Nightmares predict elevated suicidal symptoms

Jun 09, 2009

Self-reported nightmares among patients seeking emergency psychiatric evaluation uniquely predicted elevated suicidal symptoms. Results indicate that severe nightmares were independently associated with elevated suicidal symptoms after accounting for the influence of depression, whereas symptoms of insomnia were not. These findings suggest that nightmares stand alone as a suicide risk factor.

The sample included 82 men and women between the ages of 18 and 66, who were in a community mental health hospital admissions unit awaiting an emergency psychiatric evaluation. Evaluations determined eligibility for crisis stabilization inpatient admittance. Patients' nightmares, insomnia, depression and suicidal tendencies were assessed through several questionnaires, including the Disturbing Dreams and Nightmare Severity Index, Insomnia Severity Index (ISI), Beck Depression Inventory (BDI), and the Beck Scale for Suicide Ideation (BSS).

According to principal investigator, Rebecca Bernert, doctoral candidate in clinical psychology at Florida State University, findings of the study emphasize the need for a more thorough assessment of among acutely-ill patients, as it may be an important opportunity for intervention.

", especially nightmares, appear to be an acute warning sign and risk factor for suicide," said Bernert. "Given that poor sleep is amenable to treatment, and less stigmatized than and suicide, our findings could impact standardized suicide risk assessment and prevention efforts."

The study states that sleep complaints are now listed among the top 10 warning signs of suicide by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA).

Source: American Academy of Sleep Medicine (news : web)

Explore further: Pollutants from coal-burning stoves strongly associated with miscarriages in Mongolia

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Sleep disturbances among the elderly linked to suicide

Jun 14, 2007

Self-reported sleep complaints among the elderly serve as a risk factor for completed suicide, according to a research abstract that will be presented Thursday at SLEEP 2007, the 21st Annual Meeting of the Associated Professional ...

Study links ADHD with sleep problems in adolescents

May 01, 2009

A study in the May 1 issue of the journal SLEEP shows that adolescents with a childhood diagnosis of Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) are more likely to have current and lifetime sleep problems and disorders, regard ...

'Night owls' report more insomnia-related symptoms

Apr 15, 2007

Those persons who are labeled a “night owl” report more pathological symptoms related to insomnia, despite many having the opportunity to compensate for their nocturnal sleeplessness by extending their time in bed and ...

Recommended for you

High-calorie and low-nutrient foods in kids' TV

12 hours ago

Fruits and vegetables are often displayed in the popular Swedish children's TV show Bolibompa, but there are also plenty of high-sugar foods. A new study from the University of Gothenburg explores how food is portrayed in ...

Chemical companies shore up supplement science

12 hours ago

As evidence mounts showing the potential health benefits of probiotics, antioxidants and other nutritional compounds, more and more people are taking supplements. And the chemical industry is getting in on the action. But ...

More Americans in their golden years are going hungry

12 hours ago

In a country as wealthy as the United States, it may come as a surprise that one in 12 seniors do not have access to adequate food due to lack of money or other financial resources. They are food insecure.

User comments : 0

More news stories

Man among first in US to get 'bionic eye' (Update)

A degenerative eye disease slowly robbed Roger Pontz of his vision. Diagnosed with retinitis pigmentosa as a teenager, Pontz has been almost completely blind for years. Now, thanks to a high-tech procedure ...