Anti-snoring company Rhinomed (ASX: RNO) is undertaking a tough — but hopefully informative — medical study.

The company announced today it would partner with Monash University to conduct a study based on the link between poor sleep and Australian suicide rates.

The study will follow a similar piece of research in the US in 2016, which showed a link between nocturnal activity and higher rates of suicide.

The US study showed that “adjusting for the likelihood of being awake at a given time, nocturnal suicides are 3.6 times more likely to occur than predicted”.

Rhinomed said ethics approval had been granted by the Monash University and the Department of Justice.

Shares in Rhinomed were unchanged in morning trade at 22c.

Building awareness

Rhinomed manufactures a number of products, including patented nasal spray technology, designed to open up breathing airways and improve sleep.

To carry out the testing, Rhinomed and Monash will be granted access to the national coronial database.

The team will carry out analysis of the events surrounding suicide deaths, including timing and mode, demographic information and known health problems (both physical and mental).

The data “will be examined over a 10-year period to include approximately 30,000 events”.

Rhinomed called the results from the US study “confronting”. The observed frequency of suicide deaths at night were deemed to be 3.6 times higher than would be expected by chance.

The company said results indicated sleep disturbances or problems with circadian rhythms could exacerbate suicide risk.

“If this finding was reproduced among the Australian population it may indicate that poor sleep provides an important target in the prevention of suicide,” Rhinomed concluded.