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Is Taking a Nap Important for My Child?

Updated: May 2, 2020

People are awake during the day and are designed to sleep at night. The reason why God made day and night before God made man is because man needs rest (sleep). So sleeping at night as well as being awake during the day is an important factor in our well-being. Studies have shown that children’s growth hormones are four times as active when they sleep at night. However, it is still necessary to take a nap especially for the young children. Most of the children who are "properly" taking a nap are most likely to have a good night's sleep.

There are a number of studies that show children must nap. Napping children generally have a good ability to adapt to a new environment, and children with longer naps and nights of sleep have a higher IQ than children who do not. There was an interesting study of twins who grew up in the same environment that showed that the one of them who takes a nap excelled at a higher level in reading, vocabulary, and comprehension than the other who never takes nap.

From a scientific point of view, a child's brain development is very closely related to sleeping health. The child's brain is organized to store knowledge of things they watched and listened to during the day while sleeping. The retina in our eyes secretes a neurotransmitter called melatonin in the brain when it detects darkness. This melatonin keeps you asleep, promoting the secretion of growth hormone and activating the function of the hippocampus. The hippocampus plays an important role in transforming external stimuli received from the learning process into memories and information and transferring them to other important parts of the brain. The hippocampus regenerates stimuli and experiences during the day while the child is asleep, It is said to play a role in turning it into knowledge. The German study shows that the effect of 45 minutes of napping can improve memory by 5 times. Therefore the effect of good quality nap should be a treasure for our children.

Depending on the child, naps can last anywhere from a minimum of 1 hour to a maximum of 2 hours. Children 3 years of age should be closely watched to see whether they are tired because children who are tired because of a lack in nap time, can occur many health problems. However, starting at the age of 5, depending on the activeness of the child, naps may no longer be necessary. A short nap to recharge in the day may be good, but if a child is still dependent on their nap, or will not go to sleep at night because of their nap, then it is no longer necessary to nap.

Then how can my child get a “good” rest in their daily naps?

Do not wait until your child is tired. Instead of waiting for a child to be tired, it is better for the mom to set an appropriate napping schedule. And in that time, lay with them to help them fall asleep.

Please let them know that the nap time is coming. A little while before the nap, complete a routine such as turning on a light lullaby or closing the curtains to create a napping atmosphere naturally, so that the child will be able to expect what is coming next. Children in infants and toddlers can feel more secure in the patterns they are accustomed to, and it is possible to give children peace of mind by following this process the same way.

Please make a good environment for sleeping. A few minutes before their sleep, bring them to a dark and quiet place. A soft lullaby may help. The room in which they usually sleep is the best place for a child to nap, but if you are not in the same place because of having to go to school, it is best to have comfortable bedding for your child and a small doll (lubby) or blanket that is special to them.

Napping should be the most calm and comfortable time of the day. Children feel that they are being loved and protected by their mother or sleeping guardian when being patted to sleep. And in this time get good rest while dreaming happy thoughts, and wake up into happily growing children. How about taking a “good nap” with your beloved child today? Laying side by side in the calm afternoon, dreaming sweet dreams together.

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