Extra Sleep Drastically Reduces Suicidal Thoughts In Insomniacs
May 16, 2013

Extra Sleep Drastically Reduces Suicidal Thoughts In Insomniacs

redOrbit Staff & Wire Reports - Your Universe Online

Insomniacs who find themselves having suicidal thoughts could benefit from a few more hours of sleep, according to a new study which has reportedly discovered a 72 percent decrease in the likelihood of moderate-to-high suicide risk for every hour of increased sleep duration.

“We were surprised by the strength of the association between sleep duration and suicide risk,” primary author Linden Oliver, clinical research coordinator for the University of Pennsylvania Behavioral Sleep Medicine Research Program, said in a statement.

“A 72 percent decrease in the likelihood of moderate or high suicide risk with a one-hour increase in sleep is interesting given the small sample size,” Oliver added. “These results further highlight the importance of obtaining adequate amounts of sleep.”

The study´s findings, which were for moderate-to-high suicide risk (in comparison with low risk), were adjusted for age, gender, race and ethnicity, education, and age of onset of sleep-related issues.

The researchers recently published their research abstract in an online supplement of the journal SLEEP, and Oliver will present the results on June 4 at the 27th annual meeting of the Associated Professional Sleep Societies LLC (SLEEP 2013) in Baltimore.

Two different insomnia studies involving a total of 471 subjects were combined for the current research. Seventy-three of the study participants showed signs of suicide risk using the Mini International Neuropsychiatric Interview. Of those, 55 were classified as low-suicide risk and 18 were classified as moderate or high risk.

Subjects found to have no suicide risk were excluded. The investigators report that sleep loss is associated with depression, executive dysfunction and poor decision making — but there has been little research to date on the role that reduced sleep duration plays in suicidal ideation.

According to the American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM), approximately 10 to 15 percent of all adults have an insomnia disorder with distress or daytime impairment. Furthermore, the US Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) noted that suicide is responsible for over 38,000 fatalities annually, making it the tenth leading cause of death amongst all Americans.