Study Says Teens are Just Like Toddlers and Need Naps too

posted: 05/02/18
by: Amanda Mushro
Tired student sleeping during a class in a classroom


While you don't want your teen sleeping during their math class, an afternoon nap might help your teenager be more productive. Even though their days of napping may be over, a new study suggests teens are basically like toddlers who need to nap to make it through the day.

According to a new study, teens who napped five to seven days week performed better in school. Teens who napped were able to sustain their attention longer and had better nonverbal reasoning ability and spatial memory while in school. For the study, over 350 Chinese teens took a mid-day nap and researchers after their sleep, researchers examined the teens' nighttime sleep and had the teens perform different neurocognitive tasks.

"Daytime napping is quite controversial in the United States. In Western culture, the monophasic sleep pattern is considered a marker of brain maturation," says study leader Xiaopeng Ji. "In China, time for napping is built into the post-lunch schedule for many adults in work settings and students at schools."

Researchers found that the length of the nap should be around 30 and 60 minutes, and noted that naps should not go on after 4pm. Once a nap goes beyond 4:00, the nighttime sleep suffers--for teens and babies. Instead, a post lunch nap was best for teens. Researchers also noted that teens who napped more often tended to have better nighttime sleep. So just like your baby who napped well during the day, their will sleep more soundly at night.

So what can parents do with this information? Researchers hope they take this study to their schools to make changes in teens schedules. "Think about that in a school schedule," Ji said. "Teenagers have to get up early for school. And, with this phase delay of going to bed later, they are at-risk for chronic sleep deprivation."

Since every mom of a teen can remember the days of sleep deprivation, maybe we need to enact an afternoon nap for the entire family.