Does your toddler miss out on afternoon naps? Beware, it may make your kid more stressed, unhappy and also increase the risk of lifelong mental health problems, a new US study has claimed.
Researchers at University of Colorado Boulder found that young kids who miss just one daytime nap become more anxious and less interested in the world around them.
They are also less excited by happy events and found the slightest stressful event hard to cope with. This is because missing naps “taxes the way toddlers express different feelings” , researchers said.
And long-term sleep deprivation could even lead to lifelong , mood-related problems, Daily Mail reported.
For the study, the team measured the sleep patterns of toddlers aged two to three years. The kids wore a special device which measured how much they slept, with their parents also keeping a sleep log. The researchers filmed the kids’ facial expressions as they completed two jigsaws on one day when they’d had their nap, and on another when they’d been deprived of it.
Toddlers who had missed a nap were also more than a third (39%) less curious about the unsolvable puzzle than when well rested. LeBourgeois said, “A sleepy child may not be able to engage with others and benefit from positive interactions.”