Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Suicides far more likely to occur after midnight, study finds

Date:
June 2, 2014
Source:
American Academy of Sleep Medicine
Summary:
Suicides are far more likely to occur between midnight and 4 a.m. than during the daytime or evening, evidence shows. Accounting for more than 38,000 deaths each year, suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the U.S. according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In comparison, about 16,000 deaths occur each year due to homicide.

A new study provides novel evidence suggesting that suicides are far more likely to occur between midnight and 4 a.m. than during the daytime or evening.

Results show that the weighted, scaled mean suicide rate per hour was 10.27 percent after midnight, peaking at 16.27 percent between 2 a.m. and 2:59 a.m. In contrast, the mean suicide rate per hour was 2.13 percent between 6 a.m. and 11:59 p.m. When six-hour time blocks were examined, the observed frequency of suicide between midnight and 5:59 a.m. was 3.6 times higher than expected.

"This appears to be the first data to suggest that circadian factors may contribute to suicidality and help explain why insomnia is also a risk factor for suicidal ideation and behavior," said principal investigator Michael Perlis, PhD, associate professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Director of the Penn Behavioral Sleep Medicine Program at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia. "These results suggest that not only are nightmares and insomnia significant risk factors for suicidal ideation and behavior, but just being awake at night may in and of itself be a risk factor for suicide," he said.

The research abstract was published recently in an online supplement of the journal Sleep and will be presented Tuesday, June 3, in Minneapolis, Minnesota, at SLEEP 2014, the 28th annual meeting of the Associated Professional Sleep Societies LLC.

According to the authors, previous research suggesting that more suicides occur during the day failed to account for the proportion of the population that is awake at each given hour. The current study involved archival analyses of both the National Violent Death Reporting System, which provided data for the estimated time of fatal injury, and the American Time Use Survey, which provided an hourly proportion of the American population that is awake. Time of fatal injury was categorized into one-hour bins, and the hourly distribution of these data were weighted by the proportion of people awake at each hour and scaled to 100 percent. A total of 35,332 suicides were included in the analysis.

According to Perlis, an important implication of the study is that the treatment of insomnia may be one way to reduce suicide risk. The American Academy of Sleep Medicine reports that about 10 percent of adults have a chronic insomnia disorder lasting at least three months.

Accounting for more than 38,000 deaths each year, suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the U.S. according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In comparison, about 16,000 deaths occur each year due to homicide.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by American Academy of Sleep Medicine. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

American Academy of Sleep Medicine. "Suicides far more likely to occur after midnight, study finds." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 2 June 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/06/140602102004.htm>.
American Academy of Sleep Medicine. (2014, June 2). Suicides far more likely to occur after midnight, study finds. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 15, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/06/140602102004.htm
American Academy of Sleep Medicine. "Suicides far more likely to occur after midnight, study finds." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/06/140602102004.htm (accessed September 15, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Monday, September 15, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

EU Ministers and Experts Meet to Discuss Ebola Reponse

EU Ministers and Experts Meet to Discuss Ebola Reponse

AFP (Sep. 15, 2014) The European Commission met on Monday to coordinate aid that the EU can offer to African countries affected by the Ebola outbreak. Duration: 00:58 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
FDA Eyes Skin Shocks Used at Mass. School

FDA Eyes Skin Shocks Used at Mass. School

AP (Sep. 15, 2014) The FDA is considering whether to ban devices used by the Judge Rotenberg Educational Center in Canton, Massachusetts, the only place in the country known to use electrical skin shocks as aversive conditioning for aggressive patients. (Sept. 15) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Respiratory Virus Spreads To Northeast, Now In 21 States

Respiratory Virus Spreads To Northeast, Now In 21 States

Newsy (Sep. 14, 2014) The respiratory virus Enterovirus D68, which targets children, has spread from the Midwest to 21 states. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Shocker: Journalists Are Utterly Addicted To Coffee

Shocker: Journalists Are Utterly Addicted To Coffee

Newsy (Sep. 13, 2014) A U.K. survey found that journalists consumed the most amount of coffee, but that's only the tip of the coffee-related statistics iceberg. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins