Culture Sleep and Its Vicissitudes in the Perinatal Period and During Early Childhood

  • Muhammad FarhanEmail author
  • Andrés Jiménez-Gómez


Sleep is a physiologic phenomenon present but not necessarily preserved across species. It is believed that this a process by which the body attains much needed energy restoration. However, for the brain, the act of sleeping (through rapid and non-rapid eye movement stages) is a very active event in which situations encountered during wakefulness are believed to be thoroughly processed. It is believed that this relates strongly to memory consolidation. Sleep nonetheless varies substantially not only across age groups, but also across social and cultural circumstances. Specific practices heavily influence the format and duration of sleep, supported by established and embedded surrounding beliefs about the properties, value, and meaning of sleep and dreams. This chapter examines the process of sleep in the pregnant woman, the newborn, and throughout early childhood as a social phenomenon, exploring cultural beliefs that surround the very complex physiologic nature of this process (sleep paralysis, dreams, among others).


Infant sleep Sleep paralysis Dreams in pregnancy Naps REM sleep Self-soothing Cry-out method Co-sleeping Nightmares Sudden infant death 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Joe DiMaggio Children’s HospitalHollywoodUSA
  2. 2.Department of Psychiatry, Truman Medical CentersUniversity of Missouri Kansas CityKansas CityUSA
  3. 3.Department of Pediatric NeurologyJoe DiMaggio Children’s HospitalHollywoodUSA

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