Hopelessness mediates the relation between insomnia and suicidal ideation

Julie A. Woosley, Kenneth L. Lichstein, Daniel J. Taylor, Brant W. Riedel, Andrew J. Bush

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

37 Scopus citations


Introduction: A growing body of literature indicates that insomnia is related to suicidality. However, the mechanism through which insomnia correlates with suicide risk is unclear. The goal of the present research was to determine whether hopelessness, a robust predictor of suicidality, mediates the relation between insomnia and suicidal ideation (SI).

Methods: The present study used archival data from community-dwelling adults. Participants (n = 766) completed a Health Survey, two weeks of daily sleep diaries, and fi ve measures of daytime functioning, including the Beck Depression Inventory (BDI). BDI item 2 was used to assess hopelessness, and BDI item 9 was used to assess SI. Criteria from the DSM-5 as well as quantitative criteria were used to identify participants with insomnia (n = 135).

Results: The analyses revealed that hopelessness is a signifi cant mediator of the relation between insomnia and SI. After adding depression as an additional mediator, hopelessness remained a signifi cant predictor of SI.

Conclusion: The present research suggests the need for clinicians to routinely screen clients who have insomnia for hopelessness and SI, and to treat hopelessness when it is present. Further research should address the limitations in this sample and should also consider other potential mediators of the insomnia-SI link.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1223-1230
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Clinical Sleep Medicine
Issue number11
StatePublished - 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • Hopelessness
  • Insomnia
  • Mediation
  • Suicidal ideation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology


Dive into the research topics of 'Hopelessness mediates the relation between insomnia and suicidal ideation'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this