Published: 03/23/2015 - Updated: 08/30/2018
Author: MSc. Miriam Reyes
It’s healing to take a nap, both for adults and children. Naps are very good for health. If you have children between the ages of two to five years, let then sleep during the afternoon. Not only will they recuperate energy while sleeping, but their bodies will also produce a growth hormone through the pineal gland, which is vital for them to experience optimum development. This is more effective when it’s dark.
A lot of parents think mistakenly that if their children take naps, then it will take them longer to go to sleep at night, which will affect their daily routine. Others will let them sleep, but will wake them up in the middle of their nap, putting the younger kids in a bad mood.
Do not interrupt the naps
You should not abruptly interrupt a child’s nap. If you think your child has slept enough, which is generally an hour, you should slowly caress them. Do so slowly, whispering to them or putting on some soft music. Never wake them up by yelling or with brisk movements.
It affects their growth
According to specialists, waking up a child to get them to eat will affect their growth and disturb correct brain functioning. The same happens with babies as well. That moment of sleep is more important to them that eating.
Depression and mood problems
Not taking a nap affects their development, and according to a study performed by the University of Colorado, it also affects brain development, putting them at risk of mood and emotional problems for life.
Lack of sleep could cause a child to be irritable or hyperactive, which could also prevent them from paying attention and staying concentrated.
Establish a routine
Even if your child does not want to take a nap, it is advisable that he/she rests. Try to establish a daily routine, set aside a few minutes of peace. For this, it’s best that you explain to the child to take a minute to relax and lay down.
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Remember that pre-school aged children need between 10- to 12 hours of nighttime sleep. If they sleep well at night they may not need to nap during the day, but they still will need a moment to relax, rest and be at peace.
Before completely eliminating naps out of fear that your child won’t sleep at night, consider that those children that have rested in the afternoon will be able to relax more quickly at night, than those that are completely exhausted.
Although it may not seem like it, children that go to sleep too tired at night are generally more active, nervous and restless, and it will take you longer to calm them down and help them go to sleep.
Revised by: Dra. Loredana Lunadei on 08/30/2018
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