The AP (9/24, Ritter) reports that research suggests that daytime naps may help preschool-age children learn. The study included “40 children, ages 3 to 5.”
The US News & World Report (9/24, Bidwell) reports that researchers “studied the effects of daytime naps on” the “children by measuring their performance on a simple memory game.” Participants, “in the morning…played a visual-spatial game in which they must try to remember the locations of different images and were then either kept awake during their regular naptime or encouraged to sleep.”
The ABC News (9/24, Quinsey) “Medical Unit” blog reports that the researchers found that “memory performance was better for children who took a midday nap than those who did not, even when tested 24 hours later.”
On its website, CBS News (9/24, Castillo) reports that the investigators “also asked 14 additional children to come to a sleep lab and had them undergo a polysomnography, or a sleep study.” The investigators “linked the nap-induced memory boosts with an increase in the amount of sleep spindles seen on the tests.” The article points out that “sleep spindles are bursts of activity that occur when the brain keeps new information it learns.”
— “Midday naps help preschoolers learn, study says, “Malcolm Ritter, Associated Press, September 24, 2013.