Commentary: Time to take a nap

This editorial appeared in The Fresno Bee.

What is this world coming to? Kindergartens are eliminating nap time, and with it the tradition of rows of kids sleeping on mats on the floor. Even Spaniards are skipping the afternoon siesta.

People worldwide are sleeping less and less. Five hours a night, out of a recommended seven or eight, is common. Sleep deprivation increasingly is the norm.

Doctors have a name for what's going on: People are TATT (or "tired all the time"). So it's nice to see that sleep researchers, at least, have evidence that makes the case for the afternoon nap.

A 20- to 90-minute mid-afternoon nap helps consolidate learning. The brain needs sleep to incorporate newly learned skills. As Dr. William Fishbein, a cognitive neuroscientist at the City University of New York, put it: "Not only do we need to remember to sleep, but most certainly, we sleep to remember."

To read the complete editorial, visit The Fresno Bee.