June 9, 2009

Napping 4-year-olds less anxious

Children between ages 4-5, who did not nap were more hyperactive and anxious than children who napped, U.S. researchers said.

The study, presented at Sleep, the annual meeting of the Associated Professional Sleep Societies in Seattle, found children who did not take daytime naps had higher levels of hyperactivity, anxiety and depression than children the same age who napped.

The researchers suggest napping may have a significant influence on young children's daytime functioning and should be encouraged.

There is a lot of individual variability in when children are ready to give up naps, lead study author Brian Crosby of Pennsylvania State University in said in a statement.

I would encourage parents to include a quiet 'rest' time in their daily schedule that would allow children to nap if necessary.

For the study, caregivers for 62 children reported typical weekday and weekend bedtime/rise time, napping patterns, family demographics, and completed a behavioral assessment of the child.