WHAT? Kids older than two should NOT have a daytime nap say sleep experts
According to a US study, daytime naps can lead to poorer sleep quality in young children
Editor / April 16 2019
You can officially STOP trying to persuade your toddler to go down for their afternoon sleep - because it could actually be impacting their sleep quality at night - that's according to sleep experts.
While the nap ritual often offers parents a much-needed break, new research has revealed that your child's daily nap could actually be impacting their health.
Now this could be really good news for some parents who struggle to get their kids to lie down for a sleep in the middle of the day or bad news, if your child really loves their nap (and you love the peace...).
According to guidelines released by the National Sleep Foundation, toddlers need to be getting at least 10 to 13 hours of sleep each day.
And while it's usual for youngsters to take a nap in the middle of the day to hit this target, this US study has revealed that this can actually can result in poorer sleep quality overall.
The study, published in the Archives of Disease in Childhood, found that toddlers over the age of two who napped during the day often suffered poorer sleep quality later on.
Professor Karen Thorpe from Queensland University of Technology agreed that children over the age of two could be sleeping too much if they have a nap in the middle of the day.
"Parents should not assume that day sleep and night sleep are the same," she said. "And therefore by giving them a nap, they're getting more sleep, because that doesn't happen.
"Once they no longer biologically need sleep during the day all you're doing by making them nap is subtracting from night sleep because you disrupt it."
So, what we're going to take from this is that if you have a child over the age of two, and they don't nap, they should sleep better at night. Because we're all about looking at the positives, right?
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Frances Sheen has been a magazine and website journalist & editor for the last 20 years - both in Australia and the UK. She's appeared on countless TV and radio shows to discuss parenting and launched her own social media parenting brand. She's the mum of two little girls and juggles that with a busy working life.