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Int J Biol Sci 2008; 4(1):23-28. doi:10.7150/ijbs.4.23

Research Paper

Neurophysiologic Measurement of Continuity in the Sleep of Fetuses during the Last Week of Pregnancy and in Newborns

Adrián Poblano1,2, Reyes Haro1, Carmina Arteaga2

1. Clinic of Sleep Disorders, School of Medicine, National University of Mexico, Mexico City, Mexico
2. Laboratory of Cognitive Neurophysiology, National Institute of Rehabilitation. Mexico City, Mexico


Our aim was to measure the correlation between fetal electrocardiographic (FECG) recordings of low-risk pregnancies and polysomnographic (PSG) study parameters in low-risk infants born at term as a measurement of perinatal sleep-development continuity.

We designed a short, prospective, observational follow-up of physiologic parameters between fetuses and newborns. We studied 10 fetuses from low-risk pregnant female out-patients and the same subjects as low-risk newborns delivered at term. Fetal state (FS) was defined in FECG recordings reassembling the following: fetal state I (quiet sleep or QS); fetal state II (active sleep or AS); fetal state III (quiet waking), and fetal state IV (active waking). Percentages of AS, QS, and wakefulness in PSG studies of newborns were also determined.

Comparisons of FS I with QS showed a significant reduction in QS, while comparison of FS II with AS showed significant reduction in AS. Negative correlations were found between FS I with QS, and FS II with AS. Number of cycles in FECG recordings and PSG sleep cycles also demonstrated significant correlation.

In conclusion our data showed partial but significant sleep function continuity from fetal to neonatal period.

Keywords: Sleep development, Fetuses, Newborns, Fetal electrocardiographic recordings, Polysomnography.

This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY-NC) License. See for full terms and conditions.
How to cite this article:
Poblano A, Haro R, Arteaga C. Neurophysiologic Measurement of Continuity in the Sleep of Fetuses during the Last Week of Pregnancy and in Newborns. Int J Biol Sci 2008; 4(1):23-28. doi:10.7150/ijbs.4.23. Available from