Naptime Is Great!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Naptime is much more than providing rest for a child ... and a break for parents! Children's developing brains need adequate amounts of sleep for healthy brain development.

We all know what it is like to deal with an over tired child. The reason for the behaviors we experience is due to a child not being able to handle the results of inadequate amounts of sleep. First of all the child still has an immature brain. It hasn't developed enough to provide the ability to deal with feelings of brain systems being out of balance. This is even difficult for adults. Getting enough sleep helps keep brain systems in balance. When children have had enough sleep it enhances cognitive functioning and moods.

New research lead by the University of Colorado Boulder reveals that, "toddlers between 2 and a half and 3 years old who miss only a single daily nap show more anxiety, less joy and interest and a poorer understanding of how to solve problems." 

Assistant Professor Monique LeBourgeois of CU Boulder led the study. She states, “This study shows insufficient sleep in the form of missing a nap taxes the way toddlers express different feelings, and, over time, may shape their developing emotional brains and put them at risk for lifelong, mood-related problems.”

Additionally LeBourgeois shares, “Just like good nutrition, adequate sleep is a basic need that gives children the best chance of getting what is most important from the people and things they experience each day,”

Read more about the research from the University of Colorado Boulder press release shared on this site.

Recommended amounts of sleep and tips on promoting sleep are shared in SLEEP ENHANCES COGNITIVE FUNCTIONING AND INFLUENCES MOODS.

Sleep well! 


4 Responses to “Naptime Is Great!”
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Rebekah said...

I agree with most kids, but my daughter dropped her nap at 2 1/2 and never falls asleep in the car during the middle of the day like she used to when she napped. Now, that she is 4 1/2 she has taken and nap less than five times, and that was only when she was sick and we traveled an overnight flight. She is very active during the day sometimes playing at the park in the morning for 3 hours, and she still doesn't need a nap. We do put her to bed much earlier, and she still gets the same total hours she did when she was napping. Her ped said she looks at total hours sleeping not when they sleep.

January 17, 2012 at 11:51 AM
Kim said...

My daughter as a ruined day if for some reason she just wakes up from her nap too early. That brain break is so important!

January 17, 2012 at 2:11 PM
naomi said...

There are so many friends of mine whose children stopped napping at about 20 months and they were gutted because this gave them a break and their children were in bad moods late afternoon but when you have strong willled childrne it is hard to get htem to nap. They used to sit with them and watch tv or read just so they couyld relax their bodies and minds

January 23, 2012 at 2:11 AM
Grace Pamer said...

Hi Deborah,

My kids are the most precious blessing to me, and with all the naptime problems you discuss, I am concerned they might not have all the sleep they need. Because of playing and other kid’s activities, it seems that their naptime maybe affected negatively. I do hope these naptime problems do not affect my kids growth in the long term. Thank you so much for sharing this research.

Grace Pamer

January 23, 2012 at 12:10 PM

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