Medicine and Surgery, University of Pisa, via Savi 10, 56126, Pisa, Italy Sleep spindles are electroencephalographic oscillations peculiar of non-REM sleep, related to neuronal mechanisms underlying sleep restoration and learning consolidation. Based on their very singular morphology, sleep spindles can be visually recognized and detected, even though this approach can lead to significant mis-detections. For this reason, many efforts have been put in developing a reliable algorithm for spindle automatic detection, and a number of methods, based on different techniques, have been tested via visual validation. This work aims at improving current pattern recognition procedures for sleep spindles detection by taking into account their physiological sources of variability. We provide a method as a synthesis of the current state of art that, improving dynamic threshold adaptation, is able to follow modification of spindle characteristics as a function of sleep depth and inter-subjects variability. The algorithm has been applied to physiological data recorded by a high density EEG in order to perform a validation based on visual inspection and on evaluation of expected results from normal night sleep in healthy subjects.