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Why Nap Time is Essential

June 11, 2019 2 min read

Why Nap Time is Essential

Why Nap Time is Essential

Children grow and develop at an astonishing rate! Everyday they surprise us with new skills that they seem to have learned overnight. Growing into a tiny person can be exhausting, so naturally, they need naps!

There are a number of benefits to nap time but every parent knows the biggest avoid a complete meltdown. Meltdowns can occur with any level of rest, because let’s face it, exploring our world is hard work! However, if your child is tired, they are much more likely to go into full meltdown mode when something doesn’t go their way.

Naps also promote longer attention spans, and longer attention spans in most cases, results in more learning. Getting enough sleep throughout the day will help your child be alert and more willing to learn new things. Focusing on tasks are much easier when we are well rested, even as adults!

As parents, we hold our breath each time our child stumbles in hopes that they won’t get injured. Taking naps can actually reduce your child’s risk of injury! Studies show that overtired children are clumsier, resulting in far more injuries than children who meet their recommended daily sleep amount.

Sleeping helps fight sickness, too! So, the more sleep you get, the more your body can fight off those pesky germs. When you sleep, your body produces proteins called cytokines that your body relies on to stay healthy. This perk applies to children and adults!

So, why do babies need so much sleep? The easy answer is that they are growing! Babies spend about fifty percent of their time sleeping because during sleep, their growth hormone is being produced. So if you’ve said that your baby grew bigger overnight, you’re right!

The National Sleep Foundation revised their sleep range recommendations in 2015.

  • Newborns (0-3 months): Sleep range narrowed to 14-17 hours each day including 2-4 naps
  • Infants (4-11 months): Sleep range widened two hours to 12-15 hours including 2 naps
  • Toddlers (1-2 years): Sleep range widened by one hour to 11-14 hours including 1-2 naps
  • Preschoolers (3-5): Sleep range widened by one hour to 10-13 hours
  • School age children (6-13): Sleep range widened by one hour to 9-11 hours
  • Teenagers (14-17): Sleep range widened by one hour to 8-10 hours
  • Younger adults (18-25): Sleep range is 7-9 hours
  • Adults (26-64): Sleep range did not change and remains 7-9 hours
  • Older adults (65+): Sleep range is 7-8 hours

Naps are great for children and essential to their overall health and growth. Plus, they make a parent’s day a little easier! Don’t kick the naps too soon. If your child still needs naps, then their body (or mood) still needs naps. The chances are, you could use some quiet time during their nap too!