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The physiology of sleep in infants
  1. J L Heraghty,
  2. T N Hilliard,
  3. A J Henderson,
  4. P J Fleming
  1. Institute of Child Life and Health, University of Bristol, and Bristol Royal Hospital for Children, Bristol, UK
  1. Professor Peter Fleming, Level D, St Michael’s Hospital, Southwell Street, Bristol BS2 8EG, UK; peter.fleming{at}


Despite the fact that infants spend more time asleep than awake, an understanding of the importance and effects of sleep on the pathophysiology of illness in infancy is a relatively recent development, and is commonly overlooked in paediatric training. In this review we describe some of the characteristics of sleep in infancy, with particular reference to normal developmental physiology and its relevance to the signs, symptoms and pathophysiology of illness in this age group.

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  • Competing interests: None.