Sleepy Children, Happy Children

Image of young girl napping on textbooks.

Hey kid, falling asleep at your desk! WAKE UP! 

This is Sandra Tsing Loh with the Loh Down on Science.

Children have IMMENSE energy one moment. But then, . . . they’re out like a light! But is there something GOOD about that nap?

Jianghong Liu from University of Pennsylvania and an international team might have the answer!

The researchers studied almost 4,000 elementary schoolers in a southeastern coastal region of China. They gathered teachers’ reports and surveys filled out by the students. The surveys recorded students’ sleep patterns, school performance, and well-being. 

Results? Liu found that kids who nap three or more times weekly got the MOST benefits! They were happier, more likely to stick to long-term goals, and had fewer behavioral problems. More notably, nappers had almost an EIGHT PERCENT increase in academic performance! That’s nearly a letter grade difference!

Napping is NOT being lazy! The researchers believe that napping regularly benefits children’s developing brains.

As for adults? I have an insight here, but first! Zzzzzz . . . 

Reference: Liu, J., Feng, R., Ji, X., Cui, N., Raine, A., & Mednick, S. C. (2019). Midday napping in children: Associations between nap frequency and duration across cognitive, positive psychological well-being, behavioral, and metabolic health outcomes. Sleep, 42(zsz126).