A simple digital format supporting the technical aspects of exchange and storage of polygraphic signals has been specified. Implementation of the format is simple and independent of hard- or software environments. It allows for any local montages, transducers, prefiltering, sampling frequencies, etc. At present, 7 laboratories in various countries have used the format for exchanging sleep-wake recordings. These exchanges have made it possible to create a common database of sleep records, to compare the analysis algorithms local to the various laboratories to each other by applying these algorithms to identical signals, and to set up a computer-aided interlaboratory evaluation of manual and automatic analysis methods.