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Daytime Nap Benefits Beyond Rest

by The Kid's Doctor Staff

Any parent can testify that a child’s naptime is also beneficial for the caregiver. Now a new small study shows that for children aged four and five, taking a nap during the daytime may help reduce hyperactivity, anxiety and depression.

The study of 62 children categorized them as either napping (77 percent) or non-napping (23 percent). Researchers found that those who didn’t take daytime naps had higher levels of anxiety, hyperactivity and depression.

The data was based on the parents’ or caregivers’ reporting of the child’s typical weekday and weekend bedtime/wake time and napping patterns. Family demographics and behavioral assessments of the children were also included in the analysis.

Researchers found that children who took naps did so an average 3.4 days a week.

“There is a lot of individual variability in [the age] when children are ready to give up naps. I would encourage parents to include a quiet ‘rest’ time in their daily schedule that would allow children to nap if necessary,” said lead author Brian Crosby, a postdoctoral fellow of psychology at Pennsylvania State University.

In his research, Crosby also noted an optimal age for children to stop napping hasn’t yet been determined.

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