Nightmares tied to suicide

Sleep problems and nightmares are strongly associated with suicide attempts, Swedish researchers report.

Nisse Sjostrom and colleagues from Sahlgrenska University Hospital in Goteborg, studied 165 people who had been admitted to the hospital after a suicide attempt.

The study, published in the January 1 issue of Sleep, found that 89 percent of the participants reported some type of sleep disturbance, with the most common disturbances being difficulties staying asleep, nightmares, and early morning awakening. Having nightmares was associated with a fivefold increase in risk for high suicidality.

Does not imply causality
"Our finding of an association between nightmares and suicidality does not imply causality," Sjostrom said in a prepared statement. "However, our findings should inspire clinicians to include questions concerning sleep disturbance and especially nightmares in the clinical assessment of suicidal patients."

Nightmares are very common, with 50 percent to 85 percent of adults reporting having a nightmare at least on occasion. They tend to become less frequent with age.

People who experience nightmares that cause anxiety or often disrupt sleep should see a sleep specialist who can diagnose the problem and make referrals to counsellors or psychologists when necessary. – (HealthDayNews)

Read more:
Sleep Centre
Depression Centre

January 2007

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For only R75 per month, you have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today.
Subscribe to News24
Voting Booth
Have you entered our Health of the Nation survey?
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
28% - 9789 votes
72% - 24593 votes