Year: 2019 Source: Journal of CLinical Sleep Medicine. (2016). 12(3): 289-290. SIEC No: 20190507

For most of us, avoiding sleep is a radical idea. Sleep is a much needed respite that we yearn for all day. However, we know many nightmare sufferers resist sleep in the often futile attempt to avoid having a nightmare.1 Given that nightmares are that disturbing to the nightmare sufferer, it should not be surprising that nightmares have been found to be associated with suicidal thoughts, attempts, and death by suicide.2–4 Further, research has demonstrated that the longer one suffers from nightmares, the greater the suicide risk, even after statistically controlling for the symptoms of depression, anxiety, and PTSD.5 In sum, the literature demonstrates that nightmares are associated with suicide risk and that they predict suicide variance that is unique from other suicide risk factors, such as depression, anxiety, PTSD, and substance use disorders.6 As such, nightmares are clinically relevant in relation to suicidality and are worthy of further study.