Human infants are more active during sleep stages than previously known

According to a group of experts at the University of Iowa, human infants are more active during their stages of sleep than previously known.

In Current Biology, a peer-reviewed journal, researchers recorded 22 infants as they entered a night of REM sleep, during their first months of life, observing twitching and other bodily movements.

What researchers found was that infants were able to twitch their limbs outside of REM sleep.

“Because the researchers were recording brain waves in the sleeping babies, they were able to study brain activity associated with the twitches,” a University of Iowa news release reads.

“As expected, they noticed that during quiet sleep, the infants produced large brain oscillations—called sleep spindles—about once every 10 seconds.”

Overall, the study uncovered a surprising discovery on a period of sleep thought to be comprised of behavioral silence. The findings on sleep spindles and twitching among infants may pave the way for better research in the future when it comes to brain-body communication during pediatric-based sleep.

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