Childhood and adult trauma create sleepless nights for midlife women

CLEVELAND, Ohio (September 28, 2020)–Sleep disturbances are often reported by postmenopausal women. A new study reports just how prevalent those sleep problems are and that women who endured trauma as children or adults are more likely to suffer poor-quality sleep. Study results will be presented during the 2020 virtual Annual Meeting of The North American Menopause Society (NAMS), which opens on September 28.

This study coming out of the University of Pittsburgh used actigraphy, a noninvasive method of monitoring human rest/activity cycles, and measured sleep twice over 5 years. The study involved 166 women aged 40 to 60 years at baseline and primarily tested whether trauma exposure during childhood or adulthood resulted in persistently poor sleep quality in midlife. Although previous studies have demonstrated a similar link, they were largely based on self-reporting of sleep problems at one time point.

Of the participants in the study, 44% reported childhood trauma,

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