Navigation Links
UMass Amherst sleep researchers study value of preschool naps
Date:9/14/2012

AMHERST, Mass. Parents may feel it's clear that missing a nap means their young children will be grumpy and out-of-sorts, but scientists who study sleep say almost nothing is known about how daytime sleep affects children's coping skills and learning.

Now neuroscientist Rebecca Spencer at the University of Massachusetts Amherst has received a five-year, $2 million grant from NIH's Heart, Lung and Blood Institute to significantly advance knowledge about how napping and sleep affect memory, behavior and emotions in preschoolers.

Spencer says with pressure mounting in some school districts to eliminate naps, "we feel it's important to study this and know their value more precisely. There's a sense among some educators that kids have to 'get over' napping in preparation for kindergarten, but it could be misguided. There's some evidence in young adults and in older children that naps are beneficial. So I suspect there is a benefit for younger children too. We need to know whether keeping naps in the school day is important."

Attending preschool offers life-long benefits in physical health, emotional stability and quality of life, Spencer points out, and in the United States, 70 percent of four- and five-year-olds attend. There is a trend now toward incorporating new curricula in preschool such as anti-bullying messages and lessons on how to brush your teeth. If sleep protects and enhances physical and emotional learning in young children as it does in older kids, taking away naptime could undercut such efforts, she adds.

"Right now, there's nothing to support teachers who feel that naps can really help young children, there's no concrete science behind that," the neuroscientist says. "But if sleep is going to enhance all these benefits of attending preschool, we need to know it."

Over the next five years, Spencer and her graduate students hope to study about 480 preschoolers between 3 and 5 years old, boys and girls in diverse communities across western Massachusetts. The research will include fact-based and emotional memory studies with and without napping, measures of physical activity levels and parent reports of their children's' nighttime sleep, to find out how classroom experience interacts with sleep and physical activity and whether daytime sleep enhances learning. The research will also explore the relationship between sleep and behavior disorders.

"I think we'll have a rich data set for examining sleep, physical activity and the child's behavior," says Spencer. "We think that the nap benefit is going to be especially useful for kids who don't get optimal overnight sleep. Culture plays a role in how late you stay up, and some kids live in noisy inner city neighborhoods. If we can help them with a nap, we want to know that."


'/>"/>

Contact: Janet Lathrop
jlathrop@admin.umass.edu
413-545-0444
University of Massachusetts at Amherst
Source:Eurekalert  

Related medicine news :

1. UMass Amherst chemists develop nose-like sensor array to smell cancer diagnoses
2. UMass Amherst researchers unravel secrets of parasites replication
3. Psych, Sleep Meds May Affect Driving
4. Puberty turned on by brain during deep sleep
5. Substantial road traffic noise in urban areas contributes to sleep disturbance and annoyance
6. Multiple Methods Can Safely Help Babies Get to Sleep, Study Shows
7. Bus, Truck Drivers May Downplay Sleep Troubles
8. Poor Sleep Among Preschoolers May Be Tied to Special Ed Needs Later
9. Sleep apnoea linked with increased risk of cancer death
10. Snoring Kids Should Be Screened for Sleep Apnea: Experts
11. You Can Learn While You Sleep, Study Suggests
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
UMass Amherst sleep researchers study value of preschool naps
(Date:9/20/2017)... ... September 20, 2017 , ... Announced that ... clinical and commercial support services market) has entered into an agreement on September ... , The PGSD is the first private Dental School to launch an ...
(Date:9/20/2017)... ... September 20, 2017 , ... Each year Athletic ... National Athletic Trainers’ Association Annual Clinical Symposium and Expo. New research is revealed, ... when Athletic Trainers are acknowledged by their peers with accolades and highly prestigious ...
(Date:9/20/2017)... ... September 20, 2017 , ... Five consumer packaged goods (CPG) products were selected ... different categories. Nopavera Plus was named to the short list in the ... West 2017 during presentations at SupplySide Central on Sept. 27 and 28 at Mandalay ...
(Date:9/20/2017)... ... ... Health & Safety Institute (HSI) is offering discounted pricing on its Summit ... now until November 30, 2017 to assist with the clean-up efforts from hurricanes Harvey ... and government agencies – whether or not they will be directly involved in the ...
(Date:9/20/2017)... ... September 20, 2017 , ... “RECYCLED Ezekiel's Plan for Freedom ... Freedom from ADDICTION” is the creation of published author, Bill Miller. Bill ... homeless services, including more than a decade of addiction to prescription drugs. ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:9/6/2017)... , Sept. 6, 2017 NeuroRx, a clinical ... Suicidal Ideation and Behavior (ASIB), has been granted Fast Track ... sequential therapy of NRX-100 (ketamine HCl) followed by NRX-101 (D-cycloserine ... a pivotal trial of this sequential therapy targeting patients who ... 1 ...
(Date:9/5/2017)... Pa. , Sept. 5, 2017  Xyntek Inc. has announced another milestone ... a new Midwest office to meet the growing demands of customer engagements regionally.  ... Xyntek's new Midwest office is located at 318 ... ... of customer engagements regionally. ...
(Date:9/5/2017)... Oramed Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ: ORMP ... company focused on the development of oral drug delivery ... meeting with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) ... At the meeting, the ... submission of ORMD-0801, would be a Biologics License Application ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: