Fewer spontaneous arousals during prone sleep in preterm infants at 1 and 3 months corrected age

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This study was performed to determine if there were fewer spontaneous arousals in prone sleep than in supine sleep.

Study design:

Home polysomnography/video recordings were done during daytime naps in 14 preterm infants: four at corrected age of 1 month, nine at both 1 and 3 months, and one only at 3 month. A body movement lasting 3 to 60 s during sleep was used as an indicator of spontaneous arousals.


Most arousals had a heart rate increase and change in respiration pattern. The mean duration of the intervals between successive arousals in active and quiet sleep was significantly longer in prone at 1 and 3 months of age. The duration of arousals was significantly shorter at 3 months corrected age compared with one month corrected age during active sleep. The duration of arousals was shorter during quiet sleep at one month compared with active sleep.


There were fewer spontaneous arousals that is, longer interval between successive arousals in prone, which may, in part, explain the increase in risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome.

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