Sleep complaints associated with wish to die after a suicide crisis-an exploratory study

J Sleep Res. 2017 Dec;26(6):726-731. doi: 10.1111/jsr.12537. Epub 2017 Apr 24.


The present study explores whether sleep concerns are associated with wish to die throughout a 1-month time interval following a suicide crisis. Sixty-eight patients admitted to the emergency department of a general or psychiatric hospital were enrolled. Sleep difficulties were assessed using the Insomnia Severity Index (ISI), the Epworth Sleepiness Scale, self-reported satisfaction with sleep and time in bed. Suicidal ideation was assessed through the presence of a wish to die at 1 month following a suicide crisis. Co-existing psychiatric diagnoses were assessed using the French version of the Mini International Neuropsychiatric Interview (MINI). Potential covariate factors such as personal and family history of suicidal behaviours and sociodemographic variables were accounted for. We found that wish to die was associated significantly with insomnia severity, low satisfaction with sleep and sleep duration 1 month after the suicide crisis, even after controlling for covariates. This exploratory study is limited by a small sample size, and results cannot be generalized to patients with psychotic disorders or alcohol use disorders. Also, other factors related potentially to suicidal ideation, such as depression severity, stressful events or levels of family support, were not accounted for. However, overall our study supports the assessment of sleep complaints as a potential indicator of suicide risk in the weeks that follow a suicide crisis.

Keywords: assessment; dyssomnias; mental disorders; self-injurious behavior; sleep initiation and maintenance disorders.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Sample Size
  • Self Report
  • Sleep Initiation and Maintenance Disorders / diagnosis
  • Sleep Initiation and Maintenance Disorders / psychology*
  • Suicidal Ideation*
  • Suicide / psychology*
  • Young Adult