Sleep EEG pattern in childhood: from newborn through adolescent
Scientific Centre for Family Health and Human Reproduction Problems, Timiryazev Str., 16, 664003, Irkutsk, Russian Federation
Accepted: 7 December 2023
Published online: 20 December 2023
Sleep is as important for good health as diet and exercise. It is particularly important for children and adolescents, as they need to grow and develop. Quality sleep is necessary to ensure the plasticity of the brain, growth and maturation, and development and improvement of mental abilities, to prevent some chronic diseases. Younger the child, the more is the time he sleeps. It is well known that each behavioral state, characterized by certain physiological parameters, electroencephalography (EEG) activity and phenomena, is changed across the life span. An advanced EEG monitoring can improve our understanding of the brain neuronal activity through studying the sleep patterns. In age-related neurophysiology, importance is attached to the formation and temporary changes in such EEG patterns such as slow-wave activity (SWA), sleep spindles (SSs), vertex waves (V-waves), K-complexes (KKs) and positive occipital sharp transients (POSTs). The features of the formation of bioelectrical activity during sleep and various sleep EEG pattern in newborns depending on the conceptual age and the further maturation of the sleep EEG as the child grows and develops are widely discussed. However, one of the main sleep EEG phenomena which occur in non-rapid eye movement (non-REM) sleep 2, associated with a wide range of brain functions, such as memory and neuroplasticity, general intelligence and cognitive performance, and undergo changes throughout life, are SSs. This review attempts to summarize the available literature data on the formation of the main EEG sleep patterns in childhood and adolescence, especially SSs, and also identifies some studies conducted at the our Scientific center on age-related neurophysiology and EEG sleep characteristics and their associations with some diseases in middle adolescence. Modern methods of sleep assessment and its EEG patterns are the next step in understanding the neurophysiological ontogenetic aspects of the sleep–wake cycle. All this will open up perspectives and «windows of opportunity» in predicting postnatal maturation, understanding the mechanisms of brain neuroplasticity and memory consolidation in sleep, which is one of the tasks of modern somnology and neurophysiology.
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