Researchers at University of Massachusetts Amherst reveal that cutting into preschoolers' nap time may have a negative impact on their ability to learn.
Around 40 preschoolers were recruited in the study with the researchers first instructing them about a particular task. Half of the children were then allowed to nap while the remaining half was awake. On testing the children on their abilities on the task, the researchers found that those who slept had a better memory performance compared to those who did not. The researchers also found that children who regularly slept for at least five days a week performed even better compared to those who did not.
"Until now, there was nothing to support teachers who feel that naps can really help young children. There had been no concrete science behind that. We hope these results will be by policy makers and center directors to make educated decisions regarding the nap opportunities in the classrooms. Children should not only be given the opportunity, they should be encouraged to sleep by creating an environment which supports sleep", lead researcher Dr Rebecca Spencer said.