The physiology of sleep in infants

Arch Dis Child. 2008 Nov;93(11):982-5. doi: 10.1136/adc.2006.113290. Epub 2008 Jul 24.


Despite the fact that infants spend more time asleep than awake, an understanding of the importance and effects of sleep on the pathophysiology of illness in infancy is a relatively recent development, and is commonly overlooked in paediatric training. In this review we describe some of the characteristics of sleep in infancy, with particular reference to normal developmental physiology and its relevance to the signs, symptoms and pathophysiology of illness in this age group.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Body Temperature Regulation / physiology
  • Brain / growth & development
  • Circadian Rhythm / physiology
  • Endocrine System / physiology
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Respiration
  • Sleep / physiology*