Many a mommy looks forward to the peace and quiet of when you can put your little ones down for naptime. We also know just how much easier they will be to deal with, after they awake refreshed and well rested.
New research has indicated that what is good for toddlers, may also be good for older kids, and even your teens.
As reported by ABC News, studies conducted by University of Pennsylvania and the University of California, Irvine found that such daytime naps may be beneficial to kids as old as 12. The researchers studied kids ages ten to 12 years old in China and found that those who had a midday nap were happier, had more self-control, fewer behavior problems, and a higher IQ. Sixth graders who napped at least three times a week increased their academic performance by seven percent.
Many Kids Are Sleep Deprived
The American Academy of Pediatrics said kids 6 to 12 years old need 9 to 12 hours of sleep. And even those a little older still need 10 hours, but many children and adolescents fall far short of those numbers.
“Children who don’t get enough sleep, the next day they’re wired, they’re tired, they’re anxious,” said Pediatrician Dr. Martha Rivera of Optimal Healthcare. “They don’t focus in school.”
Taking a nap is an essential part of a young toddler’s day. But most kids give up napping by the age of five. The universities’ research seems to indicate that sleep deprived older children could benefit from the naps of their younger days.
Dr. Rivera, speaking to ABC’s Eyewitness News, agrees. “Naps around 20 to 30 minutes when you get home if you didn’t get a good night’s sleep could be helpful”, she suggests. “But not much longer than that so you can fall asleep again by 9 p.m.”
Another tip she suggests –limit the screen time. She says that kids should put down electronics at least one to two hours before bedtime.
Naps are a daily part of life in countries like China, Mexico, Greece and the Philippines. Naps there can last 20 minutes to an hour and maybe even more.
“Do what the farmers do,” Rivera said. “Go to sleep when the sun goes down and wake when the sun rises. And do your homework in the morning. You’ll be fresher and you’ll get twice as much done.”