Naps May Improve Our Frustration Tolerance
July 14, 2015 MVP Blog comments
A short nap could reduce impulsive behavior and improve the ability to withstand frustration, a small study suggests.
Researchers studied 40 people aged 18 to 50. After three nights of normal sleep, the participants took computer-based tests of frustration tolerance — which consisted of trying to complete an impossible task — and completed questionnaires on sleepiness, mood and impulsivity. Then they were randomly assigned to take an hour’s nap, or to watch a nature video. At the end of the process, they were tested again. The study appears in Personality and Individual Differences.
Before the nap period, everyone spent about the same amount of time on the unsolvable task, but afterward nappers, who all reported having slept at least part of the time, spent significantly more time working at it than they had before their nap, while non-nappers gave up sooner. Nappers also rated their behavior as less impulsive than non-nappers.
The lead author, Jennifer R. Goldschmied, a doctoral student at the University of Michigan, acknowledged that the sample is small, involved mainly college students and may not be applicable to other populations. The sleep calculations also did not use electronic devices to precisely measure sleep and wakefulness.
Still, she said, “These results are valuable and have put us on the route to understanding how we can utilize naps. Now people are starting to understand how powerful short bursts of sleep can be.”
(NYTimes. By Nicholas Bakalar. Photo Credit Stuart Bredford)