Effects of a daytime nap in the aged


Munehisa Tamaki Department of Behavioral Science, Faculty of Integrated Arts and Sciences, Hiroshima University, 1-7-1, Kagamiyama, Higashihiroshima, 739-8521, Japan.


This study evaluated the effects of the daytime nap on performance, mood and physiological measures in aged individuals. Participants were six healthy aged persons (M = 72.2 years old) who habitually napped in the afternoon three or more times a week. They participated under two conditions with an interval of 1 week. In the nap condition, the subjects went to bed at 13:00 h and slept for 30 min. In the rest condition, they just watched television. In both conditions, electroencephalogram (EEG), blood pressure, mood and performance were measured before and after a nap or rest. The daytime nap improved performance, decreased subjective sleepiness and fatigue, and attenuated EEG alpha band activity. Moreover, following a nap diastolic blood pressure significantly decreased. These findings suggest that a habitual daytime nap helps aged individuals to maintain their daytime physiological, psychological and behavioral arousal at an adequate level.