Napping, development and health from 0 to 5 years : a systematic review

Thorpe, Karen J., Staton, Sally, Sawyer, Emily, Pattinson, Cassandra, Haden, Catherine, & Smith, Simon S. (2015) Napping, development and health from 0 to 5 years : a systematic review. Archives of Disease in Childhood, 100, pp. 615-622.

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Abstract

Background

Duration and quality of sleep affect child development and health. Encouragement of napping in preschool children has been suggested as a health-promoting strategy.

Objectives

The aim of this study is to assess evidence regarding the effects of napping on measures of child development and health.

Design

This study is a systematic review of published, original research articles of any design.

Subjects

Children aged 0–5 years.

Method

Electronic database search was performed following Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses guidelines and assessment of research quality was carried out following a Grading of Recommendations, Assessment, Development and Evaluations (GRADE) protocol.

Results

Twenty-six articles met inclusion criteria. These were of heterogeneous quality; all had observational designs (GRADE-low). Development and health outcomes included salivary cortisol, night sleep, cognition, behaviour, obesity and accidents. The findings regarding cognition, behaviour and health impacts were inconsistent, probably because of variation in age and habitual napping status of the samples. The most consistent finding was an association between napping and later onset, shorter duration and poorer quality of night sleep, with evidence strongest beyond the age of 2 years.

Limitations

Studies were not randomised. Most did not obtain data on the children's habitual napping status or the context of napping. Many were reliant on parent report rather than direct observation or physiological measurement of sleep behaviour.

Conclusions

The evidence indicates that beyond the age of 2 years napping is associated with later night sleep onset and both reduced sleep quality and duration. The evidence regarding behaviour, health and cognition is less certain. There is a need for more systematic studies that use stronger designs. In preschool children presenting with sleep problems clinicians should investigate napping patterns.

Impact and interest:

7 citations in Scopus
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ID Code: 82020
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: napping, sleep, systematic review, children, night sleep
DOI: 10.1136/archdischild-2014-307241
ISSN: 1468-2044
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > PSYCHOLOGY AND COGNITIVE SCIENCES (170000) > PSYCHOLOGY (170100) > Biological Psychology (Neuropsychology Psychopharmacology Physiological Psychology) (170101)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > PSYCHOLOGY AND COGNITIVE SCIENCES (170000) > COGNITIVE SCIENCE (170200) > Cognitive Science not elsewhere classified (170299)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > PSYCHOLOGY AND COGNITIVE SCIENCES (170000) > OTHER PSYCHOLOGY AND COGNITIVE SCIENCES (179900) > Psychology and Cognitive Sciences not elsewhere classified (179999)
Divisions: Current > Research Centres > Centre for Accident Research & Road Safety - Qld (CARRS-Q)
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Division of Technology, Information and Learning Support
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Health
Current > Institutes > Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation
Current > Schools > School of Psychology & Counselling
Deposited On: 25 Feb 2015 23:05
Last Modified: 17 Oct 2016 07:15

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