The book, SIDS, is directly related to the position in which babies are put to
sleep. Another influence is race, age of parents, and whether the parents are smokers.
Only in a little paragraph on the books extended explanation of SIDS, serotonin is
The article explains how a group of researches in Italy experimented with mice in
regulating and measuring their serotonin production, which is a hormone that regulates
heart rate, temperature and mood. The article suggests that in the study mice with a large
number of serotonin receptors and regulators were bred. The team found out that a large
number of mice would die of early age due to slow heart rate and changes in body
Serotonin is usually blocked on REM sleep, but the receptors are still on and
affecting the body. This could be an explanation on how, as suggested in the book, babies
that have a caregiver watching frequently for them as they sleep never reach deep or
REM sleep. In theory what the article says is that by regulating the serotonin receptors
SIDS could be avoided.
But we also have to sit and think about how the serotonin receptors are damaged
in the first place. Perhaps, race, age, and smoking habits influence the babies’ hormones
and receptors while in the womb. Or maybe there is another underlying cause that
researches have not found yet.
The book says that SIDS has been reduced dramatically
over the past thirty years, but yet it still continues to occur.
It is amazing how China has the lowest SIDS rate in comparison to any other
country. It is suggested that such a low rate is related to the caregiver attendance of the
baby while she/he sleeps, the way that they are fed (breast milk) and the way they are put
down to sleep, on their backs.
It is also interesting how the article never mentions anything about they way
babies are put to sleep, on their stomachs or backs. The mayor cause of SIDS cases, as
seen in the book, is related to the babies position while sleeping, stomach vs. back. The
book quotes the findings of some researches in Australia that found a significant decline
on loses due to SIDS when babies were put to sleep on their backs.
SIDS has many factors, from age to race and weight to sleeping position.
Regardless of the large number of possible causes it can’t be 100%
maybe, raises the question about if there are more causes or not. Perhaps the Italian
researches have come to the answer, or maybe they just got a portion of it. Anyhow until
a way of controlling serotonin production and uptake by body we can never be certain
It is interesting how in the book serotonin production is barely mentioned. This
shows how our constantly updating world is revealing mysteries. Maybe in the future we
will have a vaccine to prevent infants from suffering from SIDS or maybe we will know
the real cause of it.