Suicidality in sleep disorders: prevalence, impact, and management strategies

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Nature and Science of Sleep




Sleep disturbances are associated with suicide-related thoughts and behaviors, and the incidence of sleep concerns and suicide has increased recently in the US. Most published research exploring the sleep–suicidality relation is focused on select sleep disorders, with few reviews offering a comprehensive overview of the sleep–suicidality literature. This narrative review broadly investigates the growing research literature on sleep disorders and suicidality, noting the prevalence of suicide ideation and nonfatal and fatal suicide attempts, the impact of several sleep disorders on suicide risk, and potential sleep-disorder management strategies for mitigating suicide risk. Aside from insomnia symptoms and nightmares, there exist opportunities to learn more about suicide risk across many sleep conditions, including whether sleep disorders are associated with suicide risk independently of other psychiatric conditions or symptoms. Generally, there is a lack of randomized controlled trials examining the modification of suicide risk via evidence-based sleep interventions for individuals with sleep disorders.