Naps Help Preschoolers Learn, Remember More

*The following is excerpted from an online article posted on Study Finds.

Could naptime be the key to your child’s success in school? A new study finds preschoolers who nap may learn and remember more than peers who don’t.

Past research has revealed that healthy sleep routines can benefit one’s ability to learn and retain information. The new study finds that naps can achieve similar advantages for young children.

Researchers at the University of Arizona studied the ability of 39 “typically developing” 3-year-olds to understand and apply language skills by teaching the children verbs.

Each participant in the study was taught two fake verbs. Animated characters on a computer screen performed two separate full-body gestures; one represented “blicking,” while the other represented “rooping.” Some of the group was selected to take a nap within an hour of learning the verbs, while the others waited at least 5 hours.

Twenty-four hours later, the kids were presented with a set of new characters performing the same gestures. The researchers found that the children that napped identified the verbs better than those that did not.

Study co-author Rebecca Gómez, associate professor of psychology at the university, says parents needn’t worry if their preschoolers no longer nap. The most important thing is the total amount of sleep the child gets in a day, which should be 10 to 12 hours. The total can be a combination of nap time and nighttime slumber.

Source: Study Finds

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Jim Liebelt

Jim is Senior Writer, Editor and Researcher for HomeWord. Jim has 40 years of experience as a youth and family ministry specialist, having served over the years as a pastor, author, editor, consultant, mentor, trainer, college instructor, and speaker. Jim’s HomeWord Culture Blog also appears on Jim and his wife Jenny live in Quincy, MA.

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