Positive Parenting: Napping affects children’s next day performance

ORLANDO, Fla. (Ivanhoe Newswire) — It’s no surprise that toddlers need a lot of sleep. About ten to 13 total hours per day to be exact. But is the sleep they get during nap time just important as the sleep they get at night?

After all the running around, a nap may not only rest their bodies, but it may also do wonders for their memories. Neuroscientists at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst showed 49 preschoolers pictures of faces and told the kids if that person was nice or mean. Later on, the kids were tested to see if they remembered seeing those faces. One test was right after the kids were shown faces, then four to five hours later, and the third time was the next day. After the first test, half the kids took a nap while the others played. The researchers found that during the third testing session, the kids who took a nap the day before outperformed the kids that didn’t.

This suggests that both a daytime nap and overnight sleep are beneficial to a child’s memory processing. So parents help protect your child’s sleep by keeping a regular napping schedule. The recommended nap time for preschool-aged children is seventy minutes.

Interestingly, the child’s performance didn’t take effect until after the overnight sleep.

Contributors to this news report include: Cyndy McGrath, Supervising Producer; Milvionne Chery, News Producer; Roque Correa, Editor.

Produced by Child Trends News Service in partnership with Ivanhoe Broadcast News and funded by a grant from the National Science Foundation.

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