Sixty-four infants with a history of apnea were studied to determine the effects of sleeping position and sleep state (rapid eye movement [REM]) v (non-rapid eye movement [NREM]) on the occurrence of central and obstructive apneas. All-night polysomnographic studies were conducted on each infant, and the spontaneous occurrence of central and obstructive apneic events was determined in the prone, supine, and side positions. Sleeping position did not significantly affect the rate or duration of central or obstructive apneas. Furthermore, neither central nor obstructive apneic episodes were significantly altered by sleep state. These data suggest that, in spite of an ostensible predisposition to upper airway obstruction in the supine position and during rapid eye movement sleep, neither sleeping position nor sleep state appears to affect the rate of duration of apneic events.