In this part of the chapter we have described the characteristics of two alternating sleep states - REM and NREM sleep in preterm and full-term infants. We have indicated how individual physiologic measures, recorded during sleep, mature and become synchromized into patterns that define the sleep states. We have described abnormalities in this process and have related them to clinical populations of deviant infants. Throughout, we have emphasized the complexity of the process and the methodologic sophistication required to investigate adequately the multiple dimensions of sleep. Despite somewhat discrepant and confusing reports in the literature, we continue to believe that sleep studies will provide rewarding insights into the central nervous system functioning of the developing young infant.
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