Sleep issues could be linked to napping habits

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Sleep issues could be linked to napping habits

If you have a child over the age of two who has difficulties falling asleep at night, the problem could be having a daytime nap. New analysis of research data has shown a link between sleep quality at night and whether or not a child still naps.

When your child reaches the age of two, the majority of their sleep should take place during the night. However, parents often still allow a daytime nap because children can seem tired and the parents believe that it is good for their learning and development. It can also be convenient for parents and mean that the child is able to stay awake until bedtime.

A team of researchers looked at the data from 26 studies on napping habits in children under five to see if there were any consistencies in the results. They found that there were similarities across the data showing that napping in the early learning years - between ages two and five - increased the amount of time it took for them to go to sleep at night.

What can you do if you have a problem sleeper?

If you are regularly finding that your child struggles to fall sleep in the evening and still takes a nap, it might be time to look at reducing this. It can be beneficial to decrease naptime gradually rather than simply cutting naps out altogether. You could limit the length of the naps or restrict them to a few times a week and see if this improves their sleep patterns.


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