KidsHealth writes that preschoolers sleep about 10 to 12 hours during each 24-hour period. However, there’s no need to be rigid about which 10 to 12 hours these are. The vital thing is to help kids get enough sleep. New research is now being aimed at determining the value of naps for preschool kids, as reported by Science Daily in an article published on September 14, 2012: “Sleep Researchers Study Value of Preschool Naps.”
Although parents generally feel it is obvious that missing a nap means their young children will be irritable and out-of-sorts, scientists who study sleep have said almost nothing is known about how daytime sleep affects children’s coping skills and learning. Neuroscientist Rebecca Spencer at the University of Massachusetts Amherst has received a five-year, $2 million grant from NIH’s Heart, Lung and Blood Institute with an interest in significantly advancing knowledge about how napping and sleep affect memory, behavior and emotions in preschoolers.
Spencer has pointed out that with pressure mounting in some school districts to eliminate naps, “we feel it’s important to study this and know their value more precisely. There’s a sense among some educators that kids have to ‘get over’ napping in preparation for kindergarten, but it could be misguided. There’s some evidence in young adults and in older children that naps are beneficial. So I suspect there is a benefit for younger children too. We need to know whether keeping naps in the school day is important.”
Spencer has also claimed that “Right now, there’s nothing to support teachers who feel that naps can really help young children, there’s no concrete science behind that. But if sleep is going to enhance all these benefits of attending preschool, we need to know it.” Spencer suspects this research will show that a nap is particularly beneficial useful for kids who don’t get optimal overnight sleep.
Original content provided by: Examiner.com