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Bedtime to the brain: how infants’ sleep behaviours intertwine with non‐rapid eye movement sleep electroencephalography features


Schoch, Sarah F; Jaramillo, Valeria; Markovic, Andjela; Huber, Reto; Kohler, Malcolm; Jenni, Oskar G; Lustenberger, Caroline; Kurth, Salome (2024). Bedtime to the brain: how infants’ sleep behaviours intertwine with non‐rapid eye movement sleep electroencephalography features. Journal of Sleep Research, 33(2):e13936.

Abstract

SummaryAdequate sleep is critical for development and facilitates the maturation of the neurophysiological circuitries at the basis of cognitive and behavioural function. Observational research has associated early life sleep problems with worse later cognitive, psychosocial, and somatic health outcomes. Yet, the extent to which day‐to‐day sleep behaviours (e.g., duration, regularity) in early life relate to non‐rapid eye movement (NREM) neurophysiology—acutely and the long‐term—remains to be studied. We measured sleep behaviours in 32 healthy 6‐month‐olds assessed with actimetry and neurophysiology with high‐density electroencephalography (EEG) to investigate the association between NREM sleep and habitual sleep behaviours. Our study revealed four findings: first, daytime sleep behaviours are related to EEG slow‐wave activity (SWA). Second, night‐time movement and awakenings from sleep are connected with spindle density. Third, habitual sleep timing is linked to neurophysiological connectivity quantified as delta coherence. And lastly, delta coherence at 6 months predicts night‐time sleep duration at 12 months. These novel findings widen our understanding that infants’ sleep behaviours are closely intertwined with three particular levels of neurophysiology: sleep pressure (determined by SWA), the maturation of the thalamocortical system (spindles), and the maturation of cortical connectivity (coherence). The crucial next step is to extend this concept to clinical groups to objectively characterise infants’ sleep behaviours ‘at risk’ that foster later neurodevelopmental problems.

Abstract

SummaryAdequate sleep is critical for development and facilitates the maturation of the neurophysiological circuitries at the basis of cognitive and behavioural function. Observational research has associated early life sleep problems with worse later cognitive, psychosocial, and somatic health outcomes. Yet, the extent to which day‐to‐day sleep behaviours (e.g., duration, regularity) in early life relate to non‐rapid eye movement (NREM) neurophysiology—acutely and the long‐term—remains to be studied. We measured sleep behaviours in 32 healthy 6‐month‐olds assessed with actimetry and neurophysiology with high‐density electroencephalography (EEG) to investigate the association between NREM sleep and habitual sleep behaviours. Our study revealed four findings: first, daytime sleep behaviours are related to EEG slow‐wave activity (SWA). Second, night‐time movement and awakenings from sleep are connected with spindle density. Third, habitual sleep timing is linked to neurophysiological connectivity quantified as delta coherence. And lastly, delta coherence at 6 months predicts night‐time sleep duration at 12 months. These novel findings widen our understanding that infants’ sleep behaviours are closely intertwined with three particular levels of neurophysiology: sleep pressure (determined by SWA), the maturation of the thalamocortical system (spindles), and the maturation of cortical connectivity (coherence). The crucial next step is to extend this concept to clinical groups to objectively characterise infants’ sleep behaviours ‘at risk’ that foster later neurodevelopmental problems.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:04 Faculty of Medicine > University Children's Hospital Zurich > Medical Clinic
04 Faculty of Medicine > University Hospital Zurich > Clinic for Pneumology
04 Faculty of Medicine > Psychiatric University Hospital Zurich > Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry
Dewey Decimal Classification:610 Medicine & health
Scopus Subject Areas:Life Sciences > Cognitive Neuroscience
Life Sciences > Behavioral Neuroscience
Uncontrolled Keywords:Behavioral Neuroscience, Cognitive Neuroscience, General Medicine; EEG; brain maturation; coherence; development; infancy; sensitive period; sleep regulation; slow-wave activity; spindles
Language:English
Date:April 2024
Deposited On:29 Nov 2023 16:06
Last Modified:29 Apr 2024 01:41
Publisher:Wiley-Blackwell Publishing, Inc.
ISSN:0962-1105
OA Status:Hybrid
Free access at:Publisher DOI. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1111/jsr.13936
PubMed ID:37217191
Project Information:
  • : FunderOlga Mayenfisch Stiftung
  • : Grant ID
  • : Project Title
  • Content: Published Version
  • Language: English
  • Licence: Creative Commons: Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International (CC BY-NC 4.0)