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Research Shows Older Kids Could Benefit From Napping

BOSTON (CBS) -- Any parents knows that napping for babies and toddlers is crucial for their emotional well-being. A new study from the University of Pennsylvania finds that 10 to 12-year-olds could also benefit from the occasional daytime snooze.

In the U.S., kids generally stop napping around by age five, but in China, napping continues through elementary and middle school and even into adulthood.

So researchers looked at nearly 3,000 4th, 5th, and 6th graders in China and found that those who napped three or more times a week for 30-60 minutes enjoyed greater happiness, more grit, fewer behavioral problems, higher verbal IQ, and better grades. In fact, kids who napped had a more than 7 percent increase in test scores.

The researchers say drowsiness affects up to 20 percent of all kids which has negative cognitive, behavioral, and physical effects and say a midday nap could easily be implemented and cost nothing.

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