Faculty Member

Objective: Sleep-related problems (SRPs) are associated with increased risk for suicide-related behavior and death. Given that Black adults report greater SRPs as compared to White adults, the purpose of the current study was to examine sleep problems, suicide-related psychiatric admission, and suicide ideation, in Black and White trauma-exposed adults.

Method: Suicide-related behavior (i.e., intent, plan, and/or behavior) as reason for hospital admission was obtained via medical records review for 172 Black and White adults who were admitted to an acute-care psychiatric facility; all participants completed validated measures of sleep quality and suicide ideation.

Results: Adjusted logistic regression analyses revealed that sleep-related daytime dysfunction (AOR = 4.32, p < .05) and poor sleep quality (AOR = 3.64, p < .05) were associated with significantly increased odds that Black participants were admitted for suicide-related psychiatric care. Poorer sleep quality (AOR = 2.10, p < .05) was also associated with increased odds of suicide-related admission among White participants. However, shorter sleep duration was marginally associated with suicide ideation in Black participants only.

Conclusions: SRPs may be related to suicide-related behavior and ideation differently for vulnerable Black and White adults. More research is needed to understand potential race group differences and mechanisms by which SRPs increase risk for suicide crisis across racial groups.

Keywords: Ethnicity; Race; Sleep; Suicide; Trauma.