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Dr Hilary recommends surprising nap tip as study finds benefits for brain

Dr Hilary recommend coffee before a nap

If you like to have a short slumber during the day, you might be onto something.

A new study, published in the journal Sleep Health, found that midday snooze could slow the rate at which your brain shrinks as you age.

Speaking on ITV’s show Lorraine, Dr Hilary said: “There’s been a controversy about whether we should nap or not.

“Now, the University College of London with the University of the Republic in Uruguay came up with research that says if you nap on a regular basis, your brain volume will stay larger, equivalent to 2.6 to 6.5 years of longevity.

“So – napping – they are saying is good for you.”

READ MORE: Naps could help or hinder your health depending on their length, study suggests

Looking at data from 378,932 people aged between 40 to 69 from the UK Biobank, the new research studied whether there was a causal relationship between daytime napping and brain health.

The research team observed 97 snippets of DNA thought to determine people’s likelihood of napping.

They compared measures of brain health and cognition of people who are more genetically programmed to nap with people who did not have these changes in DNA.

Interestingly, they found people who were predetermined to nap had a larger total brain volume.

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Senior author of the study, Dr Victoria Garfield, said: “Our findings suggest that, for some people, short daytime naps may be a part of the puzzle that could help preserve the health of the brain as we get older.”

However, the researchers explained that only shorter naps offer this benefit.

Fortunately, Dr Hilary shared a surprising hack that could see you reap the effects without the unwanted feelings of grogginess.

He recommended having a coffee before a power nap as this will wake you up in 20 minutes because that’s when the effects of caffeine kick in.

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He said: “If you sleep longer than 20 minutes, you’re likely to be in deep sleep and feel groggy.

“20 minutes is a quick nap and is associated with better brain volume in the future.”

While the research shows some interesting findings, the team stressed it merely points to a causal link and not a cause.

Furthermore, more research is currently needed to establish whether naps could help prevent diseases like Alzheimer’s.

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