Short self-reported sleep duration and suicidal behavior: A cross-sectional study

Hilario Blasco-Fontecilla, Analucia A. Alegria, Jorge Lopez-Castroman, Teresa Legido-Gil, Jeronimo Saiz-Ruiz, Jose De Leon, Enrique Baca-Garcia

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

39 Scopus citations


Background: Prior studies on the association between sleep disturbances and suicidal behavior did not explore whether or not short sleep is a marker of suicide intent, lethality or risk. Methods: Design: Cross-sectional. Participants: Suicide attempters (SAs) (n = 434). Controls included 83 psychiatric inpatients who have never been SAs, and 509 healthy controls. Measurements: Short sleep was defined by self-assessment as ≤ 5 h per day. The MINI and the DSM-IV version of the International Personality Disorder Examination Screening Questionnaire were used to diagnose Axis I and Axis II diagnoses, respectively. Suicide intent and lethality were evaluated through the Beck's Suicidal Intent Scale (SIS) and the Risk-Rescue Rating Scale (RRRS), respectively. Beck's Medical Lethality Scale (BMLS) was administered to assess the degree of medical injury, and the SAD PERSONS mnemonic scale was used to evaluate suicide risk. Statistical analyses: Chi-square tests and logistic regression analyses explored frequencies of short sleep in 3 samples. Chi-square tests explored whether or not suicide intent, lethality and risk were greater in SAs with short-sleep versus those without short-sleep. Results: Short sleep was more prevalent in SAs than in psychiatric controls only in males. In female SAs, short sleep was significantly associated with several SIS items and high scores in the SAD PERSONS. Limitations: Sleep duration was assessed only by self-report. Conclusions: The association between short sleep and suicidal behavior may be partly explained by confounders. Short sleep may be a marker of severity of suicidal behavior among female SAs.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)239-246
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Affective Disorders
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - Sep 2011

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This article was supported by the National Alliance for Research on Schizophrenia and Affective Disorders (NARSAD), Fondo de Investigacion Sanitaria (FIS) PI060092, Fondo de Investigacion Sanitaria FIS RD06/0011/0016, ETES (PI07/90207), the Conchita Rabago Foundation, and the Spanish Ministry of Health, Instituto de Salud Carlos III, CIBERSAM (Intramural Project, P91B; Rio Hortega CM08/00170 and SCO/3410/2004).


  • Lethality
  • Mental disorders
  • Personality intent
  • Sleep duration
  • Suicidal behavior

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


Dive into the research topics of 'Short self-reported sleep duration and suicidal behavior: A cross-sectional study'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this