The effect on deep body temperature of infants co-sleeping (with either or both parents) is investigated in this case control study. Overnight continuous recordings of rectal temperature were made from 34 babies co-sleeping with one or both parents throughout the night and 34 infants matched for age, feeding regimen, parental smoking, thermal environment, sleeping position, and sex who slept alone. The co-sleeping infants had significantly higher rectal temperatures from two hours after bedtime, when the initial fall in sleeping body temperature was complete. The mean rectal temperature of co-sleeping infants between two and eight hours was 0.1 degree C higher than that of infants sleeping alone (p < 0.04). Given the very small variance in rectal temperature this probably reflects a considerable physiological difference between the two groups.
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