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Background

A power nap is a short sleep which terminates before the occurrence of deep sleep or slow-wave sleep (SWS), intended to quickly revitalize the subject. (wiki)

The results of powernapping are described in An ultra short episode of sleep is sufficient to promote declarative memory performance

In the first experiment we assessed free recall of a list of 30 words after a 60 min retention interval that was either filled with daytime napping or waking activity. Memory performance was significantly enhanced after napping as opposed to waking but was not correlated with time spent in slow wave sleep or total sleep time within the napping condition. The second experiment was designed to clarify the role of total sleep time and therefore included an additional third group, which was allowed to nap for no longer than 6 min on average. In comparing word recall after conditions of no napping (waking), short napping, and long napping, we found superior recall for both nap conditions in contrast to waking as well as for long naps in contrast to short naps. These results demonstrate that even an ultra short period of sleep is sufficient to enhance memory processing

Question
I'm wondering how it's possible that such a short napping period can boost cheerfulness and memory (thus in a biological sense).

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  • $\begingroup$ Perhaps better asked on CogSci? $\endgroup$ – anongoodnurse Dec 31 '16 at 16:38

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