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Insomnia Linked with Suicidal Thoughts in Teens

J Psychiatr Res; ePub 2016 Jun 7; Wong, et al

2 of 3 insomnia symptoms examined had a significant association with suicide thoughts and plan among adolescents, even after controlling for psychiatric disorders that were known to affect suicidality, according to a recent study. Having trouble falling asleep or staying asleep had both direct and indirect relationships (via substance use, mood, and anxiety disorders) on suicidal behavior. Researchers evaluated 10,123 adolescents between the ages of 13 and 18 from the national Comorbidity Survey – Adolescent Supplement (NCS-A). They found:

• In bivariate analysis, all insomnia symptoms (ie, difficulty falling asleep, difficulty staying asleep, and early morning awakening) were associated with suicide ideation, plan, and attempts.

• In multivariate analyses, controlling for substances use, mood, and anxiety disorders, as well as important covariates, difficulties falling and staying asleep had a significant relationship with 12-month and lifetime suicide variables, while early morning awakening did not.


Wong MM, Brower KJ, Craun EA. Insomnia symptoms and suicidality in the National Comorbidity Survey – Adolescent Supplement. [Published online ahead of print June 7, 2016]. J Psychiatr Res. doi:10.1016/j.jpsychires.2016.06.004.