The link between suicide and insomnia: Theoretical mechanisms

W. Vaughn McCall, Carmen G. Black

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

135 Scopus citations


Insomnia has been established as a risk factor for depression and mental illness for decades, but a growing body of evidence has recently exposed insomnia to be an independent risk factor for suicide that encompasses all age ranges. This discovery has invigorated investigation to elucidate the relationship between insomnia and suicide, and over 20 studies reinforcing this association in adults have been published since 2010 alone. This article analyzes relevant research and emphasizes studies published within the last three years with the intent of proposing theoretical mechanisms explaining the link between suicide and insomnia. These mechanisms may then be used as targets for future investigation of treatment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number389
JournalCurrent psychiatry reports
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2013


  • Circadian rhythm of suicide
  • Decision making
  • Depression
  • Dysfunctional belief about sleep
  • Hopelessness
  • Hyperarousal
  • Insomnia
  • Mechanisms
  • Nightmares
  • Psychiatry
  • Risk factors
  • Serotonin
  • Sleep
  • Suicide

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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