Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania believe that insomnia and nightmares are significant risk factors for suicidal thoughts and behaviors. In fact, they argue that just being awake at night may be a risk factor for suicide.
The study in question involved an archival analysis of the National Violent Death Reporting System and the American Time Use Survey.
Over 35,000 suicides were examined for the study.
Researchers found that suicides peaked between 2am and 3am (16% of all suicides). 10% of suicides occurred after midnight whilst the hourly suicide rate between 6am and 11.59pm was only 2%.
When placing suicides into 6-hourly blocks, researchers found that the frequency of suicide between midnight and 5.59am was almost 4 times higher than expected.
Interestingly, previous studies have suggested that most suicides occur during the day - however, the authors behind this newer study argue that those studies didn't account for the proportion of the population that's awake at each given hour.
Source: Clinical Psychiatry News
Last updated: September 24, 2014