Development of Sleep-Wake Patterns and Non-rapid Eye Movement Sleep Stages during the First Six Months of Life in Normal Infants
Susan Coons MA1 and Christian Guilleminault MD1
PEDIATRICS Vol. 69 No. 6 June 1982, pp. 793-798
1 Stanford University Sleep Disorders Clinic, Stanford University Medical Center, Stanford, California
Thirty-one normal infants were selected for 24-hour polygraphic monitoring at different ages during the first six months of life. The development of sleep-wake distribution patterns during day and night was observed. Qualitative changes in non-rapid eye movement (NREM) sleep as it becomes differentiated in stages 1, 2, and 3-4 were measured. Sustained periods of wake are present by 6 weeks of age. After 3 months of age, wake is predictably distributed in late afternoon and early evening. REM sleep is disproportionately distributed within sleep in 24 hours, presenting a higher percent of total sleep during the night. At 4.5 and 6 months of age, stages 2 and 3-4 NREM are coincident during the nocturnal hours and 3-4 NREM sleep peaks in the early period of the night. The decreasing proportion of REM sleep, particularly in its daytime distribution, suggests a reciprocal relationship to the development of wakefulness.
Submitted on August 24, 1981
Accepted on November 4, 1981