Is there a link between a difficult childhood and poor sleep quality?


A new study at NUI Galway is looking to see if there is any link between difficult events in your childhood and poor sleep quality as an adult.

Adults over 18 are being invited to join the study, the results of which it’s hoped will help researchers understand how people manage childhood stress and poor sleep as adults.

While it has been shown that there is a link between difficult events in childhood and adult sleep patterns, less is known about the factors involved in this or why some may not be affected.

Part of the study will look at how “mindful people are of the present” and how this affects their mindset.

The study is being led by Dr Jonathan Egan and Professor Brian McGuire at the School of Psychology with lead investigator Andrea Grehan.

Andrea Grehan said, “Sleep difficulties are common in the general population, as are distressing childhood experiences.”

“We want to examine the relationship between childhood events and sleep in adulthood by looking at whether being mindful or accepting,” she said.

“And whether a personal coping style, change the impact of such childhood experiences on sleep quality in adulthood.”

Dr Jonathan Egan said, “We are very excited about exploring all aspects of how past events and current wellbeing collide in the architecture of a person’s sleep.

“Previously we have linked how sleep paralysis is affected by a person’s personality and life events, we are now looking at the whole sleep cycle and what a large group of hundreds if not thousands of peoples’ life experiences can tell us.”

Those who are over 18 and wish to participate in the survey can do so at