Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Study Finds that Infant Boys are More Easily Aroused from Sleep than Girls

02.08.2010
A study in the Aug. 1 issue of the journal SLEEP shows that at 2 to 4 weeks of age male infants are easier to arouse than females during quiet sleep, and by 2 to 3 months of age there are no significant gender differences in arousability. The results suggest that the increased rate of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) in males may not reflect a pre-existing vulnerability involving arousal responses.

Results show that at 2 to 4 weeks of age, the mean strength of a pulsatile air-jet stimulus that was required to induce arousal during quiet sleep was significantly lower in male infants than female infants.

At 2 to 3 months of age, which is the age of peak SIDS risk, this gender difference in arousal threshold was no longer significant. The study also found similar arousal frequencies in male and female infants at both ages. The results suggest that there are no gender differences in arousability that could increase the vulnerability of male infants to SIDS.

“A failure to arouse from sleep is involved in the fatal pathway to an infant dying suddenly and unexpectedly,” said senior author Rosemary S.C. Horne, National Health and Medical Research Council of Australia Senior Research Fellow and Deputy Director of the Ritchie Centre at the Monash Institute of Medical Research at Monash University in Melbourne, Australia. “Since the incidence of SIDS is increased in male infants, we had expected the male infants to be more difficult to arouse from sleep and to have fewer full arousals than the female infants. In fact, we found the opposite when infants were younger at 2 to 4 weeks of age, and we were surprised to find that any differences between the male and female infants were resolved by the age of 2 to 3 months, which is the most vulnerable age for SIDS.”

The Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development reports that SIDS is the sudden, unexplained death of an infant younger than 1 year old. SIDS is the leading cause of death in children between 1 month and 1 year of age.

Horne and lead author Heidi L. Richardson, PhD, studied 50 healthy infants who were evaluated at both ages by daytime polysomnography, which was performed in a sleep laboratory where light and noise were minimal. Infants were placed on their backs in a bassinet to sleep. Arousability was assessed using a five-second, pulsatile jet of air that was delivered with a hand-held cannula to the nostrils. Air pressure was increased between consecutive stimuli until an arousal response was observed. Responses to each stimulus were classified as either non-arousal, subcortical activation or full cortical arousal.

According to the authors, the finding that infant girls appeared to sleep more soundly than infant boys is consistent with previous reports of increased sleep disruption in male infants. Mothers tend to perceive that infant boys have sleep patterns that include more problematic crying and increased night awakenings.

The authors suspect that mothers may be more likely to try to calm restless male infants by putting them to sleep on their stomach, which may contribute to the gender difference in the rate of SIDS. Approximately 60 percent of SIDS victims are male, reports Horne.

“Our study has highlighted the fact that SIDS is multi-factorial and that at present it is not possible to predict the deadly combination of internal and environmental factors that will result in SIDS,” Horne said. “Therefore, parents should be aware of the known risk factors and avoid them as best as possible by practicing the safe sleeping guidelines of sleeping babies on their backs, making sure their heads cannot be covered by bedding and keeping them free from cigarette smoke both before and after birth.”

The “Back to Sleep” campaign was started in 1994 as a way to inform parents and caregivers that placing babies on their back to sleep reduces the risk of SIDS. The NICHD reports that the overall SIDS rates have declined by more than 50 percent since the campaign began.

The peer-reviewed, scientific journal SLEEP is published monthly by the Associated Professional Sleep Societies LLC, a joint venture of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine and the Sleep Research Society. The AASM is a professional membership society that is the leader in setting standards and promoting excellence in sleep medicine health care, education and research.

For a copy of the study, “Sleep like a baby – does gender influence infant arousability?” or to arrange an interview with an AASM spokesperson, please contact AASM director of communications Kathleen McCann at 630-737-9700, ext. 9319, or kmccann@aasmnet.org.

Kathleen McCann | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.aasmnet.org

Further reports about: AASM Girls Medical Wellness Monash SIDS Surprise health services infant sleep

More articles from Studies and Analyses:

nachricht The personality factor: How to foster the sharing of research data
06.09.2017 | ZBW – Leibniz-Informationszentrum Wirtschaft

nachricht Europe’s Demographic Future. Where the Regions Are Heading after a Decade of Crises
10.08.2017 | Berlin-Institut für Bevölkerung und Entwicklung

All articles from Studies and Analyses >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: The pyrenoid is a carbon-fixing liquid droplet

Plants and algae use the enzyme Rubisco to fix carbon dioxide, removing it from the atmosphere and converting it into biomass. Algae have figured out a way to increase the efficiency of carbon fixation. They gather most of their Rubisco into a ball-shaped microcompartment called the pyrenoid, which they flood with a high local concentration of carbon dioxide. A team of scientists at Princeton University, the Carnegie Institution for Science, Stanford University and the Max Plank Institute of Biochemistry have unravelled the mysteries of how the pyrenoid is assembled. These insights can help to engineer crops that remove more carbon dioxide from the atmosphere while producing more food.

A warming planet

Im Focus: Highly precise wiring in the Cerebral Cortex

Our brains house extremely complex neuronal circuits, whose detailed structures are still largely unknown. This is especially true for the so-called cerebral cortex of mammals, where among other things vision, thoughts or spatial orientation are being computed. Here the rules by which nerve cells are connected to each other are only partly understood. A team of scientists around Moritz Helmstaedter at the Frankfiurt Max Planck Institute for Brain Research and Helene Schmidt (Humboldt University in Berlin) have now discovered a surprisingly precise nerve cell connectivity pattern in the part of the cerebral cortex that is responsible for orienting the individual animal or human in space.

The researchers report online in Nature (Schmidt et al., 2017. Axonal synapse sorting in medial entorhinal cortex, DOI: 10.1038/nature24005) that synapses in...

Im Focus: Tiny lasers from a gallery of whispers

New technique promises tunable laser devices

Whispering gallery mode (WGM) resonators are used to make tiny micro-lasers, sensors, switches, routers and other devices. These tiny structures rely on a...

Im Focus: Ultrafast snapshots of relaxing electrons in solids

Using ultrafast flashes of laser and x-ray radiation, scientists at the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics (Garching, Germany) took snapshots of the briefest electron motion inside a solid material to date. The electron motion lasted only 750 billionths of the billionth of a second before it fainted, setting a new record of human capability to capture ultrafast processes inside solids!

When x-rays shine onto solid materials or large molecules, an electron is pushed away from its original place near the nucleus of the atom, leaving a hole...

Im Focus: Quantum Sensors Decipher Magnetic Ordering in a New Semiconducting Material

For the first time, physicists have successfully imaged spiral magnetic ordering in a multiferroic material. These materials are considered highly promising candidates for future data storage media. The researchers were able to prove their findings using unique quantum sensors that were developed at Basel University and that can analyze electromagnetic fields on the nanometer scale. The results – obtained by scientists from the University of Basel’s Department of Physics, the Swiss Nanoscience Institute, the University of Montpellier and several laboratories from University Paris-Saclay – were recently published in the journal Nature.

Multiferroics are materials that simultaneously react to electric and magnetic fields. These two properties are rarely found together, and their combined...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

“Lasers in Composites Symposium” in Aachen – from Science to Application

19.09.2017 | Event News

I-ESA 2018 – Call for Papers

12.09.2017 | Event News

EMBO at Basel Life, a new conference on current and emerging life science research

06.09.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Rainbow colors reveal cell history: Uncovering β-cell heterogeneity

22.09.2017 | Life Sciences

Penn first in world to treat patient with new radiation technology

22.09.2017 | Medical Engineering

Calculating quietness

22.09.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>