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Why Naps Are Important for Children

Sleep is a huge part of life for everyone, but especially for children. Much of our mental and physical development takes place during childhood, and proper amounts of sleep allow the brain the resting time it needs to maintain this development.

Because there are only so many hours in a day, naps are sometimes a necessary activity for kids of various ages. They’re part of the daily schedule at Smart Kids Development Center, and should be a mainstay at all child care, day care and after school programs.

What are some of the facts and benefits associated with naps? Here’s a quick look.

Benefits of Naps

There are a few specific, observable benefits of regularly giving your children naps. A few of the main ones:

  • Supplements nightly sleep for kids who struggle
  • Kids are less tired during the day, more attentive and cooperative
  • Brain development is properly fostered
  • Limits overtiring, which can actually lead to more difficulty falling asleep at night than kids with normal rest

Sleep Needs by Age Group

Every child is different, as are their sleep patterns, but there are some general guidelines for how much sleep kids within given age groups should be getting in a 24-hour period. If your child is coming in well below these numbers, regular naps might be recommended.

  • Under six months old: 14 to 18 hours, usually waking every few hours
  • 6 to 12 months old: Roughly 14 hours, usually including at least one or two naps
  • 1 to 3 years old: 12 to 14 hours, usually including one daily nap
  • 3 to 5 years old: 11 to 12 hours
  • 5 to 12 years old: 10 to 11 hours

Signs of Lack of Sleep

You can do your best to track your child’s sleep, but it’s tough to always know for sure exactly how long they’re asleep or awake at night. In these cases, you can use a few common signs of sleep deprivation:

  • Chronic sleepiness during the day
  • Crankiness or irritability, especially after being awake for a few hours at a time
  • Trouble getting out of bed in the morning – more than usual
  • Greater than usual impatience or aggression
  • Difficulty focusing

At Smart Kids Development Center, our professional staff is trained to recognize signs of tiredness and react appropriately. We’re well aware of how vital sleep can be for your children, and we’ll work with you to ensure they’re getting healthy enough amounts.

To learn more about this and all our other child care services, contact us today.