Napping helps preschoolers unlock their full potential for learning

For many parents of young children, the highlight of their day is nap time – not for them, but for their little ones. Especially now, with most preschools closed, getting a child to nap is the golden ticket. Not only can it mean uninterrupted work or self-care time for parents, but their unrecognizable tyrants often wake as happy campers after a nap.

Researchers have validated this experience. One study presented 3-year-olds with an unsolvable puzzle, one with a missing piece, either after they napped or after they missed their nap. They found the nap-deprived children showed more negative emotions – sadness, worry and anger – when faced with the puzzle than rested children did.

As a cognitive neuroscientist, I study sleep. My research shows that naps help young children regulate their emotions and solidify memories that accumulate so quickly at this age.


About Giorgio Bertini

Research Professor. Founder Director at Learning Change Project - Research on society, culture, art, neuroscience, cognition, critical thinking, intelligence, creativity, autopoiesis, self-organization, rhizomes, complexity, systems, networks, leadership, sustainability, thinkers, futures ++
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