While many parents seem to encourage young kids to take daytime naps as often as they can, recent research suggests that it may be better to forego this habit, especially for toddlers. Researchers have found out that daytime napping can be linked to poorer sleep quality in kids over the age of 2 years old.
A study published in the journal Archives of Disease in Childhood tried to investigate how daytime napping may affect sleep quality during nighttime as well as the behavior, physical health and cognition among young children up to 5 years of age. The researchers conducted a systematic review by collecting available published studies involving daytime napping among children up to 5 years old. The researchers found a total of 26 relevant studies to include in the said review.
After looking into the findings of these studies, the researchers discovered some evidence that kids taking naps during the day beyond the age of 2 led to kids experiencing a longer amount of time to get to sleep and also show shorter overall durations of sleep at night. Due to the different targets in the various studies included in the said review, the researchers were not able to make a definitive connection between daytime napping and any detrimental effects on behavior, development and general health among kids.
The authors of the said study state in their report, “The impact of night sleep on children’s development and health is increasingly documented, but to date there is not sufficient evidence to indicate the value of prolonging napping, whether at home or in childcare contexts, once sleep has consolidated into the night.”
The authors suggests that further studies are needed to investigate the effects of sleep transition patterns during the first stages of childhood, along with the influence of other factors in the home.
Source: Medical News Today