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Childhood bullying and domestic violence experiences associated with workers’ insomnia

Exposure to physical, psychological, and sexual abuse as well as bullying and family dysfunction, collectively termed “adversarial childhood experiences” (ACEs), are known to have detrimental health consequences.

Photo by Matheus Vinicius from Unsplash.com

Insomnia is a prevalent issue that increases the risk of various health complications. And while socioeconomic factors, lifestyle factors, and work stress all contribute to insomnia, childhood experiences have received considerable attention in recent years. Particularly, exposure to physical, psychological, and sexual abuse as well as bullying and family dysfunction, collectively termed “adversarial childhood experiences” (ACEs), are known to have detrimental health consequences.

Unfortunately, there is a paucity of research on the effects of ACEs on insomnia among workers. And so a research team examined whether childhood bullying and domestic violence (DV) were associated with insomnia among workers in Tsukuba City, Ibaraki Prefecture in Japan.

The study – “Relationships Between Childhood Bullying/Domestic Violence Experience and Insomnia among Employees in Japan” by Kei Muroi, Mami Ishitsuka1, Daisuke Hori, Shotaro Doki, Tsukasa Takahashi, Tomohiko Ikeda, Tamaki Saito, Sasahara Shinichiro, and Ichiyo Matsuzaki – appeared in F1000Research.

This study used survey data from a cross-sectional study of the Tsukuba Science City Network in Tsukuba City, Japan. Workers aged 20 to 65 years (4509 men and 2666 women) were targeted. Binomial logistic regression analysis was performed with the Athens Insomnia Scale as the objective variable.

The results indicated that:

  • 2,997 (41.8%) participants were diagnosed with insomnia using the Athens insomnia scale
  • Experiences of bullying and domestic violence victimization were associated with insomnia, particularly among victims of DV, and the likelihood of insomnia increased with the frequency of victimization.
  • This trend persisted even after adjusting for the effects of demographic characteristics, occupational factors, and lifestyle.

This study suggests that childhood experiences of bullying and DV are linked to insomnia among workers. This implies that “it is essential for occupational health professionals, such as occupational physicians and public health nurses, to pay attention to insomnia when identifying workers with ACEs as a part of their occupational health activities,” the researchers stressed.

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