Infants' sleep-wake rhythms are influenced by multiple factors, including developmental and contextual aspects, as well as circadian cycles. Empirical studies that address the seasonal impact on infants' sleep are scarce. The present study examined aspects of sleep schedule and quality, comparing summer and winter months in a Mediterranean climate. This report is based on a convenience sample of 34 healthy 7-mo-olds, an age in which sleep is well consolidated and regulated compared with the first few months of life. Sleep was measured with actigraphy, in the home context. It was found that compared with winter, in the summer months, sleep onset occurred at a later hour, and more motor activity during sleep was detected. Although the overall sleep quality, as defined by sleep efficiency score, was similar in the two seasons, in the summer, more active sleep was observed. The authors discuss the finding in terms of circadian rhythms, developmental characteristics, as well as possible environmental factors and family routines, and call for more studies, in different climates and geographical zones, and in different developmental periods.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
Declaration of Interest: The project was funded by a grant from the Israel Science Foundation (# 228/07) to Anat Scher; the support of the Israel Foundation Trustees to Dina Cohen’s doctoral thesis is gratefully acknowledged.
- Circadian rhythm
- Motor activity
- Summer vs. winter
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Physiology (medical)