The benefits of daytime sleep for children

Sleeping during the day is good for you.


Sleep is somewhat of a mystery to scientists throughout humanity. But we all know that the duration and quality of sleep determines our health and longevity. But why is it important for children to get as much daytime sleep as possible?

Why is daytime sleep so important?


The body of a child from birth to 4-5 years old is not physically adapted to being awake all day. You need to give your child’s nervous system a rest and briefly limit the flow of incoming information.

Afternoon nap allows the brain to assimilate all the useful things that happened in the first half of the day, and makes room for further knowledge. Thus, the baby’s body absorbs knowledge and information better in the second half of the day.

How much sleep is allowed!


A newborn baby should sleep for 16 to 19 hours a day, from 6 to 9 months, 13-15 hours (of which 4-6 hours during the day (two daytime naps). A child fully rests when sleeping for 12-14 hours (daily sleep for at least 2 hours), and from 1.5 to 5 years -11-14 hours (1 afternoon nap of 1-3 hours).

What should not be allowed?

We all know that young children are skilled manipulators. They come up with all sorts of excuses, trying to manipulate their parents, just to avoid going to bed. Despite the fact that many parents succumb to the manipulation of the child, it is important to understand the harm caused by not normalizing sleep.

It is dangerous for the child!

Parents should know what happens when sleep and wakefulness patterns are disrupted:

  • Delayed development in the physical and intellectual sense
  • Overweight (from the lack of adequate sleep, children try to
  • calorie intake to compensate for the energy lost)
  • irritability and nervousness

Note that often mothers of infants think that their baby does not sleep during the day: just takes a 20 minute nap and that’s it. But don’t worry. These babies have 80% of surface sleep. They sleep while sucking, even if their eyes are ajar.

If you notice that your 3-month-old is not sleeping the required number of hours per night, help him to sleep – rocking is indicated. Cover with a blanket, sing a lullaby, and lull him to sleep.

How to help with daytime sleep disorders?

In this article we have collected the most common and relevant ways to build a full day’s sleep in a child:

Try to put your child to bed at the same time (develop the sleep reflex).

The room should have a comfortable temperature regime, it should not be hot and stuffy (otherwise anxious and short sleep is likely). The room should be ventilated for 10-15 minutes before going to bed.

Ideally, the room should be darkened, since melatonin, the sleep hormone, is produced in the dark.

A ritual that parents will repeat regularly is recommended for the child. This usually involves changing into special clothes for sleep. Also, you can include your child classical compositions, which favorably influence and soothe the baby.

The last hour and a half of wakefulness before going to bed is of particular importance. Do not raise your voice, and do not burden your child with any exciting information.

A half hour walk before bedtime, followed by a warm shower or shared bath will help.

For proper alignment of the daily regime of sleep and wakefulness, it is important lighting in the child’s room. The spectrum of lamps should be close to natural light and have a warm color. Often changing the evening lighting in a child’s bedroom leads to normalization of night and daytime sleep patterns.

We sincerely hope that all of the above actions will help your baby sleep peacefully, gaining strength for new achievements.

As they get older, babies:

  • sleep less in the daytime
  • are awake for longer between naps
  • have longer night-time sleeps and wake less at night
  • need less sleep overall.

Concerns about baby sleep

If you’re concerned about your baby’s sleep, it can be a good idea to track your baby’s sleep for a week or so. This can help you get a clear picture of what’s going on.

You can do this by drawing up a simple chart with columns for each day of the week. Divide the days into hourly blocks, and colour the intervals when your baby is asleep. Keep your chart for 5-7 days.

Once completed, the chart will tell you things like:

  • when and how much sleep your baby is getting
  • how many times your baby is waking during the night
  • how long your baby is taking to settle after waking.

You can also record how you tried to resettle your baby and what worked or didn’t work.

Then you can compare the information in your chart with the general information about baby sleep needs above:

  • How does your child compare to other babies the same age? If your baby is wakeful and grizzly and getting much less sleep than others, your baby might need more opportunities for sleep.
  • How many times is your baby over six months old waking up during the night? If it’s 3-4 times a night or more, you might be feeling very tired. You might want to think about phasing out some of your baby’s sleep habits.

If you decide you need to see a professional for help with your baby’s sleep, take your chart with you.
Separation anxiety is when babies get upset because you’re not around. It might mean your baby doesn’t want to go to sleep and wakes up more often in the night. As babies mature they gradually overcome this worry.

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