SIDS or sudden infant death syndrome is a horrible and devastating event. About 3500 babies die each year in the United States from SIDS.
No one knows exactly what causes babies to stop breathing but there are several behaviors which have been shown to increase the risk of SIDS.
Babies of smokers are a greater risk. This is just one more of countless reasons to stop smoking. Overheating the room also raises the likelihood. Sleeping with your baby is not a good idea as this increases the risk that your baby will die from SIDS. Babies should never sleep face down-remember the phrase “Back to sleep”. And try to sleep in the same room as your baby, as this seems to decrease the risk.
Recently, an 11 year study of babies who died from SIDS found that levels of Orexin were lower in their brains. Orexin is a protein and may be responsible for waking babies up when oxygen levels fall. If this is proven to be true, then perhaps giving Orexin to at risk babies (those with lower levels of Orexin) will prevent SIDS.
Right know this is the only study which has identified Orexin as a possible issue in SIDS. Just because lower levels of this protein were noted, does not necessarily mean that lower levels caused SIDS. In other words there is to date no proof that Orexin has anything to do with SIDS.
Yet Orexin might be helpful. No one knows yet-stay tuned.