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Neuropsychol Rev. 2011 Mar;21(1):22-40. doi: 10.1007/s11065-011-9160-3. Epub 2011 Jan 20.

Insomnia: Neurophysiological and neuropsychological approaches.

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École de Psychologie, FAS-Local 1012, 2325, rue des Bibliothèques, Université Laval, Québec, QC, Canada G1V 0A6.


Insomnia is a symptom, a syndrome and a comorbid disorder. Its diagnosis relies on subjective reports from the afflicted individual and is defined as difficulties in initiating sleep, maintaining sleep, waking up too early or non-restorative sleep. However, insomnia and especially, primary insomnia, has received much attention in insomnia research with the use of objective measures. Insomnia, its peculiarities, most frequent subtypes and two most prominent models will first be briefly introduced. Then, insomnia will be reviewed according to results obtained with the use of neurophysiological measures as basic/traditional as polysomnography to more sophisticated ones such as power spectral analysis, neuroimaging, cyclic alternating patterns and event-related potentials. In addition, a review of the discrepancies between subjective and objective reports of cognitive alterations through neuropsychological testing is offered. The need to combine measures is then highlighted in conclusion.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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