Year: 2023 Source: Sleep Advances. (2023). 4, 1–5. SIEC No: 20231576
Study Objectives Although American Indian/Alaska Native (AI/AN) have high suicide rates few studies have systematically investigated sleep quality and its association with suicidal behaviors in AI/AN. This study is a cross-sectional investigation of self-reported sleep quality and suicidal behaviors in an adult AI population. Methods A semi-structured interview was used to collect data on suicidal ideation, suicidal plans, and suicidal attempts and the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index (PSQI) was collected to assess sleep quality in American Indian adults. Results In this sample (n = 477), 91 (19%) of the participants endorsed suicidal ideation (thoughts and plans), and 66 (14%) reported suicidal attempts, including four who subsequently died by suicide. More women reported suicidal thoughts or acts than men. Those endorsing suicidal thoughts slept fewer hours during the night, reported more nocturnal awakenings, and showed poorer subjective sleep quality according to PSQI total scores compared to those with no suicidal thoughts or acts. Participants with suicidal acts (n = 66) reported more bad dreams and higher PSQI total scores compared to those with no suicidal thoughts or acts. When those with any suicidal thoughts or acts (n = 157, 33%) were compared to those without, they were more likely to endorse nocturnal awakenings and bad dreams and demonstrated significantly higher PSQI total scores. Conclusions Although additional research is needed to evaluate sleep disturbances as a proximal, causal risk factor for suicidal behaviors in AI, findings highlight need for further study of sleep as a warning sign and intervention tool for suicide prevention among American Indian adults.