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VOLUME 34, ISSUE 08

SLEEP-WAKE CONSOLIDATION AND LANGUAGE DEVELOPMENT
Associations Between Sleep-Wake Consolidation and Language Development in Early Childhood: A Longitudinal Twin Study

http://dx.doi.org/10.5665/sleep.1148

Ginette Dionne, PhD1,2; Evelyne Touchette, PhD1,3; Nadine Forget-Dubois, PhD1,2; Dominique Petit, PhD4; Richard E. Tremblay, PhD1,5,6,7,8; Jacques Y. Montplaisir, MD, PhD4,6; Michel Boivin, PhD1,2

1Research Unit on Children's Psychosocial Maladjustment, Montreal, Canada; 2School of psychology, Laval University, Québec, Canada; 3Paris Sud Innovation Group of Adolescent Mental Health, INSERM U669, Paris, France; 4Sleep Disorders Centre, Sacré-Coeur Hospital, Montreal, Canada; 5Department of Psychology, University of Montreal, Montreal, Quebec, Canada; 6Department of Psychiatry, University of Montreal, Montreal, Quebec, Canada; 7International Laboratory for Child and Adolescent Mental Health Development, INSERM U669, Paris, France; 8School of Public Health and Population Science, University College Dublin, Dublin, Ireland



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Study Objectives:

The objectives were (1) to assess associations between sleep consolidation at 6, 18 and 30 months and language skills at 18, 30, and 60 months; and (2) to investigate the genetic/environmental etiology of these associations.

Design:

Longitudinal study of a population-based twin cohort.

Participants:

1029 twins from the Quebec Newborn Twin Study.

Measurements and Results:

Sleep consolidation was derived from parental reports of day/night consecutive sleeping durations. Language skills were assessed with the MacArthur Communicative Development Inventory at 18 and 30 months and the Peabody Picture Vocabulary Test at 60 months. The day/night sleep ratio decreased significantly from 6 to 30 months. The 6- and 18-month ratios were negatively correlated with subsequent language skills. Children with language delays at 60 months had less mature sleep consolidation at both 6 and 18 months than children without delays and those with transient early delays. Genetic and regression analyses revealed that the sleep ratio at 6 months was highly heritable (64%) and predicted 18-month (B = −0.06) and 30-month language (B = −0.11) mainly through additive genetic influences (RGs = 0.32 and 0.33, respectively). By contrast, the sleep ratio at 18 months was mainly due to shared environment influences (58%) and predicted 60-month language (B = −0.08) through shared environment influences (RCs = 0.24).

Conclusions:

Poor sleep consolidation during the first 2 years of life may be a risk factor for language learning, whereas good sleep consolidation may foster language learning through successive genetic and environmental influences.

Citation:

Dionne G; Touchette E; Forget-Dubois N; Petit D; Tremblay RE; Montplaisir JY; Boivin M. Associations between sleep-wake consolidation and language development in early childhood: a longitudinal twin study. SLEEP 2011;34(8):987-995.

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