School children who nap are happier, excel academically and have fever behavioural problems

Posted on June 19, 2019

This study provides real world, adolescent school children questions across a wide range of behavioural, academic, social and physiological measures. It is found that the more students sleep during the day, the greater the benefit of naps on many of these measures.

Sleep deficiency and daytime drowsiness are distinctly common, with drowsiness affecting up to 20% of all children, says lead author on the study, Jianhong Liu. In places like the United States, napping stops as the child grows older. In china, however, the practice is ingrained into their everyday lives – continuing through elementary and middle school, even into adulthood.

A China JinTan Cohort Study was created in 2004 to follow participants from toddlerhood through adolescence. Amongst the 2,928 children, researchers collected data about napping frequency and duration once the children hit Grades 4-6, along with the outcome data when they reached Grade 6. Teachers also provided behavioural and academic information about each student, and participants were analysed accordingly.

Researchers of this study suggests an alternative to the outcry for later school start times. Instead, midday naps are proposed as it is easily implemented and costs little in comparison. This new schedule will, unfortunately, be accompanied by as slightly later end to the day, to avoid cutting into educational time. Not only will this change help the children, it also takes away time for screen use – which is related to many mixed outcomes.

Future directions could potentially look at why children with better educated parents nap more than children with less educated parents. Investigation into the influence of culture and personality, nap interventions could also be advanced on a global scale. For now, researchers hope that the results of this study can inform future interventional work that targets adolescent sleepiness.

Category(s):Academic Issues, Child Development, Health Psychology

Source material from Science Daily