Cognitive-behavioral therapy for insomnia can reduce suicidal ideation

June 14, 2011, American Academy of Sleep Medicine

Treating sleep problems with cognitive-behavioral therapy for insomnia can reduce suicidal ideation, suggests a research abstract that will be presented Tuesday, June 14, in Minneapolis, Minn., at SLEEP 2011, the 25th Anniversary Meeting of the Associated Professional Sleep Societies LLC (APSS).

Results show that about 21 percent of participants with insomnia (65 of 303) reported having suicidal thoughts or wishes during the past two weeks. Group for insomnia produced a statistically significant post-treatment reduction in suicidal ideation. Treatment sessions were conducted weekly until the final two sessions, which were conducted bi-weekly.

According to the authors, a growing body of evidence suggests that self-reported insomnia and poor sleep quality constitute modifiable risk factors for suicide. Sleep complaints also are listed among the top suicide warning signs by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Service Administration. However, no previous studies had evaluated the impact of a sleep intervention on suicidal ideation.

"This is the first investigation to show that a sleep-targeted intervention has a therapeutic impact on specifically," said lead author Rebecca Bernert, PhD, a fellow in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Stanford University in California. "This suggests that a treatment focus on may have important implications for the prevention of suicidal behaviors."

The study involved 303 community outpatients between 18 and 88 years of age who completed group cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia. The Beck Depression Inventory, which includes a question about suicidal thoughts or wishes, was administered at both baseline and post-treatment.

According to the , the most recent data available indicate that the national suicide rate increased from 2008 to 2009, when suicide became the 10th-leading cause of death in the U.S. There were 36,547 deaths attributed to suicide in 2009, which was more than twice as many deaths as those that were attributed to homicide.

Last year at SLEEP 2010, Bernert reported that highly variable sleep schedules predicted increases in suicidal risk at one week and three weeks. irregularity also predicted greater mood lability, which in turn predicted elevated suicidal symptoms.

Related Stories

Recommended for you

People with prosthetic arms less affected by common illusion

January 22, 2018
People with prosthetic arms or hands do not experience the "size-weight illusion" as strongly as other people, new research shows.

Study of learning and memory problems in OCD helps young people unlock potential at school

January 22, 2018
Adolescents with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) have widespread learning and memory problems, according to research published today. The findings have already been used to assist adolescents with OCD obtain the help ...

Intensive behavior therapy no better than conventional support in treating teenagers with antisocial behavior

January 19, 2018
Research led by UCL has found that intensive and costly multisystemic therapy is no better than conventional therapy in treating teenagers with moderate to severe antisocial behaviour.

Babies' babbling betters brains, language

January 18, 2018
Babies are adept at getting what they need - including an education. New research shows that babies organize mothers' verbal responses, which promotes more effective language instruction, and infant babbling is the key.

College branding makes beer more salient to underage students

January 18, 2018
In recent years, major beer companies have tried to capitalize on the salience of students' university affiliations, unveiling marketing campaigns and products—such as "fan cans," store displays, and billboard ads—that ...

Inherited IQ can increase in early childhood

January 18, 2018
When it comes to intelligence, environment and education matter – more than we think.

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.