The SDQ is a brief self-report insomnia questionnaire, which permits the rapid evaluation of insomnia based on the DSM-IV and ICSD-R criteria. The SDQ was developed to provide a fast and valid instrument both for the pre-screening of subjects who complain of insomnia and for epidemiological studies based on standardized definitions of this sleep disorder. Two studies were carried out in order to assess the validity of the SDQ as a self-report measure of insomnia. In the first study the convergent validity of the SDQ was assessed with respect to the global score of the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index (PSQI) in a sample of general practitioners' patients. The second study assessed the sensitivity and the specificity of the SDQ in discriminating between insomniacs or normal sleepers in a sample of college students who were given an extensive sleep evaluation within an insomnia counseling program. The SDQ classifications have a good convergent validity with the global sleep quality scores of the PSQI and its classifications of students who complain of or who do not complain of problems of insomnia have a sensitivity of 95% and a specificity of 87%. Results indicate that the SDQ is a valid paper and pencil instrument to screen insomnia.