Electroencephalographic sleep macrostructure and sleep spindles in early infancy

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Ventura, Soraia
Mathieson, Sean R.
O'Toole, John M.
Livingstone, Vicki
Ryan, Mary-Anne
Boylan, Geraldine B.
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Oxford University Press
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Study Objectives: Sleep features in infancy are potential biomarkers for brain maturation but poorly characterized. We describe normative values for sleep macrostructure and sleep spindles at 4–5 months of age. Methods: Healthy term infants were recruited at birth and had daytime sleep electroencephalograms (EEGs) at 4–5 months. Sleep staging was performed and five features were analyzed. Sleep spindles were annotated and seven quantitative features were extracted. Features were analyzed across sex, recording time (am/pm), infant age, and from first to second sleep cycles. Results: We analyzed sleep recordings from 91 infants, 41% females. Median (interquartile range [IQR]) macrostructure results: sleep duration 49.0 (37.8–72.0) min (n = 77); first sleep cycle duration 42.8 (37.0–51.4) min; rapid eye movement (REM) percentage 17.4 (9.5–27.7)% (n = 68); latency to REM 36.0 (30.5–41.1) min (n = 66). First cycle median (IQR) values for spindle features: number 241.0 (193.0–286.5), density 6.6 (5.7–8.0) spindles/min (n = 77); mean frequency 13.0 (12.8–13.3) Hz, mean duration 2.9 (2.6–3.6) s, spectral power 7.8 (4.7–11.4) µV2, brain symmetry index 0.20 (0.16–0.29), synchrony 59.5 (53.2–63.8)% (n = 91). In males, spindle spectral power (µV2) was 24.5% lower (p = .032) and brain symmetry index 24.2% higher than females (p = .011) when controlling for gestational and postnatal age and timing of the nap. We found no other significant associations between studied sleep features and sex, recording time (am/pm), or age. Spectral power decreased (p < .001) on the second cycle. Conclusion: This normative data may be useful for comparison with future studies of sleep dysfunction and atypical neurodevelopment in infancy. Clinical Trial Registration: BABY SMART (Study of Massage Therapy, Sleep And neurodevelopMenT) (BabySMART). URL: https://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/results/NCT03381027?view=results. ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT03381027
Neurodevelopment , Sleep , Spindles , Macrostructure , Infant , EEG , REM , NREM , Nap
Ventura, S., Mathieson, S. R., O'Toole, J. M., Livingstone, V., Ryan, M.-A. and Boylan, G. B. (2021) 'Electroencephalographic sleep macrostructure and sleep spindles in early infancy', Sleep, zsab262 (15 pp). doi: 10.1093/sleep/zsab262