Nap Time Not Only Saves Your Mind But Improves Your Child’s Mind Too!

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We’ve all had those days when our toddler screams throughout the entire grocery store trip or cries over every request we make like, “Please take your underwear off your head while we go on a walk.”

And it’s for this reason that every parent cherishes one specific part of the day that takes precedence over all other events and activities.

Of course we’re talking about the infamous naptime – a developmental necessity for children and a sanity-saving break for moms everywhere.

We’ve all seen what happens when our child doesn’t get his or her much-needed nap – a phenomenon Genevieve Howland, writing for Mama Natural, calls a “nap-tastrophe.”

It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to know that it’s so much better when young children have their nap.

So it isn’t surprising that science not only backs up the benefits of naptime – but has dived into all the reasons why it’s so crucial for our children.

Mama Natural reports:

Research shows that naps and overnight sleep work together to improve early childhood memory and emotional wellbeing.”

Neuroscientists showed children familiar and unfamiliar faces paired with “mean” or “nice” emotional statements.

The kids were quizzed three separate times during a 24-hour period about the faces they were shown and whether they could remember a mean or nice correlation.

The results were amazing!

The children who had already taken a nap the day of testing had greater memory accuracy the following day compared to those who did not get a nap.

The authors of the study had this to say about the results according to Mama Natural:

Individually, the nap and overnight sleep bouts were not sufficient to induce changes in memory.”

“A significant benefit of napping was observed only when changes across the entire 24-hour period were considered. This supports an interplay between the nap and subsequent overnight sleep in the consolidation of memories in young children.”

An interesting and revealing part of the research also showed that preschool-aged children were able to process emotions more appropriately when they had a nap.

Lead researcher Rebecca Spencer said it lined up with the firsthand experiences of other moms.

Our results are consistent with these observations of caregivers. Naps do contribute to emotion processing at this young age.”

So exactly how much sleep does your little fireball need to quell the flames?

The authors of the study say in addition to regular bedtime routines, daily naps should average 70 minutes a day throughout the preschool years.

Kids in the United States generally do not get enough sleep – and neither do their sleep-deprived mothers as Mommy Underground has previously reported.

While keeping nap time and bedtime consistent takes a lot of effort, the benefits are so worth it.

And if you’re having trouble sticking to a nap or bedtime routine, try incorporating essential oils for a calming effect and have everyone cuddle up on the couch and listen to an audible book before hitting the sack.

Setting up routines the whole family can look forward to can make the transition into naptime and bedtime easier – giving you and your little ones the much-needed rest you all deserve!