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GRADUATED EXTINCTION and bedtime fading significantly reduced nocturnal wakefulness in infants and maternal stress, according to Michael Gradisar, Ph.D., of Flinders University, Adelaide, South Australia, and his associates.
For the study, a group of 43 infants aged 6-16 months received either graduated extinction, bedtime fading, or sleep education.
"Our data suggest introducing bedtime fading will provide quick results for improving sleep-onset latency.
These non-pharmacologic treatments are sleep hygiene, extinction, and bedtime fading, and they can be safely and effectively implemented.
The parents of 14 of the infants used a "gentler" technique called "bedtime fading" for 12 months.
Effects of bedtime fading and antipsychotic medication (pipamperon) in a 6-year-old boy, and melatonin in an 8-year-old girl were assessed on sleep latency.
Keywords: Sleep problems, epilepsy, developmental disabilities, bedtime fading, melatonin, anti-psychotic medication.
Treatment of sleep problems includes various behavioral methods, such as stimulus control and sleep hygiene, extinction, sleep restriction, bedtime fading and chronotherapy.
Treatment consisted of bedtime fading combined with antipsychotic medication for one child (Ken) and melatonin for the other child (Ellis).
Ken's highly disruptive bedtime behavior and mother being a single parent considered, bedtime fading was more suitable for treatment than an extinction procedure.
Mean sleep latency during baseline, bedtime fading plus 4 mg pipamperon, bedtime fading plus 8 mg pipamperon, last treatment phase (time put to bed 8 p.m.; from night 92 onwards) plus 8 mg pipamperon, and follow-up with Ken was 134 (SD = 117.2), 56 (SD = 36.7), 33 (SD = 22.0), 14 (SD = 5.4), and 9 (SD = 3.5), respectively.