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Signs Your Child No Longer Needs a Nap! How Long Should They Nap for Optimal Health?

After the baby is born, he will take a nap every day for a long time, and more than once. As babies grow older, the frequency of daytime naps gradually decreases and the amount of time they are awake gradually increases, until one day they only need one nap during the day and no longer even need daytime naps.

So what are the signs that your child no longer needs a nap? How long is the best nap for adults and children? These nap topics are summarized and shared with you today.

what signs
Cue no more naps?

The frequency of naps a child takes during the day is related to age. for example,

1 infancy
When babies are young, they need multiple naps during the day, such as 4 naps a day; as they grow older, daytime sleep decreases, and the frequency of naps shows a decreasing trend, such as an overall pattern of 3-2-1-0 times.

2 Early childhood
According to relevant statistics, by the age of 4, about 50% of children no longer take naps. By about 5 years old, most children stop taking naps. This means that when children go to kindergarten or elementary school, even though the school may arrange naps, some children actually do not need to take naps from the perspective of sleep needs.

3 5 years old and above
For children over 5 years old, if the following symptoms or signs appear, it may indicate that they no longer need to take a nap:

Resistance to taking naps during the day, making it very difficult to fall asleep;
Even if I don’t take a nap, I don’t feel any obvious signs of fatigue or irritability from the afternoon until I fall asleep at night.

Refusing to take a nap
Really not needed
Or is it subjective resistance?

For children who resist taking a nap, we need to distinguish whether they really no longer need a nap or whether they are unwilling to take a nap subjectively. The rough distinction is as follows:

When a child resists taking a nap and refuses to sleep for more than 30 minutes.

Situation one
I really don’t need a nap anymore

If you skip a nap that day and still have energy throughout the afternoon and evening without excessive fatigue, it means that a nap is no longer needed.

For children who really no longer need to take a nap, there is no need for adults to force the child to take a nap. However, in order to ensure energy, you can arrange for the child to rest quietly for a while during nap time, and then according to the child’s individual situation, the bedtime can be slightly earlier at night.

Situation 2
It’s just a subjective resistance

If you skipped a nap that day and ended up feeling sleepy before dinner time, or even fell asleep at the dining table, it means that your child still needs a nap.

For children who still need to take a nap but subjectively resist taking a nap, two points need to be emphasized:

Regular daily routine and sleep arrangements, such as taking naps at the same time and in the same place every day.
A regular and consistent bedtime routine, with similar steps before going to bed every time, and a short period of soothing and quiet time before going to bed, so that the child can slowly fall asleep in a peaceful state, instead of waiting until the child is overtired before arranging a nap.

adults and children
How long is the best time to take a nap?

1 For infants and young children
Take naps as needed during the day to avoid excessive fatigue. 1-3 years old, usually sleeps 10-12 hours at night, still needs 1-2 naps during the day, and the total amount of sleep during the day is 1-2 hours.

For children of this age, it is not recommended to nap for more than 2 hours during the day. Because the nap time is too long, or the time when waking up from nap is too late, it may affect the child’s sleep at night and is not conducive to the development of a regular schedule.

As children grow older, the general trend of daytime nap duration is getting shorter and shorter. As we just said, starting from the age of 4-5, children’s need for naps decreases and they may no longer need naps.

2 For adults
In traditional concepts, most people believe that taking a nap is very important and is good for health. Therefore, many adults not only take naps every day, but also require their children to take naps every day.

In fact, the relationship between napping and health is very subtle, and it is not as imagined. Just napping is good for health. For example, at the 2020 European Society of Cardiology Annual Meeting, a new study by Chinese scientists pointed out that napping for more than 60 minutes increases the risk of all-cause death by 30% and the risk of cardiovascular disease by 34%.

For people who don’t have a nap habit, there is no need to force a nap as long as they ensure sleep at night.

People who have a nap habit or lack enough sleep at night have no problem if they want to take a nap, but they must pay attention to science and rationality. In fact, there are certainly benefits to taking a reasonable nap. For example, it can make you more energetic in the afternoon and make your study and work more efficient.

There are three basic elements for a scientific and reasonable nap for adults:
always appropriate
The duration of nap should be controlled within 30 minutes, and 20-30 minutes is generally considered to be the best. You will not be dizzy when you wake up from a nap of this length, and it will not affect your sleep at night.
The time must be appropriate
Although everyone’s work schedule and daily schedule are different, as a rough reference, a nap 1-2 hours after lunch is the ideal time. It can charge quickly without affecting your ability to sleep at night.
The environment should be comfortable
Keeping your nap area quiet, dark, and at the right temperature will help you fall asleep more smoothly.