Childhood adversities, known to play an important role in mental and physical health, are also associated with poor sleep, according to a study.
Child abuse, parental divorce, and parental death were shown to be associated with higher rates of adult insomnia. Mild insomnia was uniquely predicted by childhood abuse and divorce, and moderate-severe insomnia was uniquely predicated by childhood abuse and parental death.
“Good quality sleep is an important part of health. People who don’t sleep well are more likely to have worse physical and mental health. In particular, insomnia can lead to decreased quality of life, increased rates of depression, and even increased risk of heart disease,” says senior author, Michael Grandner, PhD MTR, assistant professor of psychiatry, psychology and medicine, and director of the Sleep and Health Research Program at the University of Arizona, in a release. Karla Granados, the undergraduate student who is the lead author, notes, “The fact that events that happen during childhood can have an impact on sleep many years later can help use better understand how sleep is related to health and better target our efforts addressing sleep problems in the real world.”
The research abstract was published recently in an online supplement of the journal Sleep and presented Wednesday at the SLEEP 2016 conference.
Data for this study was assessed as part of the Sleep and Healthy Activity Diet Environment and Socialization (SHADES) study. The Insomnia Severity Index was used to asses 1,007 adults between the ages of 22 and 60 years. The participants self-reported psychosocial stressors including child abuse, parental divorce, death of a parent, or having a parent suffering from depression or anxiety disorder.