Everyone has nightmares at some point, but new research suggests that in some cases nightmares stand alone as a suicide risk factor.
Study findings, presented at the SLEEP 2009 annual meeting, indicate that severe nightmares are independently associated with elevated suicidal symptoms. This is true even after accounting for depression, but symptoms of insomnia don’t have the same significance.
The principal investigator in the study was Rebecca Bernert, a doctoral candidate in clinical psychology at Florida State University. Bernert believes that the study findings emphasize the need for a more thorough assessment of sleep, which may lead to more opportunities for intervention.
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