Depression has been well known as a risk for suicide attempt, and depression also has been known to produce insomnia. In this context, the relation between sleep and suicide has long been discussed via depression. However, poor sleep quality has been found to increase the risk of suicide, and depression was not accounted for when examining the association between sleep and completed suicide. In the current 24/365 society, sleep less society or sleep ignored society, we should learn about the direct relationship between sleep and suicide. Interestingly, recent development of neuroscience has revealed the involvement of serotonin as well as oxytocin on suicide and sleep.
Also, suicide has often been discussed in the context of economical status. However, unfortunately, the recent economical status could not fully explain the changes of the number of suicide. However, please pay attention to economical problems in the 24/365 society. Sleep loss impairs brain functions. Because late sleep onset can reduce sleep, sleep/circadian rhythm disturbance spreading in the 24/365 society may cause brain impairments. Dr Kohyama emphasized the risk of 24/365 society with paying special attention to the personal as well as social tragedy of behaviors; suicide.
Finally, Dr Kohyama proposed four factors to prevent suicide; 1) sufficient sleep durations, 2)activation of serotonergic system, 3) activation of prefrontal cortex, and 4) activation of the oxytocinergic system. To secure good sleep health, five principles are proposed; 1) exposure to morning light, 2) exercise during the daytime, 3) dark night, 4) regular meals, and 5) avoiding substances that disturb sleep. To raise brain serotonergic levels, positive happy mood induction, exposure to solar irradiation, exercise (rhythmic movements) are important. Grooming, gentle touches and social interactions may activate both prefrontal cortex and oxytocinergic system.
Source: Journal of Behavioral and Brain Science 2012 Vol.2 No.4 by Scientific Research Publishing