Power Naps for Preschoolers

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Story Updated: Sep 25, 2013

A nap does a preschooler's body...and mind good. That's the headline from a brand new study that looked at the value of a classroom nap. Researchers in Massachusetts recruited a group of 40 preschoolers to measure their visual-spatial memory.

All of the children were asked to play a common game where you look at a grid of pictures and then you have to remember where different pictures are located.

During one testing session, the children napped for an average of 77 minutes in-between viewing the grid and taking the memory quiz. In another, they were kept awake for the same amount of time.

The children did a much better job retaining the location of the pictures after they had taken a nap. The researchers say their findings suggest naps are critical for early learning and they are encouraging educators to develop napping guidelines for young children.

I'm Dr. Cindy Haines of HealthDay TV with the news doctors are reading health news for healthier living.

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