More sleep reduces suicide risk for insomniacs

The more sleep a person with insomnia receives, the lower the suicide risk. The findings from the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania show that in people with some suicide risk—as exemplified by self reports of suicidal thoughts—there was a 72% drop in the likelihood of moderate or high risk of suicide for every hour of sleep that people reported getting at night.

The research merged and assessed data from two studies of insomnia that included 471 subjects. Of them, 73 indicated suicide risk, with 55 classified as low suicide risk and 18 classified as moderate or high risk. Through statistical analysis, researchers determined that variations in suicide risk were successfully differentiated using sleep duration. As such, increased sleep duration was associated with lower likelihood of moderate or high suicide risk versus low risk.

The study was presented June 4 at Sleep 2013, the annual meeting of the Associated Professional Sleep Societies in Baltimore.

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