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What’s the Insomnia Severity Index?

Photo by Igor Voronov/ Getty (edit and lettering by Elizaveta Dantsig for the Circular.org)

Insomnia Severity Index (ISI)

Consists of 7 points that assess the severity of sleep disturbance over the past 2 weeks. Each item is rated on a five-point Likert scale, and the total score indicates the severity of insomnia. A score above 14 has been reported to be the optimal threshold for insomnia as a disorder. The ISI is widely used in clinical and research settings because it is brief and easy to administer and can provide valuable information for diagnosis and treatment planning.
• The study found that the ISI is sensitive to detecting changes in patient perceptions of treatment outcome, and there is a good degree of agreement between patient and clinician ratings of insomnia severity.
• The ISI can be used as a self-report tool to inform the clinician about the severity of insomnia. However, it should not be used as a substitute for a clinical interview when diagnosing insomnia.

Points for self-diagnosis:

1⃣.Difficulty falling asleep
No – 0
Minor – 1
Average -2
Significant – 3
Very strong – 4

2⃣ Difficulty maintaining sleep
No – 0
Minor – 1
Average -2
Significant – 3
Very strong – 4

3⃣ Problems due to waking up too early
No – 0
Minor – 1
Average -2
Significant – 3
Very strong – 4

4⃣ Rating satisfaction with sleep quality
Completely satisfied: 0
Satisfied: 1
Satisfied, but not completely: 2
Not satisfied: 3
Completely dissatisfied: 4

5⃣ Is your quality of life noticeable to other people due to your sleep problems?
No: 0
Just a little: 1
Somewhat noticeable: 2
Very noticeable: 3
Very noticeable: 4

6⃣ How much do you worry about sleep problems?
I’m not worried at all: 0
Just a little: 1
I’m worried, but not too much: 2
Strong: 3
Very strong: 4

7⃣ To what extent do sleep problems affect your state during the day (fatigue, bad mood, decreased performance, memory impairment, etc.)?
No effect: 0
Just a little: 1
They influence, but not much: 2
Strong: 3
Very strong: 4

Interpretation of results:
Sum of points scored
0-7 = No clinically significant insomnia
8-14 = Subthreshold insomnia
15-21 = Insomnia
22-28 = Insomnia (severe)

(The research for the article was conducted using materials from The Insomnia and Sleep Institute of Arizona: https://sleeplessinarizona.com/)

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