THE struggle of putting your hyperactive toddler down for an afternoon nap is something almost all parents will be familiar with.
But while allowing your little one some shut-eye during the day can offer parents a much-needed break, new research has revealed that your child’s daily nap could actually be impacting their health.
According to a new US study, daytime naps can lead to poorer sleep quality later in life[/caption]
According to guidelines released by the National Sleep Foundation, toddlers need to be getting at least 10 to 13 hours of sleep each day.
Although it’s pretty commonplace for youngsters to take a nap in the middle of the day to hit this target, a US study has revealed that this can actually can result in poorer sleep quality overall.
A 2015 study published in the Archives of Disease in Childhood found that toddlers over the age of two who napped during the day often suffered poorer sleep quality later in life.
In their aim to discover what affect naps can have on children’s behavioural and physical health, researchers gathered data from 26 studies that analysed napping in children under the age of five.
Scientists warned that poorer sleep quality can result in both behaviour issues and health problems later in life[/caption]
As the results showed a link between poorer sleep quality after the age of two, scientists warned that daytime naps could lead to long-term behavioural and health issues – including developmental delays and childhood obesity.
Backing up the study’s findings, Professor Karen Thorpe from Queensland University of Technology says that children over the age of two are able to self-regulate their sleep patterns.
She told Kidspot: “Parents should not assume that day sleep and night sleep are the same and therefore by giving them a nap, they’re getting more sleep, because that doesn’t happen.
“Once they no longer biologically need sleep during the day all you’re doing by making them nap is subtracting from night sleep because you disrupt it.”
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This content was originally published here.