Talk to the Veterans Crisis Line now
U.S. flag
An official website of the United States government

VA Health Systems Research

Go to the VA ORD website
Go to the QUERI website

HSR Citation Abstract

Search | Search by Center | Search by Source | Keywords in Title

Sensitivity and specificity of polysomnographic criteria for defining insomnia.

Edinger JD, Ulmer CS, Means MK. Sensitivity and specificity of polysomnographic criteria for defining insomnia. Journal of clinical sleep medicine : JCSM : official publication of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine. 2013 May 15; 9(5):481-91.

Dimensions for VA is a web-based tool available to VA staff that enables detailed searches of published research and research projects.

If you have VA-Intranet access, click here for more information

VA staff not currently on the VA network can access Dimensions by registering for an account using their VA email address.
   Search Dimensions for VA for this citation
* Don't have VA-internal network access or a VA email address? Try searching the free-to-the-public version of Dimensions


STUDY OBJECTIVES: In recent years, polysomnography-based eligibility criteria have been increasingly used to identify candidates for insomnia research, and this has been particularly true of studies evaluating pharmacologic therapy for primary insomnia. However, the sensitivity and specificity of PSG for identifying individuals with insomnia is unknown, and there is no consensus on the criteria sets which should be used for participant selection. In the current study, an archival data set was used to test the sensitivity and specificity of PSG measures for identifying individuals with primary insomnia in both home and lab settings. We then evaluated the sensitivity and specificity of the eligibility criteria employed in a number of recent insomnia trials for identifying primary insomnia sufferers in our sample. DESIGN: Archival data analysis. SETTINGS: Study participants' homes and a clinical sleep laboratory. PARTICIPANTS: ADULTS: 76 with primary insomnia and 78 non-complaining normal sleepers. MEASUREMENTS AND RESULTS: ROC and cross-tabs analyses were used to evaluate the sensitivity and specificity of PSG-derived total sleep time, latency to persistent sleep, wake after sleep onset, and sleep efficiency for discriminating adults with primary insomnia from normal sleepers. None of the individual criteria accurately discriminated PI from normal sleepers, and none of the criteria sets used in recent trials demonstrated acceptable sensitivity and specificity for identifying primary insomnia. CONCLUSIONS: The use of quantitative PSG-based selection criteria in insomnia research may exclude many who meet current diagnostic criteria for an insomnia disorder.

Questions about the HSR website? Email the Web Team

Any health information on this website is strictly for informational purposes and is not intended as medical advice. It should not be used to diagnose or treat any condition.