Childhood health conditions and insomnia among adults in mid-life

Connor Sheehan, Phillip Cantu, Danielle Powell, Sydney Tran

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Little is known regarding the influence of childhood health broadly and childhood health conditions specifically on insomnia throughout adulthood. Methods: Health and Retirement Study (HRS) Baby Boomers born 1954–1965 were investigated. We fitted regression models predicting self-reported insomnia based on twenty-three retrospectively reported specific childhood health conditions (e.g., measles) and general childhood health measures and adjusted for demographics, childhood socioeconomic status, and adult socioeconomic status. Results: Nearly all the measures of childhood health significantly increased insomnia symptoms in adulthood. In a model where all measures were included, we found that respiratory disorders, headaches, stomach problems, and concussions were particularly strong predictors of insomnia. Conclusions: Our findings extend past work illustrating the “long arm” of childhood conditions for health, showing that specific health conditions in childhood may indelibly imprint insomnia risk.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number100124
JournalAging and Health Research
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 2023


  • Aging
  • Child health
  • Health and retirement study
  • Insomnia
  • Sleep
  • The life course

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geriatrics and Gerontology
  • Health Policy
  • Medicine (miscellaneous)


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