22 May Adverse childhood experiences affect sleep duration for up to 50 years later.
In the never ending quest to discover more about sleep and sleep related issues, recent research has looked into one’s childhood for a potential answer. The goal of this study was to see whether adverse childhood experiences ended up affecting total sleep time with the hypothesis being that those who experienced more adverse childhood experiences would have a shorter total sleep time during adulthood.
A total of 22403 adults (mean age = 46 years) partook in this cross-sectional telephone administered survey that had questions focusing on experiences of abuse during their childhood, challenges faced within the household, neglect, and total sleep time at their current age. Of these 22403 adults included, 14587 (65%) had an optimum sleep duration consisting of 7-9 hours per night and 2069 (9%) with short sleep duration consisting of less than six hours per night.
Comparing answers with ages, it was found that the odds ratio for those who experienced a higher frequency of adverse childhood experiences had shorter sleep duration than those who experienced fewer adverse childhood experiences. This association held for each decade of age until the 60s though the magnitude of this association diminished as time went on.
This study shows the importance of child health and the everlasting effects of adverse experiences that can have an effect on their adult life, specifically with underlying psychological challenges.