According to a recent poll published by the National Sleep Foundation, one third of Americans take naps. This is enlightening, considering most sleep reports focus on work-related and chronic sleep deprivation. A 20 min nap not only combats sleepiness, particularly for drowsy drivers, but also improves memory, performance, and emotional valence, especially if the nap includes REM sleep. The latter findings are recent investigations from Dr. Matt Walker’s lab at Berekeley (see blog entry “Sleep Improves Memory and Performance…DUH!” for more information).
Word of advice: Napping is awesome, but don’t nap in the company of friends like Eric Cartman.