Saya selalu kurang setuju dengan pendapat yang suruh kita kurangkan nap time untuk anak2 during the day supaya mereka tidur cepat at night.
Infact at often times, its a bit harder to get your baby/toddler/child to sleep at night when they are too restless.
Adakah anak-anak kecil kita really need naps?
Yes. Its part and parcel of good health sehingga umur mereka 4 tahun.
Research suggests that naps are crucial to a baby's brain development. Without them, a child's physical and mental development can suffer. Napping also sets the stage for good overall sleep because it ensures that your child is not overtired. (Overtired children have a harder time falling asleep.) Experts suggest that eating and sleeping should be the two highest priorities in a toddler's life.
Sedangkan kita as parents tak cukup tidur sahaja dah nampak signs kan? Jerawat tumbuh la, muka berminyak so and so.
My Kids Nap Routine
Untuk Ame sekarang, sebaik sahaja saya nampak signs of tiredness, I let her nap. Tak kisahlah, kalau bentang toto di living room dia boleh tido, dia tido. Kalau dia hendai berendoi, saya masukkan ke dalam buai. If she needs her pinky bear dan pacifier saya bagi. Kadang-kadang saya tutup langsir gelapkan living room dan tutup TV (trust me, I watch so little TV now that I ever have sebelum I kawin. Rasanya sehari tengok BERITA je) Since Ame masih dalam lingkungan 1-4bulan, she needs at least 15-16 jam sehari waktu tidur.
A'aesyah pula perlukan 12 - 14 jam sehari, biasanya 1x nap di waktu pagi atau petang (2 jam) dan seharusnya masuk tidur by 9pm SETIAP malam (selepas Berita di TV - I let her get to bed dengan Liya to encourage her to sleep as well)
Liya pula I dah pesan awal2 supaya to finish her homework during the day. She needs a good 10 jam at least untuk rehat dan tidur yang cukup. Since dia bangun at 6am, she needs 1x power nap during the day (1 hour)
I am really so used to her pesanan everyday of "Mama tolong kejutkan Liya at so and so time" but alhamdulillah pagi masa nak bangun untuk subuh dia tak pernah liat.
(for more sleep hours recommendation, please visit http://www.webmd.com/parenting/guide/sleep-children)
Other Good Literature to read on the importance of sleep :
Five Essential Reasons to Keep Naptime in the Early Childhood Curriculum
by Blanche Desjean-Perrotta
Fall 2008 issue of Dimensions (Southern Early Childhood Association's journal)
"How is sleep related to children’s learning? Good sleep habits can indeed affect academic performance. Poor sleep habits may be a contributing factor to learning or attention disorders as well as health problems."
Many early childhood educators are faced with ever-increasing pressure by families, administrators, and policy-makers to replace components of their programs deemed to be a waste of time, such as naptime or playtime, with what are considered to be more academic activities.
A large body of literature supports the inclusion of play in an early childhood curriculum. When it comes to arguing for the retention of naptime, however, there is very little information readily available about the benefits of naptime for young children in an educational setting.
With the downward extension of more formalized academic instruction into the preschool years, the connection between healthy behaviors and educational outcomes is sometimes lost. When programs do address health concerns as they relate to academic achievement, the association is usually made with chronic conditions such as obesity and diabetes. Seldom is sleep associated with academic outcomes. However, as this article will explain, there is a growing body of research demonstrating the correlation between good sleep habits and academic performance. There is also enough evidence to suggest that poor sleep habits may be a contributing factor to learning or attention disorders as well as health problems.
How Much Sleep Is Enough?
Sleep specialists agree that children between the ages of 3 and 5 need an average of 9 to 12 hours of sleep daily. This includes 10 hours of nighttime sleep and 1 to 1.5 hours of daytime sleep or naptime. In the United States, 25% of all children do not get the required amount of nighttime sleep and need to nap during the day to make up for the loss of required sleep.
If children are expected to remain awake when they really need to nap, everything from their motor skills and coordination to critical thinking and creativity suffers. When sleep schedules are aligned with human internal clocks, cognitive performance is enhanced. In this country, 69% of children experience one or more sleep problems at least several times a week.
Sleep deprivation can have significant short- and long-term consequences for young children—cognitively, physically, and socially. Five research-based reasons for keeping naptime in the early childhood curriculum are offered here.
Sleep Is Essential to Good Health
Banning naptime for young children has been compared by a pediatric sleep expert to being as wise as taking vegetables out of children’s daily diets. Sleep affects every facet of human life. Sleeping benefits the body physically, psychologically, emotionally, and cognitively.
Sleep provides the body with the time it needs to rest and to renew energy levels. Sleep helps maintain the body’s immune system, as revealed by the following findings:
• Sleep-deprived children may be more susceptible to medical problems such as allergies and ear infections.
• Sleep loss may affect a child’s response to vaccination. For example, sleep deprivation restricted the effectiveness of flu shots.
• Children with sleep deficit also showed an increased prevalence of allergies.
Deep sleep is also important for young children because the highest levels of growth hormones are released into the bloodstream during the first half of the night while sleeping. Short sleeping hours show a marked decrease in the secretion of these growth hormones.
The increase in childhood obesity is becoming a major public health concern for many families and medical professionals. Research is now beginning to show a link between sleep loss and obesity in children.
