It's a small word, but it has a big impact on infants and toddlers.
Naps are crucial in early childhood for a developing young mind. Studies have shown when young children are deprived of a midday nap, it can lead to more negative behaviors.
Now, a recent study at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, suggests extra daytime sleep is also helping toddlers regulate emotions.
Researchers observed 43 children as they completed a task twice - once after taking a nap and then again after spending the equivalent time awake. They found when the toddlers were nap-deprived, their ability to regulate emotions was impaired.
There are things parents can do to make sure their child is getting that much needed afternoon nap. Make sure nap time is consistent and he or she avoids caffeine and artificial lights like TVs and cellphones before sleep.
Finally, read your child a book right before a nap as if you were tucking him or her into bed at night.
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