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Relations Between Physiological and Cognitive Regulatory Systems: Infant Sleep Regulation and Subsequent Executive Functioning

Annie Bernier, Stephanie M. Carlson, Stéphanie Bordeleau and Julie Carrier
Child Development
Vol. 81, No. 6 (NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2010), pp. 1739-1752
Published by: Wiley on behalf of the Society for Research in Child Development
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/40925296
Page Count: 14
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Relations Between Physiological and Cognitive Regulatory Systems: Infant Sleep Regulation and Subsequent Executive Functioning
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Abstract

The aim of this report was to investigate the prospective links between infant sleep regulation and subsequent executive functioning (EF). The authors assessed sleep regulation through a parent sleep diary when children were 12 and 18 months old (N = 60). Child EF was assessed at 18 and 26 months of age. Higher proportions of total sleep occurring at night time, at both 12 and 18 months, were related to better performance on executive tasks, especially those involving a strong impulse control component. Most relations held above family socioeconomic status, prior mental development and concurrent verbal ability. These findings add to previous results with school-age children in suggesting that sleep favors the development of higher order cognitive functions requiring prefrontal cortex involvement.

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