Sleep and Speech/Language Development
More and more research is being done on the importance of nighttime sleep and naps for speech and language development in kids. Professionals say that they have found links between deep sleep and children’s comprehension skills, their ability to remember new sound combinations, remember complicated grammar rules, and remember vocabulary words (Egin, 2015). University of Arizona researchers emphasize the importance of deep sleep because it acts like a memory consolidation tool. For instance, they said that preschool-aged kids who nap within an hour of learning are more likely to remember new vocabulary words then kids who do not nap. It is also important to remember not to worry if your child does not get their daily nap. There is a lot of variability with sleeping behaviors so it is vital to focus on the total amount of daily sleep they get because consistent lack of sleep can have long-term consequences (Blue, 2017). The National Sleep Foundation has listed the recommended amounts of sleep for the following age ranges:
- Newborns (0-3 months): 10.5 – 18 hours per day on an irregular schedule
- Infants (4-11 months): 9 – 12 hours per night; 30 min – 2 hour naps (1-4 naps per day)
- Toddlers (1-2 years): 11 – 14 hours per night; 1 – 3 hour naps (decrease to 1 nap at 18 months)
- Preschoolers (3-5 years): 11-13 hours per night; usually don’t nap after 5 years
- School-Age (6-13 years): 9-11 hours per night
For other sleep tips at each of these ages, visit https://www.sleepfoundation.org/articles/children-and-sleep. Sleep is a very important part of learning and development in children of all ages. Making a full-night-sleep a priority will help your child in the long run and will reduce the chances of ADHD, behavior difficulties, cognitive difficulties, and other learning problems when he/she is school-aged.