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Spotlight on daytime napping during early childhood

Authors Horváth K, Plunkett K

Received 17 September 2017

Accepted for publication 16 January 2018

Published 9 March 2018 Volume 2018:10 Pages 97—104

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/NSS.S126252

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewers approved by Dr Amy Norman

Peer reviewer comments 3

Editor who approved publication: Professor Steven A Shea


Klára Horváth,1 Kim Plunkett2

12nd Department of Pediatrics, Semmelweis University, Budapest, Hungary; 2Department of Experimental Psychology, University of Oxford, Oxford, UK

Abstract: Daytime napping undergoes a remarkable change in early childhood, and research regarding its relationship to cognitive development has recently accelerated. In this review, we summarize our current understanding of this relationship focusing on children aged <5 years. First, we evaluate different studies on the basis of the experimental design used and the specific cognitive processes they investigate. Second, we analyze how the napping status of children may modulate the relationship between learning and napping. Third, the possible role of sleep spindles, ie, specific electroencephalographic components during sleep, in cognitive development is explored. We conclude that daytime napping is crucial in early memory development.

Keywords: napping, children, infants, cognitive development, daytime sleep, memory, language development, sleep spindles

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