University of Arizona study: Naps may help preschoolers learn


A new study from the University of Arizona suggests naptime boosts language learning in preschool-age children.

Researchers found 3-year-olds who napped after learning new verbs had a better understanding of the words when tested 24 hours later.

The findings suggest parents may want to consider maintaining regular naptimes for preschoolers, says lead study author Michelle Sandoval, a doctoral student in the UA Department of Psychology.

However, parents need not worry if they can’t get their preschooler to nap, says study co-author Rebecca Gómez, UA associate professor of psychology, cognitive science and second-language acquisition and teaching. Gómez says what’s most important is that children get enough sleep in a 24-hour period.

Preschool-age children need 10 to 12 hours of sleep daily.