Skip to main content
Avg ER Wait
Checking ER Wait Time
The feed could not be reached
Retry?
TriStar Centennial Medical Center
--
mins

Diagnosis of Insomnia

The doctor will ask about any symptoms, and medical and family history. There will be questions about whether you have problems initiating sleep, staying asleep, waking up early, or feeling tired despite seeming to sleep for a normal amount of time.

To make a diagnosis of insomnia, the doctor will ask about:

  • Excessive fatigue or daytime sleepiness
  • Impairment of attention, concentration, or memory
  • Impairment in social, occupational, or academic performance
  • Moodiness or irritability
  • Diminished motivation, energy, or initiative
  • Occurrence of frequent errors or accidents at work, or while driving
  • Presence of tension headaches or gastrointestinal distress from lack of sleep
  • Preoccupation with sleep

To help determine a cause of insomia or any associated conditions, the doctor will ask about:

  • Moods or mood changes
  • Physical or mental symptoms or problems
  • Daily activities
  • Work pattern or history
  • Sleep patterns
  • Snoring
  • Medication use
  • Travel patterns
  • Eating habits
  • Use of alcohol, tobacco, or other drugs

You may also be asked to fill out a sleep diary, which is a record of your sleep patterns. Your doctor may want to speak with your bed partner concerning the quantity and quality of your sleep. Other specialized tests may be ordered depending on what your doctor suspects may be the cause of your insomnia.

In some instance where the diagnosis is not clear, your doctor may order a polysomnogram (sleep study), where your sleep is analyzed during a 1 or 2 night stay in a sleep lab.

Revision Information

  • Buysse DJ. Insomnia. JAMA. 2013;309(7):706-716.

  • How to talk to your doctor about your sleep. National Sleep Foundation website. Available at: https://sleepfoundation.org/sleep-news/how-talk-your-doctor-about-your-sleep. Accessed March 2, 2016.

  • Insomnia in adults. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed. Updated January 27, 2016. Accessed March 2, 2016.

  • National Center on Sleep Disorders Research (NCSDR). National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute website. Available at: http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/about/org/ncsdr. Accessed March 2, 2016.

  • Merrigan JM, Buysse DJ, Bird JC, Livingston EH. JAMA patient page. Insomnia. JAMA 2013;309(7):733.

The health information in this Health Library is provided by a third party. TriStar Health does not in any way create the content of this information. It is provided solely for informational purposes. It does not constitute medical advice and is not intended to be a substitute for proper medical care provided by a physician. Always consult with your doctor for appropriate examinations, treatment, testing, and care recommendations. Do not rely on information on this site as a tool for self-diagnosis. If you have a medical emergency, call 911.