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Sleep. 1989 Jun;12(3):265-76.

Polysomnographic sleep and waking states are similar in subsequent siblings of SIDS and control infants during the first six months of life.

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Department of Pediatrics, University of Southern California School of Medicine, Los Angeles.


Twenty-five subsequent siblings of infants who died of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) underwent 12-h overnight polygraphic recordings during the first week of life and at 1, 2, 3, 4, and 6 months of age. The polygraphic tracings from these infants were compared with those from 25 infants without a family history of SIDS. One dozen sleep and waking parameters were examined including state transition probabilities, the ratio between quiet sleep (QS) and active sleep (AS), the incidence and duration of sustained states and the stability of an infant's sleep and waking during the first half year of life. Variability within and between infants was marked with a reduction of variability in measures of QS at 3 months and of AS at 4 months of age. The similarities between subsequent siblings of SIDS and control infants far outweighted the differences. However, subsequent siblings exhibited a tendency, once asleep, to remain asleep longer than controls. This finding was observed in a comparison of 20 infants in each group. When five infants were added to each group, infants in both groups tended to awaken equally from QS, but once in AS the subsequent siblings tended to proceed into QS instead of awaken as the controls did.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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