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. 2014 Feb;39(2):399-405.
doi: 10.1016/j.addbeh.2013.09.022. Epub 2013 Oct 12.

Suicidal Ideation in Veterans Misusing Alcohol: Relationships With Insomnia Symptoms and Sleep Duration

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Suicidal Ideation in Veterans Misusing Alcohol: Relationships With Insomnia Symptoms and Sleep Duration

Subhajit Chakravorty et al. Addict Behav. .
Free PMC article

Abstract

Objective: The aim of this investigation was to assess the relationships between suicidal ideation and insomnia symptoms in Veterans misusing alcohol.

Method: Data were extracted in this retrospective chart review of Veterans referred from primary care for a behavioral health evaluation (N=161) based on evidence of heavy drinking, drug use or another behavioral problem. Suicidal ideation (SI) was assessed using the Paykel questionnaire. Insomnia symptoms were assessed with standard diary questions in an interview format and pertained to sleep latency (SL), wake after sleep onset time (WASO), sleep quality (SQ), and habitual sleep duration (HSD). The relations between suicidal ideation and insomnia symptoms were assessed using ordinal regression analyses adjusted for socio-demographic, psychiatric and addiction-related variables.

Results: Suicidal ideation was reported in 62 (39%) of the Veterans interviewed. In a multivariable model, only inadequate SQ was associated with suicidal ideation. Short sleepers were more likely to endorse suicidal ideation and have attempted suicide in the past year. In addition, older age, inadequate financial status, and the presence of a psychiatric disorder were also significantly associated with suicidal ideation in most of the adjusted models.

Conclusion: Given their association with suicidal ideation, insomnia symptoms in Veterans misusing alcohol should prompt an assessment of underlying psychiatric and social factors.

Keywords: Alcohol; Insomnia; Sleep duration; Suicidal ideation; Veterans.

Conflict of interest statement

Conflict of interest

None of the authors have any actual or potential conflict of interest with this manuscript.

Figures

Fig. 1
Fig. 1
The total number of subjects who endorsed the five suicidal ideation symptoms over the last year (on the Paykel Scale) across the sleep duration categories. Item 1: Not worth living (past year), χ2=2.89, p=0.23; Item 2: Wished was dead (past year), χ2=2.06, p=0.35; Item 3: Taking own life (past year), χ2=2.12, p=0.34; Item 4: Thoughts/plans (past year), χ2= 7.70, p = 0.02; Item 5: Attempt (past year), χ2 = 1.67, p = 0.43. Sleep duration was assessed using the question, “How many hours of sleep did you usually get at night”, with the responses being recorded as hours a night. Short sleep duration (short sleep) was assessed as those reporting a habitual sleep duration of ≤6 hours a night; normal sleep duration (normal sleep) was assessed as those reporting sleeping 7–8 hours a night; long sleep duration (long sleep) was assessed as those reporting a nocturnal sleep duration of ≥9 hours.

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