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The relationship between flow, sleepiness and cognitive performance: the effects of short afternoon nap and bright light exposure.

Authors
Type
Published Article
Journal
Industrial health
Publication Date
Volume
50
Issue
3
Pages
189–196
Identifiers
PMID: 22453206
Source
Medline

Abstract

"Flow" is a positive emotional state which typically occurs when a person perceives a balance between the challenges associated with a situation and his or her capabilities to accomplish these demands. While flow often occurs along with positive feelings and high introspective performance, only a few studies have investigated how it is associated with cognitive performance (i.e., objective performance). In the present study, we investigated the relationship between flow, emotions, and cognitive performance. A short nap (20 min) and bright light (>2,000 lux) techniques were used as experimental manipulations to enhance flow. Fifteen participants (31.3 ± 7.19 yr old) took part in four experimental conditions: rest, short nap, bright light, and nap and bright light. Pearson's correlation coefficients were calculated for flow and other indices using standardized data. Results showed that flow scores significantly increased after a short nap and under bright light exposure. The correlations between flow and reaction time were also significant. Flow was significantly associated with positive emotion and sleepiness. These results suggest that a short nap and bright light can be employed as a flow facilitator and that flow status can be used as an indicator in evaluating work efficiency and occupational mental health.

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