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Study Hints at Link Between Poor Sleep, Suicide Risk
Poor sleep affects your health in many ways, but is it increasing your risk for suicide? A new study finds a link between the two health concerns.
By Tara Haelle, HealthDay News
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Sleeping difficulties may increase the risk of suicide in older adults even when other symptoms of depression aren't present, a new study suggests.
The study focused on adults 65 and older, and poor sleep included difficulty falling or staying asleep, waking up early in the morning, experiencing daytime sleepiness and not feeling fully rested after a night's sleep.
"These findings suggest that sleep disturbances stand alone as a valid risk factor -- independent of depressed mood -- and worthy of focus as a potential [suicide] risk factor, screening and intervention tool," said lead researcher Rebecca Bernert, an instructor of psychiatry at Stanford University School of Medicine. "Compared to many other known suicide risk factors, sleep disturbances are arguably less stigmatizing and may be undone, and are highly treatable."
Among the 20 study participants who died by suicide, 19 were men. The researchers randomly matched these 20 people to 400 living participants based on shared age, sex and location, and then compared their sleep quality and depression scores.
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