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Everyone has experienced insomnia at least one point in their lives, however, for unknown reasons some of us deal with it more than others. With that being said, a recent study found that childhood trauma could play a bigger role than we realize.

Missing a few hours of sleep here and it is bad enough, but when we miss endless nights of sleep, it can bring you down. In the long run, you may suffer from mental health conditions, and the longer you go without sleep, the harder it is to break the cycle. Oftentimes, anxiety and depression play a major role in the continued nature of insomnia.

In the study, researchers collected data on the sleeping habits and childhood experiences of 1,007 adults between the ages of 22-60. To assess the study participants, they were given the Insomnia Severity Index, which can measure the nature, severity, and impact of insomnia. To better understand the participants, they were placed in different categories: healthy, mild insomnia, and moderate-severe insomnia.

The participants also asked them about their psychosocial stressors, which could include past trauma, genetics, parental divorce and the death of a parent.

Those that had encountered abusive situations, or dealt with trauma in their childhood such as loss, or their parent’s divorce were more likely to have moderate to severe insomnia. The most prominent cause, though, was parental death.

Without sleep, our bodies are unable to heal themselves, and we end up with a variety of stressors that are added to our day to day life. It can affect our heart, our kidneys, our blood pressure, and even cause obesity. “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,” Michael Grandner, Ph.D., MTR, of the University of Arizona, said in a press release.

While we may brush insomnia off as a lesser health condition, it can be quite damaging. And oddly enough, no matter how early our traumas took place, they are often the cause behind a lack of sleep or a continued issue with insomnia. And while it is often hard to overcome, with the right support systems and doctors to guide our way, anything is possible.