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June 1970

Sleep Patterns in Normal and Psychotic Children

Author Affiliations

From the Division of Psychobiology and Division of Psychiatry, Lafayette Clinic, Detroit. Dr. Beckett is presently at the Department of Psychiatry, Trinity College, Dublin, Ireland.

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1970;22(6):500-503. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1970.01740300020003

RECENT evidence suggests a relationship in humans between reduction of stage-4 sleep (viz, high voltage, slow waves) and varying degrees of thought disturbance. Notable are the reports of marked decrease in stage-4 patterning in chronic schizophrenic patients1-6 and patients with depression and manic-depressive illness, depressed phase.7-10 Moreover, Feinberg and Carlson11 observed stage-4 sleep to be a hyperbolic function of age, with verbal performance IQ a parabolic function showing maximum decline at periods of minimum stage-4 sleep. Hallucinations accompanying the symptoms of acute alcohol withdrawal were found to be inversely related to amount of stage-4 sleep.12

The present investigation studied the allnight sleep electroencephalograms and power-density configurations for a group of psychotic and normal prepuberal children. Particular attention was focused on whether stage-4 sleep was affected in the psychotic population who were clearly manifesting thought disorders.

Methods  Subjects.—This study included 12 boys and seven

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