Infant sleep-wake cycle regulation

Takeaway

  • Environmental interventions could mitigate the curtailment of sleep by stress and nociception in term and pre-term infants.

Why this matters

    In adults, extended periods of wakefulness can be maintained at the expense of sleep in order to stay vigilant to environmental stressors, such as predators, whereas in infants the relative importance of wakefulness is reversed as sleep is necessary for brain maturation. How sleep-wake states are regulated in human infants is currently unknown, so this study monitored the sleep-wake cycle of pre-term infants to expand our knowledge of this field.