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Journal Articles Frontiers in Aging Neuroscience Year : 2022

Benefits and risks of napping in older adults: A systematic review


A growing body of evidence indicates that napping is common among older adults. However, a systematic review on the effect of napping on the elderly is lacking. The aim of this systematic review was to (i) determine how studies evaluated napping behavior in older adults (frequency, duration and timing); (ii) explore how napping impacts perceptual measures, cognitive and psychomotor performance, night-time sleep and physiological parameters in the elderly (PROSPERO CRD42022299805). A total of 738 records were screened by two researchers using the PICOS criteria. Fifteen studies met our inclusion criteria with a mean age ranging from 60.8 to 78.3 years and a cumulative sample size of n = 326. Daytime napping had an overall positive impact on subjective measures (i.e., sleepiness and fatigue), psychomotor performances (i.e., speed and accuracy) and learning abilities (i.e., declarative and motor learning). Additionally, studies showed (i) consistency between nap and control conditions regarding sleep duration, efficiency and latency, and proportion of sleep stages, and (ii) increase of 24 h sleep duration with nap compared to control condition. Based on the findings of the present review, there is minimal evidence to indicate that napping is detrimental for older adults' nighttime sleep. Future studies should consider involving repeated naps during a micro-cycle in order to investigate the chronic effect of napping on older adults. Systematic review registration identifier: CRD42022299805.

Dates and versions

hal-04211733 , version 1 (19-09-2023)



Maher Souabni, Mehdi Souabni, Omar Hammouda, Mohamed Romdhani, Khaled Trabelsi, et al.. Benefits and risks of napping in older adults: A systematic review. Frontiers in Aging Neuroscience, 2022, 14, ⟨10.3389/fnagi.2022.1000707⟩. ⟨hal-04211733⟩
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