Snooze University

About the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index (PSQI)

The Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index (PSQI) is arguably the most popular index to measure sleep quality, often used in studies on insomnia and related conditions.

You can find PDFs online, but I wasn't able to find a good online calculator version where you can just enter your answers and it calculates the results for you. So I made one.

Unfortunately, I was informed by the University of Pittsburgh that this is not allowed without a license, which is prohibitively expensive for a site like this, so the calculator had to be removed from this page.

You can still go to the original source on the University's website and see the questions in the appendix section. The scoring instructions are in the following section, and then you'll have to use a normal calculator to add up your own score: The Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index: A New Instrument for Psychiatric Practice and Research

PSQI Assessment Results Intrepretation

If you're not a doctor, and just taking the PSQI test to get a sense of if you should see a doctor, you need to know how to intrepret the results.

To start with, the global PSQI score is out of 21, and the higher your score is, the worse your sleep is. Each component section is out of 3, and the scores are simply added together to get your global PSQI score.

More specifically:

  • A score of 5 or under are "good" sleepers.
  • A score above 5 indicates "severe difficulties" in at least 2 areas. That's the typical screening cut-off for insomnia.

That's about all the specific information there is in the original study. But it's safe to say that if your score is 5 or above, especially if it's much greater, your sleep difficulties are likely having significant negative side effects on your health. Seeing a doctor is a good idea.

Just for a reference, I'll share my personal scores. I filled out the questionnaire with what I think I would have answered back when I had terrible sleep issues. I scored a 12.

Now, I sleep really well, and scored just a 3.

Further Reading About Insomnia and Sleep Troubles

Regardless of what you scored on the PSQI assessment, learning more about what causes sleep issues can potentially help you fix any problems, especially when combined with medical guidance.

While there are many complex topics related to sleeping well, here are a few posts that you might be interested in starting with: