If you don’t know the BPS-Digest blog yet, do check it. They collect and comment interesting new research in the field of psychology.
This blog post discusses a new study on kids’ sleep, an excerpt:
Two particular types of violence stood out to researchers in terms of their association with sleep disturbance. Controlling for relevant confounders (such as age, gender and family income), individuals who were physically assaulted had a shortened sleep duration (by 35 minutes on average), exhibited almost three times as much wake time after sleep onset, and 6 per cent lower sleep efficiency than kids who did not experience physical assault. These effects were also seen three months later at follow-up.
On the other hand, children who witnessed a homicide had twice as much wake time after sleep onset, greater night-to-night variability in sleep duration, and more self-reported sleep problems than kids who had not witnessed a homicide. These findings, however, did not persist at follow-up.
It’s not clear why different violent experiences are associated with different objectively- and subjectively-measured sleep outcomes. The researchers suggest that, perhaps, persistence of the sleep disturbance in those who were physically assaulted, as opposed to those who witnessed a homicide, reflects how the former may be perceived as more damaging to one’s personal sense of safety, resulting in greater vigilance and nighttime arousal.