We have new insight into the coordination that takes place between a baby’s brain and body as they sleep.
A new study from the University of Iowa shows that around three-months-old infants start experiencing muscle twitches during a sleep phase that typically lacks any muscle movement. This sleep stage is called “quiet phase”, or non-REM sleep.
This is in contrast to what is typically seen in adults and other mammals.
Scientists looked at brain wave patterns in sleeping babies while also recording video data of muscle movements and twitches.
Their brain waves showed electrical patterns called “sleep spindles” that are associated with learning and memory, and they were happening in sync with the muscle twitches.
It’s possible that babies are learning about their body and integrating this information into their brain as they snooze.