Associations between sleep complaints, suicidal ideation and depressive symptoms among adolescents and young adults in Greece

M. Basta, E. Skourti, P. Simos, E. Soumaki, Y. Li, G. Gerostergios, G. Samiotakis, V. Dafermos, M. Drakaki, N. Papadakis, A. N. Vgontzas

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Depression prevalence increases significantly during adolescence/early adulthood. Depression in youth may present suicidal ideation, while suicide represents the leading cause of death in this age group. Moreover, adolescents/young adults frequently report sleep complaints that may partially be due to depressive symptoms. Studies on the associations between depression, sleep complaints and suicidality in this age group are limited. We aimed to examine associations between depressive symptoms, sleep complaints and suicidal ideation in a large (n = 2771), representative sample of adolescents (age: 15–17 years, n = 512) and young adults (age: 18–24 years, n = 2259) from the general population in Greece. A telephone structured questionnaire was administered. Depressive symptoms were assessed using the modified Patient Health-7 questionnaire score, while presence of suicidal ideation and sleep complaints were assessed using the ninth and third question of Patient Health-9 questionnaire, respectively. Mediation logistic regression analysis revealed significant direct paths from depressive symptoms to sleep complaints (odds ratio [OR] 1.22, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.19–1.24; OR 1.21, 95% CI 1.18–1.24) and suicidal ideation (OR 1.18, 95% CI 1.14–1.22; OR 1.18, 95% CI 1.14–1.22), as well as sleep complaints and suicidal ideation (OR 1.82, 95% CI 1.32–2.50; OR 1.91, 95% CI 1.33–2.76) in the total group and in young adults, respectively, but not among adolescents. Moreover, we detected a significant indirect effect of depressive symptoms on suicidal ideation mediated by sleep complaints (18.8%) in young adults. These findings support the hypothesis that treatment of sleep disturbances among youth with depression may independently further reduce suicidal risk.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere13900
JournalJournal of Sleep Research
Issue number5
StatePublished - Oct 2023

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Cognitive Neuroscience
  • Behavioral Neuroscience


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