Synopsis of Sleep in Infants, Children, and Adolescents

Margeaux M. Schade, Christopher E. Bauer, Colleen N. Warren, Hawley E. Montgomery-Downs

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Pediatric sleep has played a pivotal role in the advancement of modern sleep science. In fact, the celebrated discovery and naming of rapid eye movement (REM) sleep was first described in infants (Aserinsky and Kleitman, 1953a; Aserinsky and Kleitman, 1953b; Aserinsky and Kleitman, 1955b; Datta and MacLean, 2007) although eye motility, body twitching and reports of dreaming had been previously documented (Berrien, 1930). The contemporary study of pediatric sleep is moving the field toward an understanding of sleep’s broader developmental impact and ability to adaptively respond to environmental insult across the lifespan. Our goal with this chapter is to provide a synopsis of pediatric sleep, including recording methodology, normative parameters, clinical considerations and current issues. We begin with a general overview of pediatric sleep monitoring techniques, their benefits, and limitations. Subsequently, the chapter is organized into chronological age-related sections: infancy (birth to ~2 years), early school-age (~3 to 5 years), school-age (~6 to 12 years) and adolescence (~13 to 18 years). For each age period, we provide an overview of developmentally typical sleep; the most prevalent sleep disorders and their known consequences; and recommendations for healthy sleep practices. We hope this broad and general summary of historic and current pediatric sleep research will inspire the reader to pursue a more detailed understanding and make their own contributions to the field. Toward those ends, we have provided additional resources and future directions at the conclusion of the chapter.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationSynopsis of Sleep Medicine
PublisherApple Academic Press
Number of pages24
ISBN (Electronic)9781771883474
ISBN (Print)9781771883467
StatePublished - Jan 1 2016

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Medicine


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