Background Several studies have shown that afternoon napping promotes cognitive function in the elderly; on the other hand, some studies have shown opposite results. This current study further examined the relationship between afternoon napping and cognitive function in the ageing Chinese population.
Methods A total of 2214 elderly were included (napping group: n=1534; non-napping group: n=680). They all received cognitive evaluations by the Beijing version of the Montreal Cognitive Assessment, the Mini-Mental State Examination, and the Chinese version of the Neuropsychological Test Battery. Among all the subjects, 739 elderly volunteered to take blood lipid tests.
Results Significant differences in cognitive function and blood lipids were observed between the napping and the non-napping groups. Afternoon napping was associated with better cognitive function including orientation, language, and memory in the present study. Subjects with the habit of afternoon napping also showed a higher level of triglyceride than the non-napping subjects.
Conclusion The results demonstrated that afternoon napping was related to better cognitive function in the Chinese ageing population.
Short naps lasting less than 30 minutes for four times a week, may be the most helpful