Directors: Antonio M. Battro and Kurt W. Fischer
Program officer: María Lourdes Majdalani
Napping in school
During infancy there is a decrease in nap frequency, generally associated with the beginning of formal education. In 1997 we investigated the impact of a change in school routine in the sleep/wake cycle of children aged between 4 and 6y. Children attended from 7a.m. to 7p.m. In the morning they were involved in play activities in the afternoon formal education activities. We studied sleepiness, sleep habits and school performance of children before and after the introduction of a 20 minute nap "window" possibility, that is, the children who wished to nap were allowed to do so in an appropriate room. The nap window occurred right after lunch in the beginning of the afternoon. Those who didn't choose to nap were offered restful activities such as drawing, looking at pictures, cartoons, etc. Our results pointed to a decrease in sleepiness in the classroom and an increase in performance.