Taking regular, short daily naps is good for our brain to help reduce shrinkage, according to University College London research.
The team showed nappers’ brains were 15 cubic centimetres (0.9 cubic inches) larger — equivalent to delaying ageing by between three and six years.
Scientists recommend a short snooze, no more than 30 minutes, which can improve the brain’s ability to learn, while previous research has suggested long naps could be an early symptom of Alzheimer’s disease.
Though the researchers noted daytime napping is hard in many careers and mostly frowned upon in workplace culture.
The team say they have found evidence to suggest napping may help to protect against brain shrinkage, which is of interest.
Brain shrinkage, a process that occurs with age, is accelerated in people with cognitive problems and neurodegenerative diseases, with some research suggesting this may be related to sleep problems.
“We are suggesting that everybody could potentially experience some benefit from napping,” Dr Victoria Garfield told the BBC.
She described the findings as ‘quite novel and quite exciting’.
Napping has been shown to be critical for development in babies, becoming less common as we age and then goes through a resurgence in popularity after retirement — with 27% of people over 65 reporting having a daytime nap.
Dr Garfield says advice to nap is ‘something quite easy’ to do in comparison to weight loss or exercise which can be ‘difficult for a lot of people’.
Our brains naturally shrink with age, but scientists are yet to prove whether short naps could help prevent diseases like Altzheimer’s, as extra research is needed.
Overall brain health is important in protecting against dementia — a condition linked to disturbed sleep.
According to researchers, poor sleep is damaging to the brain and over time, it can cause inflammation and affect the connections between brain cells.
“Thus, regular napping could protect against neurodegeneration by compensating for deficient sleep,” researcher Valentina Paz said.
However, Dr Garfield is not planning on getting some shut eye while at work. She said she prefers other ways of looking after her brain, saying: “Honestly, I would rather spend 30 minutes exercising than napping, I’ll probably try and recommend that my mum does it.”
The UCL research team used a large-scale natural experiment based on DNA. Previous studies have identified 97 snippets of our genetic coding that can either make us more likely to take naps or rather ‘power on’ through the day.
Writing in the journal Sleep Health, researchers at UCL and the University of the Republic in Uruguay report how they drew on data from the UK Biobank study that has collated genetic, lifestyle and health information from 500,000 people aged 40 to 69.
They used data from 35,080 Biobank participants to study whether a combination of genetic variants that have previously been associated with self-reported habitual daytime napping are also linked to brain volume, including other areas of brain health.
Results showed a 15 cubic centimetre difference — equivalent to 2.6 to 6.5 years of ageing, with total brain volumes used in the study measuring around 1,480 cubic centimetres.
“I enjoy short naps on the weekends and this study has convinced me that I shouldn’t feel lazy napping, it may even be protecting my brain,” Professor Tara Spires-Jones, from the University of Edinburgh and the president of the British Neuroscience Association, told the BBC.
She said the study showed a ‘small but significant increase in brain volume’ which ‘adds to the data indicating that sleep is important for brain health’.
The researchers did not directly study having a longer sleep in the middle of the day, but said the science pointed towards having 30 minutes or less.
Woman shares sneaky trick on how to get a half price Maccie’s
You can do what?!
She went viral on TikTok for sharing the little known hack where hungry fast food fans can bag a Maccie’s for better than half price.
TikTok user Caroline (@caroline.shops) shared the sneaky trick with her followers where McDonald’s lovers can get a burger and fries for £1.99, saying it works ‘every single time’.
The content creator shares numerous thrifty tips and tricks on her account along with her other passions for wigs and fashion.
So how can I get a Maccie’s for £1.99, I hear you ask. Well, according to Caroline you should order something cheap such as a small soft drink at McDonalds and make sure to get a receipt.
She explains that on the receipt, there is a web address and a code. If you head over to the website and enter the code you will be asked to give feedback on your recent Maccie’s visit.
But Caroline has shared that if you skip past answering the questions by selecting that you do not want to answer, you will eventually come to the end where you will receive a voucher code.
This code will allow you to get a Big Mac and fries or a McPlant and fries for just £1.99.
According to Caroline, this thrifty trick also works on a McChicken Sandwich and fries, a quarter pounder with cheese and fries, a Filet-o-Fish with fries or six McNuggets with fries.
As she says: “This code or voucher and go and get the food – you then end up with a drink and burger and fries for £3.18, which is less than half of what it would usually be.”
If you’d rather order a medium drink it will cost you 50p more but you’ll still be saving quite a bit on a meal that would usually cost around £6.49.
