Adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) are associated with sleep problems in adulthood, but less research has focused on ACEs and sleep during adolescence. The goal of the present study was to explore associations between ACEs reported at ages 5 and 9 years, and sleep (ie, total sleep time (TST), social jetlag, and insomnia symptoms) at age 15.
Participants comprised 817 families from the Fragile Families and Child Wellbeing Study, a nationally representative sample of children born to unwed parents. Number of ACEs was constructed from primary-caregiver reports at ages 5 and 9, and sleep measures (ie, TST, social jetlag, and insomnia symptoms) were derived from adolescent-reported sleep behaviors at age 15.
Adjusting for sex and race/ethnicity, ACEs at age 9 were associated with longer weekend TST (B = 0.16, 95% CI = 0.04, 0.28), more social jetlag (B = 0.17, 95% CI = 0.07, 0.27), and higher odds of trouble falling asleep ≥3 times per week (Odds Ratio = 1.24, 95% CI = 1.01, 1.53). In females only, ACEs were associated with greater school night TST (B = 0.12, 95% CI = 0.01, 0.23). Results were similar after further adjustment for symptoms of anxiety and depression. Associations among ACEs, social jetlag, and insomnia symptoms appeared strongest among Non-Hispanic Black adolescents.
ACEs appear to be related to multiple aspects of sleep in adolescence. Additional research is needed to confirm these associations and examine the extent to which sleep disturbances associated with ACEs account for later health outcomes.

Copyright © 2021 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.