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date: 05 May 2021

Abstract and Keywords

Developmental research has typically focused on daytime behaviors. However, the burgeoning interest in the role of sleep in the development of cognitive, social, emotional, academic, and health outcomes (Beebe, 2006; Beebe & Gozal, 2002; Carskadon, Acebo, & Jenni, 2004; Ednick et al., 2009; 2009; El-Sheikh, 2011; Ohayon, Carskadon, Guilleminault, & Vitiello, 2004; Sadeh, Raviv, & Gruber, 2000) calls for a consideration of sleep as a developmental process that co-occurs, co-regulates, and is causally linked with other developmental processes. This chapter discusses what it means to consider sleep from a developmental perspective. We hope this chapter will be useful for both developmental researchers who want to consider sleep as a variable of interest and for sleep researchers who want to take a more developmental approach to understanding sleep as a behavior that undergoes dramatic change from infancy through adolescence. The chapter is organized around three questions. First, what does it mean to have a developmental perspective? Second, how does one approach the study of sleep from a developmental perspective? Finally, how do we incorporate the study of sleep into the study of other areas of development?

Keywords: developmental science, sleep, developmental systems

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