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Meditation improves focus and memory

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Lisa Takeuchi Cullen at Time Magazine Online has featured an article on meditation and its benefits. She take some good examples and quotes to show that meditation does not only reduce stress, it also improves brain functions, such as increase attention span, sharpen focus and improve memory. And it claims that nap does not work as well as meditation in term of restoring energy during the day:

… Many people who meditate claim the practice restores their energy, allowing them to perform better at tasks that require attention and concentration. If so, wouldn’t a midday nap work just as well? No, says Bruce O’Hara, associate professor of biology at the University of Kentucky. In a study to be published this year, he had college students either meditate, sleep or watch TV. Then he tested them for what psychologists call psychomotor vigilance, asking them to hit a button when a light flashed on a screen. Those who had been taught to meditate performed 10% better—”a huge jump, statistically speaking,” says O’Hara. Those who snoozed did significantly worse. “What it means,” O’Hara theorizes, “is that meditation may restore synapses, much like sleep but without the initial grogginess.”…

How to Get Smarter, One Breath at a Time – [Time Online Edition]

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