Sleep is important for everyone be it a toddler, pre-schooler, teenager or for that matter an adult. It is a widely accepted fact that a good sleep is important for good health. Other benefits of good sleep are memory consolidation, better learning, improved emotional processing, proper brain functioning, enhanced cerebral functions such as memory, reasoning, and problem-solving and successful performance of daily tasks.
With such immense benefits, it is likely that nap or siesta i.e. a short sleep especially during the day is a crucial time for a child’s development and rejuvenation. Memory is a faculty by which the mind stores and remembers information. Although there are no rote ways of learning in pre-school teaching; it’s all experiential yet it is very important that methods and means should be devised where the Pre-schoolers are assisted in their quest for knowledge. According to a recent study it has been found that nap helps a pre-schooler in numerous ways and one of them being boosting their memory, the developmental aspect that would impact their learning abilities to a greater extent.
From the early childhood, sleep is important as the baby’s sleep pattern influences his/her cognitive development. According to the latest findings, it has been established that there is a great co-relation between vocabulary (i.e., language development) and sleep pattern in pre-schoolers as short night sleep duration are linked to their poor cognitive performance as they enter the formal school. Thus the naps besides reducing sleepiness enhance memory integration, i.e., solidification of previously learned information and improvement of subsequent learning. The researchers found that the children recalled 10% more of the items’ locations following a nap than when they had been kept awake, showing that the nap was the factor that had strengthened the memories. Thus naps can improve memory and support learning in preschool. Recent findings also suggest that naptime during the preschool day should be encouraged. It’s important to recognize that these naps are actually serving academic goals of preschool as they play a critical role in consolidating memory and augmenting learning in young children. The children who didn’t nap were simply inattentive or unmotivated.
Researches have also found that there is a bidirectional link between sleep and emotions, and poor sleep is often associated with poor mental health. Researchers at the University of Colorado Boulder found that toddlers between two and half and three and a half years old who miss only a single daytime nap show more anxiety, less joy and interest and a proper understanding of how to solve problems. Napping promotes more appropriate and mature responses to differing stimuli. Children taking naps respond more positively to positive stimuli, and less negative to negative/neutral stimuli compared with children deprived of napping. Insufficient sleep over a period of time may put them at risk for developing lifelong mood-related disorders.
There have been many studies that maintain that our sleep patterns as babies most definitely impact our efficiency in our adult life. Thus daytime nap is not just a decadent luxury but helps to boost brain performance not only in the pre-schoolers but also in people of all ages, regardless of how well they slept at night.