Beneficial effects of a daytime nap on verbal memory in adolescents

Esther Yuet Ying LAU, Susan MCATEER, Cecilia Nga Wing LEUNG, Matthew A. TUCKER, Cheng LI

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21 Citations (Scopus)


This study aimed to examine the sleep-dependent memory consolidation of verbal declarative memory in Chinese adolescents in a naturalistic experimental setting. Thirty-nine healthy boarding school students (ages 15–18, 70% female) were randomized to either a one-hour afternoon nap or wake group between the baseline and the retest sessions of three verbal declarative memory tasks: a Prose Stories Recall task, a Word Pair Associates task, and Rey Auditory Verbal Learning Test. Results showed that the nap group performed better than the no-nap group on both the Prose Stories Recall task and the Word Pair Associates task, but not on list learning. Our findings suggest that napping is beneficial to verbal declarative memory in adolescents, providing ecologically-valid empirical support for the sleep-dependent memory consolidation hypothesis using a napping paradigm in participants' naturalistic habitat. Our results demonstrate the potential importance of napping as a practical mnemonic intervention/compensatory strategy for student populations. Copyright © 2018 The Foundation for Professionals in Services for Adolescents. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)77-84
JournalJournal of Adolescence
Early online date18 Jun 2018
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2018


Lau, E. Y. Y., McAteer, S., Leung, C. N. W., Tucker, M. A., & Li, C. (2018). Beneficial effects of a daytime nap on verbal memory in adolescents. Journal of Adolescence, 67, 77-84. doi: 10.1016/j.adolescence.2018.06.004


  • Sleep
  • Memory consolidation
  • Napping
  • Adolescents
  • Verbal memory
  • Learning


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