Naps Can Enhance Your Child’s Emotional Memory, Study Says

As if we needed another reason to love naptime.

By: Amanda Mushro
538631874

538631874

Boy sleeping on bed holding a soft toy by his side, against a soft cream background.

Photo by: Click&Boo

Click&Boo

Who doesn’t love a good nap? Just as much as we love catching a few extra winks during the day, parents of young children know that napping is essential for avoiding meltdowns. Meanwhile, they get rest and wake up happier, and we get a little break. So really, naptime is a must for both kids and parents. Now, a new study is shedding light on the unexpected benefits of naptime.

According to a study from sleep researchers at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, your child’s nap does more than put them in a better mood, it can actually help their memory. For the study, researchers worked with children between the ages of three and five. They presented kids with pictures of men and women’s faces that were paired with “mean” or “nice” descriptions such as, "Lena is always nice. Today she helped us pour milk into our cups at lunch time." Then at bedtime, kids were fitted with special caps with electrodes that were used to record their sleep stages during the night.

The kids were tested for recognition of these faces three times: once being immediately after seeing the pictures, again after a delay of either a nap or being awake for “quiet time” and, finally, the next day. What they found was kids who had a full night’s sleep and a nap performed better than the kids who did not nap.

"This study demonstrates that napping is beneficial to memory processing," the study says. “As such, napping remains an important part of the daily preschool schedule and sufficient time for sleep should be protected."

Sometimes, if kids are not sleeping well, parents may try to keep their child from napping during the day in hopes of them sleeping better throughout the night. According to this study, this may backfire in the long run.

So, here’s to naptime and all of its benefits—even if it’s just a few quiet minutes for mom and dad.

Next Up

More Moms May Soon Be Able to Choose Water Births in Hospitals

These researchers want to normalize water births.

Fun Indoor Activities for When It’s Too Cold to Play Outside

We have some fun creative ideas to get your kids busy this winter. From forts to fun DIYs, your children are sure to stay occupied without the great outdoors!

How to Sneak in Quality Time with Your Kids

Here’s how to get extra one-on-one time with your babes.

Here’s Why Parents Are Going to Great Lengths to Buy European Baby Formula

From paying high shipping costs to getting those inside connections, here’s how some American parents are getting European baby formula here in the states.

5 Bonding Activities to Do with Your Child After School

How to get closer with your little one.

Here’s How to Make Kids ‘Busy Bags’ for Your Holiday Travels

Busy bags will keep your kids happy (and you sane) on holiday road trips.

Registered Nurse and Mom Posts Warning of the Flu Symptom That Is Commonly Overlooked

This mom has a warning about a symptom your child might have of the flu.

What Parents Need To Know About Sarahah, the New Anonymous Messaging App

How to be safe while using the latest social media craze.

Many Parents Regret Choosing Their Child's Name, a New Survey Revealed

You’ve heard of “buyers regret” but lots of parents are having “naming regret.”