• Inadequate sleep may cause children to overeat. Lack of sleep may cause a change in hormone levels that control hunger. This results in increased hunger and the desire for more calorie-laden foods.
• With the increase in childhood obesity, more children are suffering from the lack of sleep due to sleep apnea, a direct result of obesity. Children who experience sleep apnea are sleepy during the day because they have not had enough recuperative sleep, and as a result, their academic performance suffers.
• Sleep deprivation may also contribute to insulin resistance, which can trigger diabetes. A growing body of evidence suggests that sleep deprivation may be a risk factor for Type II diabetes.
Sleep-deprived children are also more accident prone because lack of sleep can adversely affect motor skills and decrease response or reaction time. Consequently, children who do not get the required number of hours of sleep may also have an increased risk of injury, such as more bicycle injuries and accidents on the playground. Children who displayed frequent tiredness were more likely to have a history of hospitalization.
Sleep Is Essential for Psychological and Social/Emotional Wellbeing
Getting sufficient sleep also influences psychological and social/emotional wellbeing. During sleep, people dream and process all of the events in daily life. Many young children experience sleep problems, and anecdotal evidence suggests a correlation between sleep deprivation and children’s mood and behaviors, such as the following.
• Preschool children who did not get the required amount of sleep had more negative than positive adjustments in preschool.
• The emotional effects of sleep deprivation in young children are similar to jet lag, including nagging fatigue and cognitive disorientation. The result is that young children may experience meltdown during the day and have difficulty interacting with other children and adults.
• Mood dysfunction is associated with daytime sleepiness.
• Sleep loss is a form of stress, which leads to the inability to regulate emotions and also may impact a child’s ability to pay attention.
Sleep Is Essential for Cognitive Functioning
Sleep is vital to the developing brain for cognitive processing and procedural and emotional learning. For a variety of reasons, many young children are not getting the sleep they need for proper brain development. Medical problems; the erratic work, play, and bedtime patterns of families; inconsistent parenting; over-scheduling of children; as well as childhood sleep disorders all may affect children’s sleep. These are some of the implications of lack of sleep for young children’s learning.
• Sleep plays an important role in learning and memory consolidation. Consolidation is the processing of memory traces during which the traces may be reactivated, analyzed, and gradually incorporated into long-term memory.
• The effects of sleep deprivation are most profound in the area of cognitive functioning. In a review of 56 sleep-deprivation studies, the evidence was clear that sleep deprivation leads to impaired cognitive performance.
• Higher-order cognitive processes such as the ability to learn abstract concepts can be impaired in young children if they are not getting the required amount of sleep.
• Even modest extensions of sleep time can benefit cognitive functioning.
• Learning requires the integration of multiple centers of the brain. Somewhat like musical instruments can get out of tune as they are played, the centers of the brain can also get out of tune. According to Dahl, sleep provides time for the brain to resynchronize the orchestra, so to speak. Sleep helps the brain to reintegrate information.
It is especially important, therefore, that young children be allowed to adjust for any lack of sleep at naptime because much of what children do in a high-quality early childhood program requires the ability to integrate information.
Sleep Is Essential for Positive Behavior
Most studies investigating sleep deprivation and behavior disorders suggest a strong link between behavioral problems and lack of sleep in children. A few slected highlights of recent research supporting this hypothesis follow.
• Two- and 3-year-old children who did not get at least 10 hours of sleep in a 24-hour period seemed to be at greater risk for oppositional and noncompliant behavior. These researchers also found that less sleep, such as lack of a daytime nap, was related to increased behavior problems in young children.
• Children become irritable, cranky, and are unable to concentrate on the simplest tasks when they have too little sleep. The quantity of sleep has been associated significantly with aggressive behavior, ability to pay attention, and social problems.
• Behavior problems are more prevalent among poor sleepers or children who do not get the required amount of the daily sleep. This may explain why teachers often report more difficulty with negative behaviors in children in afternoon sessions than in the morning. Providing an afternoon nap may help to moderate negative behaviors simply because children can complete the 10 to 12 hours of sleep they need to function properly.
Sleep patterns may also lend insights into the behaviors of children diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Both families and educators are urged to explore the connection between behavior problems and lack of sleep in these children.
• Children who are deprived of sleep may manifest symptoms similar to those of ADHD.
• Judith Owens, M.D., director of the Pediatric Sleep Disorders clinic at Hasbro Children’s Hospital in Providence, Rhode Island, suggests that getting enough sleep on a daily basis may help lessen the severity of the symptoms associated with ADHD.
Sleep Is Essential for High Academic Performance
Sleep problems are often associated with children’s learning difficulties and can adversely affect school performance.
• Children who are healthy but do not get the required amount of sleep for their age have difficulty staying focused on academic tasks.
• Reduced sleep directly affected academic performance. When 74 school children were put on a restricted sleep schedule, they experienced academic difficulties and attention problems.
• Inadequate sleep in young children may result in lack of attention or the inability to concentrate which results in poor academic performance. Sleep should be thought of as nutrition for the brain.
By reducing or eliminating naptime, will young children be able to spend that extra time in learning activities that enhance academic performance? The evidence is clear that children who are sleep deprived are unable to function as well as they could, so the lack of naptime is actually counter-productive. Rather than gaining an extra half hour of learning, children may very well lose the entire afternoon instead.