Both Reuters and BBC News report that a new study links insomnia symptoms with an increased risk of suicide.
The one-year study involved 5,692 adults in the U.S. They had no history of mental health problems.
Results show that suicidal thoughts or attempts were more likely in people with symptoms of insomnia. The study controlled for other factors such as depression and substance abuse.
The study measured these three symptoms of insomnia: trouble falling asleep or staying asleep, and waking at least two hours earlier than desired. About 35 percent of people reported having at least one of these sleep problems in the last 12 months.
Results link “waking early” to an increased suicide risk. People who reported this problem were more likely to have had suicidal thoughts. They also were three times more likely to have attempted suicide.
People with more than one insomnia symptom also had a higher suicide risk. They were 2.6 times more likely to try to kill themselves.
A study in the journal Sleep in 2007 reported that sleep problems and nightmares are common in people who have attempted suicide. A 2008 study in the journal Sleep linked suicide risk with a short sleep duration of five hours or less.
A 2005 study in the journal Sleep linked insomnia and nightmares with suicide risk. But after controlling for depression, insomnia was no longer a significant factor.
The CDC reports that suicide is the eleventh-leading cause of death in the U.S. It resulted in 32,637 deaths in 2005. In contrast, there were 18,124 deaths caused by homicide.