The Effect of Language Status on Sleep Spindle Characteristics
Alfano, Candice A.
Francis, David J.
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Studies have demonstrated that speaking and learning multiple languages enhances executive control, which is essential to switch between languages. This enhanced process is called “Bilingual Cognitive Advantage”. The present study addresses the practical developmental significance of this finding by focusing on the recently documented relation between executive control and sleep. The hypothesis is that bilingual experiences may influence sleep quality, thus shedding light into new practical implications of bilingual education. The present study included the characteristics of sleep spindles and behavioral patterns relevant to sleep quality with monolingual and bilingual subjects. Sleep Spindles are characterized as bursts of oscillatory brain activity during stage II sleep. Behavioral patterns include sleep routine and bed wetting frequencies reported by parental questioners. This work is important because outcomes of this line of research will foster a paradigm shift about how the cognitive impact of bilingualism may relate to sleep, which is of increasing importance in young children’s healthy development.