District Administration - March 2019

Preschool and kindergarten students can benefit from naps

Early childhood educators should not sleep on the effect of naps on learning.

Children ages 3 to 5 years old should get 10 to 13 hours of sleep, including naps, every 24 hours, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics.

No data exists on how many schools still offer nap time, says Peg Oliveira, executive director of the Gesell Institute of Child Development. However, it is now one of a number of practices that were once considered normal in early childhood classrooms but have been traded for academic activities, she adds.

While not all young children may need to nap, virtually all would benefit academically from taking a pause to process information, Oliveira says. This is in line with research that shows the benefits of mindfulness and meditation.

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