By Jill Morgenstern of Do Try This at Home
Scientists at the Georgeborough University School of Pediatrics have confirmed what parents have long suspected: Kids who take an afternoon nap are 78.2% cuter than their cohorts who do not nap.
Dr. Shannon Poole conducted extensive research over the last five years before publishing her conclusions. Several case controlled studies have pointed in this direction, but many have relied heavily on anecdotal evidence provided by parents. Dr. Poole’s methods prove these findings conclusively.
The study is based on facial measurements of children who take a one to two hour nap as well as those in a control group. “We looked particularly hard at the ratio between the size of the eyes and the size of the nose as well as the distance from one eye to the other,” stated Poole. “Although we measured factors such as the proportion of lip size and shape into account, it was very hard for non-napping children to compete when it came to the lip measurements, because they were so often whining and crying.”
Pediatricians often advise parents on sleep issues without consideration of how cute children will be to their parents as a result of changes in sleep schedules. Napping is a natural habit for most infants and young children and is normally seen until at least three years of age. However, late afternoon naps for three and four-year-olds have fallen out of favor as more and more children began participating in after-preschool enrichment classes and organized sports.
Independent surveys of parents support these conclusions. Parents who respond to randomized questions about the appearance of their kids often cite “crankiness” as being a major detractor from cuteness. When asked to rate their child’s cuteness on a ten-point scale, their responses coincide with Poole’s findings of metric facial congestion factor (FCF).
Additional benefits of extended naptimes include an afternoon break for parents or caregivers as well as less whining and crying in the afternoon and early evening hours. These findings are particularly important for families where there has been a major shift in schedule resulting in unexpected sleep changes. “Just don’t be surprised if little Sue Ann does not look as cute when, for example, you change her from a crib to a toddler bed and she misses several days of napping.”
About the Author
Jill Morgenstern is a wife, mother, and teacher. She has four kids ages 27 to three, 13 years of teaching experience, and a Master’s Degree in Teaching Reading, yet reserves the right to be wrong about everything. She writes about food, family, and the ridiculous at Do Try This at Home. You can also find her on Facebook and Twitter.