Relationship between afternoon napping and cognitive function in the ageing Chinese population

Gen Psychiatr. 2021 Jan 25;34(1):e100361. doi: 10.1136/gpsych-2020-100361. eCollection 2021.


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.

Keywords: cognition disorders; mental health; psychiatry.