tasks, and then half of them took 45-minute naps. Those who learned the tasks effectively prior to siesta time retained the information better than those who stayed awake. So, after your next long meeting, or information-intensive conference call, head to the nearest couch for a while. For the good of the company, of course.