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Keywords:

  • adolescents;
  • epidemiology;
  • risk-taking behavior;
  • sleep;
  • suicide

Aims

This study clarifies the associations among sleep duration, non-restorative sleep, suicidal ideation and suicide attempts in a representative sample of Korean adolescents.

Methods

Analyses are based on data from the 2007 Korean Youth Risk Behavior Web-based Survey. The survey used a cross-sectional, national and representative sample consisting of 78 843 students (grades 7–12) who were selected using a stratified, clustered, multistage sampling method. Logistic regression analysis was conducted to test the association between sleep and suicide variables while controlling for demographic characteristics and other potential risk factors of suicide.

Results

Fewer than 4 h of sleep and a lack of feeling refreshed after sleeping increased the likelihood of suicidal ideation but not of suicide attempts.

Conclusions

Non-restorative sleep as well as short sleep duration are significantly associated with suicidal ideation in adolescents. This finding highlights the need to assess for both non-restorative sleep and short sleep duration when screening suicide risk in adolescents. Future research should examine the moderating or mediating effects of individual and environmental characteristics on the association between sleep and actual suicide attempt.