Wouldn’t you just love to take a nap right about now? While we as adults rarely have time for naps, they are an absolute essential for toddlers.
Not only are they beneficial for your little one, they also give you a much-needed break to finish chores during the day or just sit back and relax for an hour.
3 benefits of naps for toddlers
1. Naps help with your child’s emotional development
According to a study ‘Toddler naps aid emotional control’ on psychcentral.com, daytime naps reduce the risk of mood-related problems later in life.
Researchers at the University of Colorado Boulder found that toddlers between two and half and three and a half years old who miss only a single daytime nap show more anxiety, less joy and interest and a proper understanding of how to solve problems.
“The study shows that insufficient sleep in the form of missing a nap taxes the way toddlers experience different feelings, and over time may shape their developing emotional brains and put them at risk for lifelong mood-related disorders,” said the study leader Dr Monique LeBourgeois.
2. Daytime naps will mean better night time sleep
While napping during the day can throw an adult’s sleeping pattern completely out and result in insomnia, lack of a nap for toddlers can make it harder for them to get a good night’s rest.
Missing a daytime nap can lead to an overtired and irritable toddler, making it harder to put him down at night.
3. Naps can help preschool children learn
According to a study done at the University of Massachusetts, classroom naps can enhance memory and support learning in preschool. The researchers taught 40 preschool children a game called Memory. In the morning, the children learned where 9 or 12 cartoon images were on a grid. The children either took an afternoon nap (of an average of 1 hour and 15 minutes) or were gently kept awake. After nap time, they were tested again. They were tested once more the following morning.
The researchers found that the children recalled 10% more of the items’ locations following a nap than when they had been kept awake. Significantly, performance on the test remained similar the next morning, showing that the nap was the factor that had strengthened the memories.
Xanet is an award-winning journalist and Living and Loving’s digital editor. She has won numerous awards for her health and wellness articles and was a finalist for the Discovery Journalist of the Year in 2009 and again in 2011 for the Discovery Best Health Consumer Reporting and Feature Writing category. She is responsible for our online presence across social media channels and makes sure our moms have fresh and interesting articles to read every day. Learn more about Xanet Scheepers.