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Objective: To review the major confounding factors that influence the determination of arousal thresholds in infants. Review of confounding factors: The determination of arousal thresholds in infants measures their arousability from sleep. The evaluation is influenced by various conditions. The infant's arousability is decreased by maternal factors, such as exposure to cigarette smoke, alcohol, illegal drugs or medications during gestation or breastfeeding. The levels of arousal thresholds also depend on the age of the infant and on experimental conditions, such as previous sleep deprivation, type of arousal challenges, time of administration of the arousal challenge, sleep stage, body position, room temperature, use of a pacifier, bed sharing, or type of feeding. In addition, spontaneous arousals can occur and modify the infant's response to external arousal challenges. Conclusions: Factors known to modify infants' arousability from sleep should be controlled during studies designed to determine arousal thresholds. © 2000 Elsevier Science B.V.

Original publication




Journal article


Sleep Medicine

Publication Date





273 - 278