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Member Research and Reports

Taiwan Research Shows Insufficient or Too Much Sleep Linked to a Greater Risk of Youth Suicidality

Sleep duration has been recognized as a potential risk factor of suicidality in adolescents; however, the association of sleep duration with youth suicidality remains controversial. Dr. Hsiao-Yean Chiu, an associate professor in College of Nursing, School of Nursing at Taipei Medical University, Dr. Yu-Kang Tu, a professor in the Institute of Epidemiology and Preventive Medicine in the National Taiwan University College of Public Health, and their research team conducted a dose-response meta-analysis to answer this question. The study has been published in Sleep Medicine Reviews.

Thirteen cross-sectional studies with a total of 598,281 adolescents were included for a systematic review in which 12 studies were included for a dose-response meta-analysis. Curvilinear dose-response associations were found for youth suicidal ideation and attempts, with the lowest risks associated with sleep durations of 8 h or more per day. A linear association between sleep duration and suicidal plans was found (pooled odds ratio = 0.89, 95 percent confidence interval, 0.88-0.90), with an 11 percent reduction in the risk of suicidal plans for every 1-h increase in sleep duration. Depression did not moderate relationship between sleep duration and suicidality in adolescents.

In conclusion, Dr. Chiu and her team observed a significant association between sleep duration and the risks for suicidal ideation, plans, and attempts in youths. They also found that depression was not a moderator of the relationship between sleep duration and youth suicidality. Their results suggest that an appropriate sleep duration should be considered when developing strategies for prevention of youth suicidal ideation, plans, and attempts.

Source: Chiu HY, Lee HC, Chen PY, Lai YF, Tu YK. Associations between sleep duration and suicidality in adolescents: A systematic review and dose-response meta-analysis. Sleep Med Rev. 2018 Dec;42:119-126.