A new study conducted by the American researchers suggests that children’s afternoon short sleep grants them to have better learning power.
The new study shows that naps are critical for memory consolidation and early learning among the kids particularly for those ones who are three to-five-year-olds.
Sleep researchers at the University of Massachusetts Amhers say an hour-long nap after lunch boosts brain power and memory in preschool children.
As the children napped, they experienced increased activity in brain spots linked with learning and integrating new information, according to the findings published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
“Our study shows that naps help the kids better remember what they are learning in preschool,” the research psychologist Rebecca Spencer explained.
Spencer and her colleagues observed 40 children from six preschools across western Massachusetts and analyzed their learning power in two conditions, with nap and without nap opportunity.
While each child took part in two conditions, researchers taught children a visual-spatial task similar to the game “Memory” in the mornings.
According to the game, kids see a grid of pictures and have to remember where different pictures are placed.
The results indicated that when children took daily nap (about 70 minutes) performed significantly better.
Children forgot more item locations on the memory test when they had not taken a nap (65 percent accuracy), compared to when they did nap (75 percent accuracy).
“That means that when they miss a nap, the child cannot recover this benefit of sleep with their overnight sleep. It seems that there is an additional benefit of having the sleep occurs in close proximity to the learning,” researchers clarified.
“While older children would naturally drop their daytime sleep, younger children should be encouraged to nap,” Spencer emphasized.
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