Relationship between Sleep Problems and Self-Injury: A Systematic Review


Objective/Background: Previous studies suggested that sleep problems were related to non-suicidal self-injury. The current systematic review investigated more thoroughly this relationship.Methods: PubMED and Embase databases were searched. The keywords were “self-injury” OR “self-harm” OR “non-suicidal self-injury” OR “self-injurious behavior” OR “self-destructive behavior” OR “self-mutilation” AND “sleep problem” OR “sleep disturbance” OR insomnia OR nightmare OR “poor sleep quality” or “sleep disorders.” A total of 16 studies were included in the present review.Results: The pattern of results indicated that sleep problems such as short sleep duration, sleep disturbances, and poor sleep quality were associated with non-suicidal self-injury. Additionally, emotional dysregulation, depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder appeared to mediate this relationship. Above all adolescents and young adults with sleep disruptions were at higher risk of non-suicidal self-injury.Conclusions:g Interventions to improve sleep quality and sleep duration might concomitantly decrease the risk of non-suicidal self-injury.