What is in a name? Definitions of insomnia in people with intellectual disabilities

Naomi van den Broek*, Dederieke Festen, Tan, S Overeem, S Pillen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


The reported prevalence of insomnia symptoms in people with intellectual disabilities varies greatly, possibly due to the lack of a common definition. This article provides an overview of the different definitions used and formulates key points for a general definition.

A literature search was performed. An overview of the definitions used was given and compared to the third edition of the international classification of sleep disorders.

The search yielded 16 studies. No uniform definition was used. Terminology and cut-off points of insomnia symptoms differed. Insomnia symptoms were mostly described as night-time problems. A minority of studies incorporated daytime consequences.

An insomnia disorder entails more than merely night-time complaints and should include daytime consequences. A general definition is warranted. This definition should focus on night-time and daytime insomnia symptoms, incorporate subjective features, and discuss the use of objective measurements and influence of environmental circumstances.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)506-518
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Applied Research in Intellectual Disabilities
Issue number2
Early online date11 Nov 2021
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2022

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.


Dive into the research topics of 'What is in a name? Definitions of insomnia in people with intellectual disabilities'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this