Protocol of the SOMNIA project: an observational study to create a neurophysiological database for advanced clinical sleep monitoring

Merel M. van Gilst (Corresponding author), Johannes P. van Dijk, Roy Krijn, Bertram Hoondert, Pedro Fonseca, Ruud J.G. van Sloun, Bruno Arsenali, Nele Vandenbussche, Sigrid Pillen, Henning Maass, Leonie van den Heuvel, Reinder Haakma, Tim R. Leufkens, Coen Lauwerijssen, Jan W.M. Bergmans, Dirk Pevernagie, Sebastiaan Overeem

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INTRODUCTION: Polysomnography (PSG) is the primary tool for sleep monitoring and the diagnosis of sleep disorders. Recent advances in signal analysis make it possible to reveal more information from this rich data source. Furthermore, many innovative sleep monitoring techniques are being developed that are less obtrusive, easier to use over long time periods and in the home situation. Here, we describe the methods of the Sleep and Obstructive Sleep Apnoea Monitoring with Non-Invasive Applications (SOMNIA) project, yielding a database combining clinical PSG with advanced unobtrusive sleep monitoring modalities in a large cohort of patients with various sleep disorders. The SOMNIA database will facilitate the validation and assessment of the diagnostic value of the new techniques, as well as the development of additional indices and biomarkers derived from new and/or traditional sleep monitoring methods.

METHODS AND ANALYSIS: We aim to include at least 2100 subjects (both adults and children) with a variety of sleep disorders who undergo a PSG as part of standard clinical care in a dedicated sleep centre. Full-video PSG will be performed according to the standards of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine. Each recording will be supplemented with one or more new monitoring systems, including wrist-worn photoplethysmography and actigraphy, pressure sensing mattresses, multimicrophone recording of respiratory sounds including snoring, suprasternal pressure monitoring and multielectrode electromyography of the diaphragm.

ETHICS AND DISSEMINATION: The study was reviewed by the medical ethical committee of the Maxima Medical Center (Eindhoven, the Netherlands, File no: N16.074). All subjects provide informed consent before participation.The SOMNIA database is built to facilitate future research in sleep medicine. Data from the completed SOMNIA database will be made available for collaboration with researchers outside the institute.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere030996
Number of pages9
JournalBMJ open
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2019

Bibliographical note

© Author(s) (or their employer(s)) 2019. Re-use permitted under CC BY-NC. No commercial re-use. See rights and permissions. Published by BMJ.


  • database
  • neurophysiology
  • polysomnography
  • sleep medicine


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