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Cat naps are good

March 24, 2008 | 11:11 am

H76h7pkf2_3 Maybe nodding off during that meeting isn’t so bad. Studies show that people retain information better after they sleep. Now German scientists have shown that even a six-minute daytime nap can help people recall information they’ve just learned. The researchers say that the mere onset of sleep may trigger the processes that consolidate memories, making them easier to recall. The study is published in this month’s issue of the Journal of Sleep Research.

Sleep expert Michael Breus, writing on his Web MD blog has this to say: “Think about it: every day you have the opportunity to become a better, sharper you, ready to learn new things quickly and take on challenges in just 6 minutes. Oh, but don’t get too excited if you’re sleep deprived. In other words, don’t try to make up for lost sleep with those 6 minutes. They are the bonus 6 minutes after your good night’s sleep. So sleep tight first, and practice the art of napping second.”

--Shari Roan

Photo: Spencer Weiner / Los Angeles Times