Objective: Perform a non-systematic review of the literature to describe the relationship between insomnia and suicide and the findings of these studies.
Methods: A search was conducted in PubMed, Medline, SciELO, LILACS, and Cochrane Library OVID data combining MeSH terms: "Suicide and sleep initiation and maintenance disorders".
Results: Insomnia has been related to suicidal ideation, suicide attempts and suicide deaths in cross sectional studies since more than a decade. Suicide is one of the main causes of death.
Discussion: There are multiple risk factors for committing suicide; some are unmodifiable, such as age, male gender and Caucasian ethnicity; and others are potentially modifiable, such as symptoms of depression, substance abuse and sleep disturbances. Among these disturbances, insomnia has been proven to hold a stronger relation to suicide attempts and deaths, although nightmares have also been associated. Actually, insomnia is considered a stronger predictor of lethal suicide attempts than the presence of a suicide plan.
Conclusions: Here lays the importance of why physicians must learn to detect and evaluate insomnia as a sign of alarm and a risk factor for suicide, no matter what illness the patient suffers from.