Some preschoolers have long given up naps, while others have no problem napping every day. Now, new controversial research shows that non-nappers between the ages of 4 and 5 exhibit significantly more symptoms of hyperactivity, anxiety, and depression.
So what's the problem with this study?
It focuses on the fact that these two things (non-napping and symptoms) are happening at the same time but is unable to determine whether or not one causes the other. In other words, "It could be that kids are more hyperactive, irritable, etc. because they don't nap, or are unable to settle down for naps because they are more hyperactive, irritable, etc." said one of the authors of the study.
More research is obviously needed to determine whether napping is important for optimal daytime functioning for preschoolers—especially given that children outgrow naps at all different ages. For now, the only recommendation with respect to this new research is for pediatricians "to ask parents if their preschool-age children are napping or not, and to consider this along with total sleep time and sleep quality when considering problems with sleep and/or daytime functioning."
Does your preschooler take a daytime nap? Or did he/she give up naps?