Effect of standard rest periods on convalescent preterm infants.

Journal Article (Clinical Trial;Journal Article)


To examine the effects of standardized rest periods on the sleep-wake states of preterm infants who were convalescing.


A randomized experimental study conducted from time of infants' entry into intermediate care until their discharge from the hospital. Because subjects' time in this study varied, data were analyzed cross-sectionally using the observation made between 5-11 days of the study and longitudinally over 3 weeks using a subset of subjects.


The intermediate care nursery of a tertiary care hospital.


Forty-six preterm infants (23 matched pairs). A subset of 12 pairs, in which infants in the experimental and the control groups were in the study for 3 weeks, was analyzed longitudinally.


Four standardized rest periods each day.

Main outcome measures

Infants were observed once a week between noon and 8 p.m. Three sleep-wake states--quiet awake, active, and sleep--were measured as percentages of the naps and total observation.


Within 5 days, infants in the experimental group exhibited more sleep (F[1,44] = 2.37, p < 0.05) and less active states (F[1,44] = 3.06, p < 0.01) during nap time. Infants receiving the intervention for 3 weeks had more sleep (F[1,22] = 4.63, p < 0.05) and less quiet waking states (F[1,22] = 13.85, p < 0.01) during naps. State patterns over the entire observation did not differ between the groups at 5 days, but by 3 weeks, infants in the experimental group had less quiet waking (F[1,22] = 17.44, p < 0.001) and longer uninterrupted sleep bouts (F[1,22] = 5.19, p < 0.05).


A simple modification of nursing care had an impact on the sleeping and waking states of preterm infants.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Holditch-Davis, D; Barham, LN; O'Hale, A; Tucker, B

Published Date

  • June 1995

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 24 / 5

Start / End Page

  • 424 - 432

PubMed ID

  • 7658254

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1552-6909

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0884-2175

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1111/j.1552-6909.1995.tb02499.x


  • eng