June 25, 2009
Hyperactive kids lack naps
Study shows non-nappers exhibit significantly more symptoms of hyperactivity anxiety and depression
Not all children between the ages of four and five take daytime naps and those who do not tend to exhibit worse psycho-social function.
It is the conclusion of researchers who presented their research this month in Seattle at Sleep 2009, the 23rd Annual Meeting of the Associated Professional Sleep Societies.
'I can tell you anecdotally that the families of non-napping children have various reasons why their children are no longer napping,' said lead researcher.
Dr Brian Crosby, of Pennsylvania State University, University Park, in an e-mail interview with Reuters Health.
'For example, some children have given up naps naturally; some families don't like their child to nap because it interferes with night-time sleep; and some families' schedules are so full that there is no regular time allotted for a nap.'
He and his associates examined the impact of napping in a sample of 62 children, of whom 23 per cent no longer took daytime naps.
Despite the fact that the total 24-hour sleep time did not differ between children who took naps and those who did not, behavioural assessments completed by caregivers showed that non-nappers exhibited significantly more symptoms of hyperactivity anxiety and depression.
'It could be that kids are more hyperactive, irritable, etc. because they don't nap, or are unable to settle down for naps because they are more hyperactive, irritable, etc,' said Dr Crosby.
However, it is possible that napping is important for optimal daytime functioning in children at this period of development.'