And, another way to bag yourself a free meal is by playing the McDonald’s Monopoly, which is running at the moment. Caroline points this out in her clip also.
Social media users jumped to the comments to say how they are already onto this cheeky tip, with one clever person suggesting: “Order a dip next time it’s 10p still get a receipt.”
Another commented: “I have been using this for years.” And a third said: “I do this every time. I also do this all whilst logging into the app at the ordering machines so I earn points too!!”
Meanwhile, others had no idea about the handy hack and thanked Caroline for bringing it to their attention. One person typed: “I didn’t actually know this, thanks!” A second put: “Smart move,” added a second.
And, a third said: “Thinking about all the mcdonalds receipts I’ve thrown out.”
Man divides internet with ‘genius’ method of cooking a fry-up
But some people weren’t so sure
A man has gone viral on TikTok as he shared the strange method of how he cooks a fry-up, with some labelling it as ‘genius’.
TikToker Lawrence (@lawrencetiktok90) stunned followers with the rather different way he likes to make a Full English.
There’s already a huge debate around what does and doesn’t belong on the plate of a full brekky, with many who believe hash browns do not and others claiming neither do black or white puddings.
Afterall, the dish is a British staple and has been known to be the cure for many a hangover. However, we all don’t seem to disagree much over the way to put one together.
But people have been left absolutely gobsmacked at seeing how Lawrence chooses to cook his fried breakfast.
Apart from the tinned items, the rest of the food is usually fried – except those who choose to make it a little healthier and use the grill.
The usual cooking method means multiple pans are being used across the hobs at once and involves quite a bit of washing up to do.
Well, not when Lawrence cooks. He likes to pack all the ingredients into just one pan, including the tinned items – and the tins aswell by the way.
In the video he wraps his hand in a tea-towel and warns his audience: “Be careful it’s not too hot.” He then removes the lid off the beans he describes as ‘lovely’, and slops them out onto the plate.
Then he carefully opens the tin of plum tomatoes and scoops some out onto a plate, while using the tea towel to hold the heated tin.
If you’re not a fan of the clean up job after cooking a Full English then this hack could be the way forward. The one pan does make for less washing up and some have even called the technique ‘genius’.
Commenting on the clip, one user simply said: “That sir is genius.” While another put: “Easiest way to heat up food while camping keeping it in the tin but never thought of doing it at home.”
Someone else wrote: “Lawrence with the 200 IQ cooking move.” While someone who clearly hates doing the dishes typed: “One pan dinner, love it.” And another added: “This is pure gold!”
Others weren’t as convinced by the idea, as one penned: “Hazardous.” And someone commented: “The tea towel dipping into the food upset me more than the tins on the pan.”
Another asked: “How do you know that the tin is hygienic to be on the pan with the other food (sorry I’m a bit ocd).”
Completely against the idea, a fourth said: “Nah. Beans and tomatoes cooked in the can IN THE PAN is bananas.”
Heinz set to launch new curry flavour range of its baked beans
There’s a new twist on the staple
Baked beans brand Heinz has announced it will be launching a range of new flavours of its baked beans, which is sure to have fans divided.
The new flavours are sure to add a little spice to the tomatoey blend of sauce and beans as it brings out three new curry flavours.
The new twist on the original will see them come in the flavours of Tikka, Jalfrezi and Vindaloo, and will be available to shop in Asda from this Thursday (October 5th).
The launch coincides with National curry Week which celebrates traditional Eastern cuisine which became a favourite dish among Brits.
Now, households can spice up their beans on toast with all the taste of their favourite takeaway.
Around 40% of Brits already admit to adding some form of spice to their beans, but now they don’t have to with these three new flavours.
The Tikka Masala beans come in a creamy warmly spiced sauce, the Jalfrezi has a medium kick to it, while the Vindaloo is much more fiery and intense.
But will the new curry range go down as well with baked beans fans? We’ll have to wait and see. The manufacturer already sells up to 2.5 million tins of beans a day.
Alessandra de Dreuille, director of meals and insights for Heinz, said: “We think it’s about time that two of the nation’s favourite dishes, curry and Heinz Beanz, came together, and as soon as we heard that Brits were adding spice to their Beanz, we knew we were on to something!”
According to The Sun, the new curry range announcement comes after some Heinz fans realised the company had cut the number of beans and upped the amount of sauce in their cans this year.
The 415g cans went from 51% beans to 50%. It works out as around an estimated 10 fewer beans per tin.
Meanwhile, the price has gone up from £1 to £1.40 in the past year.