Poor Sleep May Worsen Suicidal Thoughts

A new study indicates that young adults who have difficulty sleeping may have an increased risk of suicide. Monitoring sleep patterns may aid in developing an effective intervention plan.

Rebecca Bernert, an assistant professor of psychiatry at Stanford University Medical School, believes that suicide is the result of a deadly culmination of underlying social, psychological, and biological risk factors combined with mental illness.

Abnormal sleep patterns and suicidal thoughts are both symptoms of depression. Bernert believes that isolating other stand alone factors, such as alcohol and drug use, may lead to effective suicide prevention treatment.

The study indicated a direct correlation between abnormal sleep patterns and increased suicidal thoughts and behavior. An inconsistent sleep schedule was revealed to be a particularly significant warning sign and helped to predict worsening symptoms of suicidal risk.

The study concluded that abnormal and irregular sleep patterns we’re good target symptoms in helping to develop effective suicide treatments. Insomnia and other sleep disturbances were a consistent factor aside from other symptoms unique to individual subjects in the study.

Researchers are currently working to focus on treatment of sleep disorders in the hopes that it may be a significant step in treating depression and preventing suicide.

Key Points:

  • 1Sleep disturbances might be key treatment target in suicide prevention because they are easily recognizable, are not difficult to treat, and don’t have any stigma attached to them.
  • 2Sleep is a measure of our general well-being and poor sleep can impair the ability to control our frame of mind increasing the likelihood of suicidal behaviors.
  • 3It is vital to unscramble the relationship between sleep disturbances and suicidal thoughts so that the remaining symptoms of depression can be analyzed to predict risk.

Sleep problems were found to be a warning sign of worsening suicidal thoughts in the following days and weeks, the study showed.

See the original at: https://medlineplus.gov/news/fullstory_166928.html


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