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Study links suicide and lack of sleep in teens, Reuters, Jan. 27, 2011 - Suicide & Faith

Suicide Prevention in Faith Organizations: An Introduction

12.30 Study links suicide and lack of sleep in teens, Reuters, Jan. 27, 2011

A new study from researchers at Idaho State University and the University of Michigan supports a correlation between sleep problems and suicidal thinking in teens, which could potentially help parents and other adults identify teens at risk for suicide. “It’s easier to broach the topic of sleep [than suicidal thoughts or suicide attempts] with patients, since it’s easier to talk about a physical problem,” said Idaho State researcher Maria Wong. “It’s easier for them to answer questions like, ‘Did you sleep well last night?’ and get into why they are not sleeping well and how they are feeling lately.” The study followed 392 children for three years, beginning when they were ages 12 to 14 and ending when they were ages 15 to 17. The researchers found that 60 percent of teens ages 15 to 17 who engaged in suicidal behavior had had trouble sleeping at 12 to 14. Forty-seven percent of teens who had thought about suicide (but had not harmed themselves) had had trouble sleeping at 12 to 14. In comparison, only 26 percent of teens with no suicidal behavior or ideation had had trouble sleeping when they were younger. The study is consistent with previous research showing a correlation between sleep problems and suicidal thoughts and behavior among adults. (The research did not demonstrate that sleep disorders cause suicidality, or that suicidal thoughts or behaviors cause sleep problems.)

Read the full article at www.reuters.com

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