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J Am Geriatr Soc. 2005 Jan;53(1):48-53.

Effects of a nap on nighttime sleep and waking function in older subjects.

Author information

1
Laboratory of Human Chronobiology, Department of Psychiatry, Weill Cornell Medical College, White Plains, New York 10605, USA. sscampb@med.cornell.edu <sscampb@med.cornell.edu>

Abstract

OBJECTIVES:

To examine, in older subjects, the effect on waking function of increasing 24-hour sleep amounts by providing a nap opportunity; to assess what effects an afternoon nap may have on subsequent nighttime sleep quality and composition.

DESIGN:

Two-session, within-subject laboratory design.

SETTING:

The study was conducted in the Laboratory of Human Chronobiology at Weill Cornell Medical College.

PARTICIPANTS:

Thirty-two healthy men and women aged 55 to 85.

MEASUREMENTS:

Polysomnography (sleep electroencephalogram), cognitive and psychomotor performance, body core temperature.

RESULTS:

Napping had little effect on subsequent nighttime sleep quality or duration, resulting in a significant increase in 24-hour sleep amounts. Such increased sleep resulted in enhanced cognitive and psychomotor performance immediately after the nap and throughout the next day.

CONCLUSION:

A behavioral approach that adds daytime sleep to the 24-hour sleep quota seems worthy of consideration when presented with a situation in which physiological changes associated with aging may limit the duration of nighttime sleep.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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