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Image of toddler napping at daycare in article about preschool nap time on the website of Cresthill Academy Daycare & Preschool

Why Naps Are Essential for Preschool Children: Unpacking the Science of Sleep

Sleep plays a pivotal role in everyone's health, but when it comes to preschool children, it's not just beneficial—it's crucial. Recent studies have highlighted how critical naps are to the cognitive and emotional development of young children, underlining that a simple midday nap can significantly boost learning and memory retention.

The Power of Preschool Nap Time on Learning and Memory

A study conducted by researchers Kurdziel, Duclos, and Spencer, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, reveals how daytime naps can enhance learning in preschool-aged children. The research shows that sleep spindles—short bursts of brain activity known for their role in consolidating memories—occur during these naps and are instrumental in helping children retain new information learned before the nap. For example, children who napped were better at remembering the locations of pictures in a test taken after the nap compared to those who didn't nap.

Further supporting this, a report from Psychology Today elaborates that consistent napping contributes to better memory tests performance in preschoolers. The children who nap regularly not only cope better with the academic demands of preschool but also exhibit enhanced memory processing capabilities, thanks to the density of sleep spindles during their naps.

Emotional and Cognitive Impacts of Napping

It's not just academic performance that benefits from naps. Emotional and cognitive responses are also significantly better in children who nap regularly. Skipping naps can lead to increased anxiety and diminish a child’s ability to experience joy and excitement. Moreover, problem-solving skills suffer without adequate rest. This information points to how essential a regular nap schedule is for maintaining a balanced emotional and cognitive state in young children.

Supporting Healthy Development Through Naps

Image of toddlers at art table in article about preschool nap time on the website of Cresthill Academy Daycare & Preschool

Given the clear benefits, it's imperative for education systems and parents alike to prioritize nap times in preschool schedules. Regular, consistent napping supports not only cognitive and memory development but also emotional stability, allowing children to maximize their early learning experiences and develop healthy sleep habits that will benefit them throughout their lives.

At Cresthill Academy, we integrate these research-backed insights into designing preschool programs with intention and purpose and allowing us to provide children with the best start in life, ensuring they are not only rested but also ready to learn and grow in the most supportive way possible.


At Cresthill Academy, we're dedicated to supporting your child's development through well-structured preschool nap times based on research.

Interested in a daycare that truly understands the needs of your child? Come check out Cresthill Academy, and see why everything is by design - from play time to nap time!  This is just one of the many ways we nurture your child's growth. Book a tour and join our family today!

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