Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child
113
Long Naps versus Short Naps
January 9, 2023

Found in age groups

Related Parents' Reports

Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child

5th Edition: 
A Step-by-Step Program for a Good Night's Sleep

Buy now

Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child

5th Edition: 
Chapter 1 (only 16 pages!) outlines everything you need to know about your child's sleep.

Buy now

Introduction

A Healthy Child Needs a Healthy Brain, A Healthy Brain Needs Healthy Sleep

Question:  Why do some children have long naps, and other children have short naps?

Answer: It partially depends on the bedtime

Blog 113Long Naps versus Short Naps

When the bedtime is early, children wake up well rested.  Because there is a genetic effect on the duration of naps, some children take long naps and other children take short naps.  There is also a separate genetic effect on the duration of night sleep.  In this situation, there is no association between the duration of night sleep and the duration of day sleep (naps).  If your firstborn child took long naps, and you got used to this free time during the day, you might be frustrated if your second child takes short naps.  You cannot make this second child take long naps.

When the bedtime is too late, children do not wake up well rested, even with a late wake-up time, because they are not sleeping in synchrony with their circadian sleep rhythms (Blog Posts 62 and 112).  Also, usually, a later wake-up time, does not fully compensate for a later bedtime so that the duration of night sleep is shorter.   Therefore, throughout the day, there is increased sleepiness that causes long naps.  Here too, usually, the longer naps do not fully compensate for the shorter night sleep, so the duration of total (24-hour) sleep is shorter.  In this situation, there is an association between the duration of night sleep and the duration of day sleep (naps). That is, the shorter the night sleep, the longer the naps.  The late bedtime is masking the genetic effect on the duration of naps.  Also, in this situation, because sleep is not aligned with circadian sleep rhythms, short sleep duration, or both, there are many possible adverse outcomes for the child. Some researchers have mistakenly focused on the long nap(s) as the problem instead of correctly focusing on the parent-caused too late bedtime.

Want to learn how to get your baby or child to sleep through the night? Subscribe to my sleep blog today.

Add comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Related blogs

These blogs are related or mentioned in this blog.
62
Blog 62
  | January 17, 2022
 | No Comments

Advice from a European Clinical Psychologist/Mother

Co-sleeping was a given to me as part of my attachment-oriented approach. Unfortunately, I haven’t had any clue about how to establish good sleeping habits. I thought good sleep will come by itself as part of the development and I just need to make him fall asleep until he can do it by himself.
Read full post
112
Blog 112
  | January 2, 2023
 | No Comments

What is a Circadian Sleep Rhythm?

Every morning, around 4-5am, our core body temperature is at its lowest.  Our temperature rises during the day and reaches a maximum in the early evening around 6-8pm.  Afterwards, our temperature decreases. This temperature fluctuation occurs in all humans and is not affected by feeding, rest-activity, light-dark cycles or sleep-wake schedules.  Internal clock genes in the brain cause this automatic cycling of temperature over about a 24-hour period and it is an example of a circadian rhythm.  The temperature circadian rhythm appears in babies around two months of age.
Read full post

Stay updated with new blog posts

Get access to free lullabies when signing up!
Get notified when new blogs are posted
Loading
Notify me
About Marc
The first month
The second month
Months 3-4
Months 4-12
magnifiercrossarrow-left linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram