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Napping in English preschool children and the association with parents’ attitudes.

Jones, Caroline H.D. and Ball, Helen L. (2013) 'Napping in English preschool children and the association with parents’ attitudes.', Sleep medicine., 14 (4). pp. 352-358.


Background: Age-independent variability in childrens’ napping duration may be influenced by parental preference and attitudes and childrens’ availability or lack of opportunity to nap. Our study examined English preschool childrens’ napping duration, frequency and location, and the association of daily nap duration with parents’ attitudes towards napping. Methods: Parents of three-year-old children in deprived and nondeprived areas of a town in North-East England were interviewed regarding their attitudes towards child napping and completed four-day and five night sleep diaries documenting their childrens’ daytime and nighttime sleep. Results: Of 84 children, half had at least one nap during the four-day study period (median [interquartile range] daily nap duration across all children was 1 [21] min; for nappers only was 21 [34] min). Naps tended to be infrequent and short and few (6%) occurred in a bedroom. Children whose parents allowed or encouraged napping had significantly longer daily nap duration (n=25, median [interquartile range] daily nap duration 21 [34] min) compared to those whose parents tried to prevent them from napping (n=29, 1 [21] min), and those whose parents reported that children did not want to nap (n=30, 0 [0] min) (U=23.21; p<.001). Conclusion: Positive parental attitude towards napping was associated with longer child nap duration. Napping appeared to be mainly sporadic and opportunistic and was negatively perceived and prevented by one-third of parents. The consequences of premature nap cessation are not known; given the importance of sufficient sleep in childhood, we should possibly consider enabling young children to nap more freely.

Item Type:Article
Keywords:Napping, Preschool children, Parents, Attitudes, England.
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Publisher statement:NOTICE: this is the author’s version of a work that was accepted for publication in Sleep medicine. Changes resulting from the publishing process, such as peer review, editing, corrections, structural formatting, and other quality control mechanisms may not be reflected in this document. Changes may have been made to this work since it was submitted for publication. A definitive version was subsequently published in Sleep medicine, 14, 4, 2013, 10.1016/j.sleep.2012.12.010
Record Created:25 Mar 2013 15:20
Last Modified:05 Jun 2014 14:47

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