A team of researchers working with the US Department of Veterans Affairs found that both insomnia and suicidal ideation were reduced among veterans who participated in up to six sessions of cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia.
Working with 405 participants, 32% were experiencing suicidal ideation at the beginning of the study compared to 21% at the end. There was no control group.
Published in the journal Sleep, one of the authors described the results as “eye-opening” in a press release from the American Academy of Sleep Medicine. “In addition to improving insomnia and reducing suicidal thoughts, CBT-I led to improvements in depression and quality of life, which suggests that focusing greater attention on detecting and treating insomnia could produce substantial public health benefits,” stated the press release.
Trockel, Mickey, Bradley E. Karlin, C. Barr Taylor, Gregory K. Brown, and Rachel Manber. “Effects of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Insomnia on Suicidal Ideation in Veterans.” SLEEP, February 1, 2015. doi:10.5665/sleep.4410. (Abstract)
Cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia reduces suicidal thoughts in veterans (American Academy of Sleep Medicine press release on ScienceDaily, February 2, 2015)