Visually detected NREM Stage 2 sleep spindles in kindergarten children are associated with current and future emotional and behavioural characteristics

J Sleep Res. 2013 Apr;22(2):129-36. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2869.2012.01058.x. Epub 2012 Oct 10.

Abstract

Sleep electroencephalogram spindles are associated with efficient cortical-subcortical connectivity, and intellectual and learning abilities. In the present study, we assessed healthy preschoolers with a twofold aim: (i) to explore associations of non-rapid eye movement S2 spindles with emotional/behavioural characteristics cross-sectionally; and (ii) longitudinally. A total of 43 children who were 5 years old underwent objective sleep electroencephalogram monitoring in their homes. Emotional and behavioural dimensions were assessed by parents and teachers with the Strengths & Difficulties Questionnaire at baseline and at follow-up 1 year later. Non-rapid eye movement S2 spindles were visually scored and compared with Strengths & Difficulties Questionnaire dimensions. High non-rapid eye movement S2 spindle density was associated with less internalizing behaviour, more prosocial behaviour and a low total problem score. In girls, high non-rapid eye movement S2 spindle density was related to low hyperactivity, while in boys it was associated with less internalizing behaviour, more externalizing behaviour and more hyperactivity. Longitudinally, a higher number of non-rapid eye movement S2 spindles at 5 years old predicted fewer peer problems 12 months later. In kindergarten children, high non-rapid eye movement S2 spindle density is associated with observable current and future favourable emotional/behavioural patterns. However, gender differences were also found, as should be taken into account in future studies.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Child
  • Child Behavior / physiology*
  • Child, Preschool
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Electroencephalography*
  • Emotions
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Male
  • Polysomnography
  • Sex Factors
  • Sleep Stages / physiology*
  • Sleep, REM / physiology
  • Social Adjustment
  • Social Behavior