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February 1968

Sleep Variables as a Function of Age in Man

Author Affiliations

New York
From the Department of Psychiatry, State University of New York, Downstate Medical Center, Brooklyn (Dr. Feinberg), and the National Institute of Mental Health, Washington, DC (Dr. Carlson).

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1968;18(2):239-250. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1968.01740020111014

SOME behavioral changes with age may occur at a uniform rate throughout life, but most seem to be more pronounced during childhood or old age. On the hypothesis that changes in sleep pattern reflect changes in the physiological processes underlying brain function in general, we have sought to determine the relationships to age of the main sleep variables and to compare the forms of these relationships with those of other variables potentially related to brain function.

A previous paper1 described some effects of normal and pathological aging on the sleep pattern of human subjects. Here we have analyzed the trends in the sleep variables for the 38 normal individuals (age range from 5 to 96 years) of the previous study. We have analyzed data, representative of other potentially related variables, that are available in the literature for psychometric test scores,2 brain oxygen uptake (CMRO2),3-5 body metabolism (BMR),

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