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  • Print publication year: 2008
  • Online publication date: August 2009

1 - Normal sleep



Sleep is a complex behavior. It may be altered by many different factors including age, genetics, volitional control, timing, previous time awake, and environment. The state of wakefulness regularly alternates with the states of sleep. Polysomnography recordings are scored for movement time. Active wakefulness is characterized by a continuous electroencephalographic (EEG) theta activity associated with eye movements and muscular artifacts. Infants, children, and adolescents show different stages of maturation of sleep, in terms of polysomnographic patterns, architecture, and duration of sleep. The duration of nocturnal sleep depends on several factors. Voluntary control of the sleep time is among the most significant in human beings. Young adults report sleeping approximately 7.5 hours a night on weekday nights and 8.5 hours on weekend nights. The timing of sleep has obvious repercussions both on the duration and on the architecture of sleep.
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