Naps are Necessary

Although the benefits of an afternoon nap have been questioned in the past, numerous research shows that nap is good for both adults and children. In fact, it emerged that sleeping for a certain amount of time in the afternoon produces numerous positive effects on the brain, improving memory and the ability to concentrate and allowing you to recover the sense of well-being.

When to take a nap

Experts explain that during the day, especially in the time slot that goes from 2 to 4pm, there is a physiological lowering of attention and alertness. While in the morning we are very attentive and alert, in the early afternoon a door to sleep opens, regardless of meals, and that is why the nap, especially during the hot seasons, is a response to the physiological rhythms of the organism.

But do the same parameters apply to children? In general, we know how important sleep and rest are for babies and children. Even in the case of children, the early afternoon nap is to be considered absolutely positive, with some differences compared to what is true for adults. Experts recommend napping up to three years of age of the child because, in addition to allowing the recovery of the energy spent in the first part of the day, it promotes learning and the development of cognitive processes. During the rest, the little one processes the emotions experienced and the information he has received through the various morning activities, games and contact with peers and adults who are part of his living environment.

To promote sleep in the afternoon, but also at night, in these cases it is possible to resort to small strategies that are generally very effective. First of all, it may be useful to try to get the child used to always sleeping in the same place, both day and night, and preferably in his bed. In this way, the child will learn to identify a specific room, which should be in the dark or dimly lit and possibly away from noises or other visual and auditory stimuli. Later, to make the baby fall asleep, you can recite a nursery rhyme or sing a lullaby in order to establish a small ritual that reassures the child and helps him to relax and then fall asleep.

It is very important, even if it is not always easy, to try to accustom the child, from a very young age, to falling asleep and sleeping alone so it is good that the child is left alone in the room, as happens in the evening. If he begins to cry and seek our presence, just wait a few minutes and resist the temptation to pick him up; generally, once the excitement has passed, the little one calms down and falls asleep by himself. If despite these attempts the little one still does not want to sleep in the afternoon, there is no need to insist; your body probably doesn't need an afternoon nap.