A study by University of Manchester researchers has shown for the first time that a bad night’s sleep is associated with suicidal thoughts the next day in people with depression, reports the university.

Researcher Donna Littlewood says her observational study of 51 patients with depression and suicidal thoughts highlights the need for treatment of sleep disorders in people with mental health problems.

The patients were given movement monitoring Actigraph watches and asked to fill in a sleep diary and assessments of their suicidal thoughts over seven days. That data revealed that poor sleep quality and short sleep duration were both associated with higher feelings of suicidal thoughts the next day.