11 July 2014

Insomnia Central || Is there a connnection between insomnia and suicide?

"Alarm Clock - Photo Sketch" by Jeff Turner, 2009
The Behavioral Sleep Medicine Program at Penn State released new findings at a recent SLEEP 2014 meeting of Associated Professional Sleep Societies which suggested that most suicides take place between the hours of midnight and 6 a.m. 

The findings, following two student suicides in the university's 2014 Spring semester and three others within the previous year, confirms that those who cannot sleep at this time of night are often putting themselves at greater risk for suicidal thought patterns and behaviors. 

Psychiatry professor and program director Michael Perlis explains: “[J]ust being awake at night may in and of itself be a risk factor for suicide.”

According to the study's findings, suicide rates increase at a rate of over 16 percent after midnight, peaking between 2 and 3 a.m.. Suicide rates decrease to just over 2 percent after 6 a.m. These findings contradict earlier studies that have concluded that suicides primarily occur during the daylight hours. Perlis and his team explained that the higher percentage of late night suicides happens while fewer people are awake, showing a more concentrated probability for those who are awake to participate in suicidal activity.

Source: "Penn research team finds that suicides most commonly occur at night." Husain, Z. The Daily Pennsylvanian, June 11, 2014.