The Nature of Sleep and Lifespan Changes


Lifespan Changes in Sleep

  • Major changes in amount and type of sleep experienced as we grow.
  • Infancy
  • Babies sleep a lot more than children and adults and have more different sleep patterns and different stages of sleep. Tend to sleep 16 hours a day but it is not continuous.
  • Sleep cycles are shorter than 90 minutes so they may wake up.
  • They have queit sleep and active sleep; immature versions of REM and SWS.
  • Infants sleep through light sleep; after 20 minutres into deep sleep.
  • By 6 months a circadian rhythm has been established and by the age of 1, infants are usually mainly sleeping at night
  • Period of deep sleep lengthen and there is reduction in the amounts of REM sleep.
  • Childhood
  • By 5, children have EEG patterns that look like an adults but they are still sleeping more and having more REM activity.
  • Not uncommon for children to experience parasomnias
  • Adolescence
  • In adolescence, need for sleep increases to 9 or 10 hours a night.
  • Circadian rhythms also change so teengaers feel naturally more awake later at night and have more difficulty getting up early.
  • Sometimes accompanied by ****** or *********** in adolescent male REM sleep.
  • Adult and Old Age
  • Normal adult sleep is usually about 8 hours a night, with 25% in REM sleep.
  • Child parasomnias are more rare in adulthood because of the increasing frequency…


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