Suicidal ideations and sleep-related problems in early adolescence

Authors


Abstract

Aims

Suicidal ideation and sleep-related problems are associated with many common psychopathological entities in early adolescence. This study examined possible association between suicidal ideation and sleep-related problems.

Methods

A cross-sectional study was performed in classroom settings at 840 early adolescents 11–13 years of age. Of those, 791 adolescents fully completed the data and thus represent an actual sample. Suicidal ideations were assessed with three dichotomous (yes/no) items: ‘I often think about death’; ‘I wish I was dead’; ‘I often think about suicide.’ A composite measure of perceived sleep-related problems was formed by combining items from the Junior Eysenck Personality Questionnaire (Do you find it hard to sleep at night because you are worrying about things?), Children Depression Inventory (It is hard for me to fall asleep at night), and two additional dichotomous questions (I often was not able to fall asleep because of worrying; At times I was not able to stay asleep because of worrying). This score mainly assessed difficulties in initiating or maintaining sleep.

Results

A total of 7.1% adolescents reported suicidal ideation and 86.7% of them had sleep problems. Sleep-related problems were associated with any suicidal ideation and each type of ideation separately.

Conclusion

This study suggests association of sleep problems and suicidal ideations in early adolescence. Therefore, clinicians should evaluate this population for sleep disturbances, as they might be a marker of increased risk for suicidality.

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