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Systematic Review

Effects of a Short Daytime Nap on the Cognitive Performance: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis

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CNRS, LaPSCo, Physiological and Psychosocial Stress, University Hospital of Clermont-Ferrand, CHU Clermont-Ferrand, Occupational and Environmental Medicine, WittyFit, F-63000 Clermont-Ferrand, France
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Preventive and Occupational Medicine, University Hospital of Clermont-Ferrand, F-63000 Clermont-Ferrand, France
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Department of Exercise Physiology, University of Isfahan, Isfahan 8174673441, Iran
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NPsy-Sydo, Sleep Disorders, University Hospital of Clermont-Ferrand, CHU Clermont-Ferrand, F-63000 Clermont-Ferrand, France
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Clinical Research and Innovation Direction, CHU Clermont-Ferrand, F-63000 Clermont-Ferrand, France
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Emergency Department, CHU Clermont-Ferrand, F-63000 Clermont-Ferrand, France
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Neurophysiology of Stress, Armies’ Biomedical Research Institute, Armies’ Health Service, F-91220 Brétigny sur Orge, France
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CNRS, INSERM, GReD, University Hospital of Clermont-Ferrand, Ophthalmology, CHU Clermont-Ferrand, Université Clermont Auvergne, F-63000 Clermont-Ferrand, France
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Equally contributed (both authors should be considered 1st author).
Academic Editor: Paul B. Tchounwou
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(19), 10212; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph181910212
Received: 19 August 2021 / Revised: 18 September 2021 / Accepted: 23 September 2021 / Published: 28 September 2021
Background: Napping in the workplace is under debate, with interesting results on work efficiency and well-being of workers. In this systematic review and meta-analysis, we aimed to assess the benefits of a short daytime nap on cognitive performance. Methods: PubMed, Cochrane Library, ScienceDirect and PsycInfo databases were searched until 19 August 2021. Cognitive performance in working-aged adults, both before and following a daytime nap or under control conditions (no nap), was analysed by time and by type of cognitive function (alertness, executive function and memory). Results: We included 11 studies (all in laboratory conditions including one with a subgroup in working conditions) for a total of 381 participants. Mean duration of nap was 55.4 ± 29.4 min. Overall cognitive performance did not differ at baseline (t0) between groups (effect size −0.03, 95% CI −0.14 to 0.07), and improved in the nap group following the nap (t1) (0.18, 0.09 to 0.27), especially for alertness (0.29, 0.10 to 0.48). Sensitivity analyses gave similar results comparing only randomized controlled trials, and after exclusion of outliers. Whatever the model used, performance mainly improved until 120 min after nap, with conflicting results during the sleep inertia period. Early naps in the afternoon (before 1.00 p.m.) gave better cognitive performance (0.24, −0.07 to 0.34). The benefits of napping were independent of sex and age. Duration of nap and time between nap and t1 did not influence cognitive performance. Conclusions: Despite the fact that our meta-analyses included almost exclusively laboratory studies, daytime napping in the afternoon improved cognitive performance with beneficial effects of early nap. More studies in real work condition are warranted before implementing daytime napping at work as a preventive measure to improve work efficiency. View Full-Text
Keywords: daytime nap; cognitive performance; work; prevention daytime nap; cognitive performance; work; prevention
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MDPI and ACS Style

Dutheil, F.; Danini, B.; Bagheri, R.; Fantini, M.L.; Pereira, B.; Moustafa, F.; Trousselard, M.; Navel, V. Effects of a Short Daytime Nap on the Cognitive Performance: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18, 10212. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph181910212

AMA Style

Dutheil F, Danini B, Bagheri R, Fantini ML, Pereira B, Moustafa F, Trousselard M, Navel V. Effects of a Short Daytime Nap on the Cognitive Performance: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 2021; 18(19):10212. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph181910212

Chicago/Turabian Style

Dutheil, Frédéric, Benjamin Danini, Reza Bagheri, Maria Livia Fantini, Bruno Pereira, Farès Moustafa, Marion Trousselard, and Valentin Navel. 2021. "Effects of a Short Daytime Nap on the Cognitive Performance: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis" International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health 18, no. 19: 10212. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph181910212

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