GREAT NEWS VIA SCIENCE, BRAIN-HAVERS. Researchers from U Mass Amherst studied the sleep and learning patterns of 40 3- to 5-year-olds (who, if you think about it, are basically adult lady-bloggers in terms of both species and desire for goldfish crackers) and discovered that kids who take afternoon naps are better at retaining information. When given visual-spatial tasks to do in the afternoon (i.e. their "jobs"), the kids (or "li'l bloggers," if you will) who took naps (a.k.a. "thinky-medicine") were able to recall 10% more information than their non-napping counterparts (known in the scientific literature as "nature's losers").
As a person who clearly has no dog in this fight—no languorous, sleepy, ever-toiling work-dog whatsoever—I find this new scientific information fascinating. Objectively. As an objective observer with zero ulterior motives.
Here's the BBC:
Lead investigator Rebecca Spencer said: "Essentially we are the first to report evidence that naps are important for preschool children.
"Our study shows that naps help the kids better remember what they are learning in preschool."
She said while older children would naturally drop their daytime sleep, younger children should be encouraged to nap.
Dr Robert Scott-Jupp, of the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health, said: "It's been known for years that having a short sleep can improve the mental performance of adults, for example doctors working night shifts. Up until now, no-one has looked at the same thing in toddlers. This is important, because pre-school nurseries are divided on whether they should allow their children a nap.
"Toddlers soak up a huge amount of information everyday as they become increasingly inquisitive about the world around them and begin to gain independence.
"To be at their most alert toddlers need about 11-13 hours of sleep a day, giving their active minds a chance to wind down and re-charge, ready for the day ahead. We now know that a daytime sleep could be as important as a nighttime one. Without it, they would be tired, grumpy, forgetful and would struggle to concentrate."
UGH, OH MY GOD, JUST LET ME TAKE A NAP ALREADY. Clearly I write amazing blog posts as it is (see above, I know, please, hold your applause)—so can you imagine what transcendent gossamer-tongued sonnets I'd come up with if I got to have my "daytime sleep"!?! My description of what Jessica Simpson stepped out in after losing her baby weight would surely make the Bard weep. I don't even care if I'm basically declaring that I have the brain of a toddler right now—laugh all you want, 'cuz the joke's on you guys when it's long about high noon and I'm all snoogled up with my heart-shaped Dylan pillow* while you fools are sweating over the quarterly reports.
Now, if you need me, I'll be at my cubby.
*I ACTUALLY OWN THIS.
Images via Getty.