The Link Between Suicide and Insomnia: Theoretical Mechanisms
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Insomnia has been established as a risk factor for depression and mental illness for decades, but a growing body of evidence has recently exposed insomnia to be an independent risk factor for suicide that encompasses all age ranges. This discovery has invigorated investigation to elucidate the relationship between insomnia and suicide, and over 20 studies reinforcing this association in adults have been published since 2010 alone. This article analyzes relevant research and emphasizes studies published within the last three years with the intent of proposing theoretical mechanisms explaining the link between suicide and insomnia. These mechanisms may then be used as targets for future investigation of treatment.
KeywordsSleep Depression Suicide Risk factors Insomnia Hopelessness Nightmares Mechanisms Dysfunctional belief about sleep Decision making Serotonin Hyperarousal Circadian rhythm of suicide Psychiatry
This research was supported by National Institutes of Health grant MH095776-01A1.
Compliance with Ethics Guidelines
Conflict of Interest
W. Vaughn McCall has received compensation from Luitpold Pharmaceuticals for serving as a consultant, has received royalties from Lippincott Williams & Wilkins for serving as editor for The Journal of ECT, and has received compensation from CME for development of educational presentations.
Carmen G. Black declares that she has no conflict of interest.
Human and Animal Rights and Informed Consent
This article does not contain any studies with human or animal subjects performed by any of the authors.
Papers of particular interest, published recently, have been highlighted as: • Of importance •• Of major importance
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