mise à jour du 19 janvier 2003
Chronobiol Int
1987; 4; 4; 525-35
Variation of behavioral and physiological variables in children attending kindergarten and primary school
Koch P, Montagner H


Twenty-one children aged 5-6 years (mean age: 71.2 months; S.D. = 2.7) were videotaped in 4 different kindergartens throughout the school day for a period of one week.
Eighteen of these children were then followed up after the summer holidays and videotaped for one week while attending the first year of primary school. The behaviors measured for each child were yawning and general motor activity.
It was found that:
(1) The frequency of yawning appears to be 5 times higher in the first year of primary school than in the last year of kindergarten;
(2) Throughout the school-day the percentage of yawning children is higher in the first year of primary school, with the exception of the 1400-1430 period;
(3) In the first year of primary school, the percentage of yawning children and the frequency of yawning peak between 900 and 930 and 1430 and 1500;
(4) In this school institution the percentage of children who get up from their chair and spontaneously move above increases from the beginning to the end of each school-day. Three cardio-vascular variables were investigated in 17 children of the sample population: heart rate, systolic and diastolic blood pressure.
We found that:
(1) The lowest values for heart rate in the first year of primary school are in agreement with the classical data of child development, as the children are 5-6 months older than in the last year of kindergarten. However, this is not the case at 1400 when the heart rate peaks at a higher level in the first year of primary school;
(2) If the evolution in time of the blood pressure agrees in both institutions with the classical data of human chronobiology, i.e. the maximum values at 1400, the differences in mean level at all times during the school day between both institutions do not agree with what is commonly accepted, i.e. an increase in blood pressure with age;
(3) The amplitude of the variations of the heart rate and blood pressure from one 30-min period to another throughout the school day is significantly higher in primary school. The comparson of the data obtained in both school institutions suggests that the observed differences are related to sharp modifications in school rhythms and constraints when the children go from the last year of kindergarten to the first year of primary school.
Bâillements et troubles de l'attention: un cas clinique
Brumback RA. Weinberg's syndrome: a disorder of attention and behavior problems needing further research. Child Neurol. 2000;15(7)478-480.
Koch P. Variation of behavioral and physiological variables in children attending kindergarten and primary school. Chronobiol Int. 1987;4(4):525-535.
Weinberg WA, Brumback RA Primary disorder of vigilance: a novel explanation of inattentiveness, daydreaming, boredom, restlessness, and sleepiness. J Pediatr. 1990;116(5):720-725. Comment in: J Pediatr. 1991;118(3):489-490.
Graybiel, A. and J. Knepton
Sopite syndrome: a sometimes sole manifestation of motion sickness
Aviat Space Environ Med 1976 47(8): 873-82.

Drowsiness is one of the cardinal symptoms of motion sickness; therefore, a symptom-complex centering around "drowsiness" has been identified which, for convenience, has been termed the sopite syndrome. Generally, the symptoms characterizing this syndrome are interwoven with other symptoms but under two circumstances the sopite syndrome comprises the main or sole overt manifestation of motion sickness. One circumstance is that in which the intensity of the eliciting stimuli is closely matched to a person's susceptibility, and the sopite syndrome is evoked either before other symptoms of motion sickness appear or in their absence. The second circumstance occurs during prolonged exposure in a motion environment when adaptation results in the disappearance of motion sickness symptoms, except for responses characterizing the sopite syndrome. Typical symptoms of the syndrome are: 1) yawning, 2) drowsiness, 3) disinclination for work, either physical or mental, and 4) lack of participation in group activities. Phenomena derived from an analysis of the symptomatology of the sopite syndrome are qualitatively similar but may differ quantitatively from abstractions derived in other motion sickness responses. One example is the sometimes unique time course of the sopite syndrome. This implies that the immediate eliciting mechanisms not only differ from those involved in evoking other symptoms, but, also, that they must represent first order responses. Diagnosis is difficult unless the syndrome under discussion is kept in mind. Prevention poses a greater problem than treatment.