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To help determine whether you have insomnia, your doctor will ask questions about your sleep, how you feel when you are awake, in what activities you engage during the day, if you are taking medications, if you have any health problems, if you are experiencing lifestyle changes, and what you do to prepare for bedtime.

man rubbing his eyesTo further evaluate you, he or she also might ask you to complete a questionnaire and keep a sleep diary to identify your sleep / wake pattern, determine the extent to which sleeplessness affects you when you are awake, and develop a plan to help you return to regularly getting a good night’s sleep.

In some cases, your doctor also might give you a physical exam and take blood tests to check for health problems that can contribute to insomnia.

Questions Your Doctor is Likely to Ask:

  • Do you have trouble falling asleep?
    • If so, how often?
    • How long does it usually take you to fall asleep?
    • When did you begin having trouble getting to sleep?
    • If you wake during the night, how long does it take you to return to sleep?
    • Do you snore?
    • Do you ever wake gasping for breath?
  • Do you feel rested or tired when you wake?
    • Do you have trouble staying awake during the day, especially if you are reading, sitting, quietly, or driving?
    • Do you doze or nap during the day?
  • Do you exercise?
  • In what type of work and other (physical and intellectual) activities do you engage each day?
  • What time do you eat dinner?
    • Do you drink and / or snack after dinner?
    • If so, what and how much do you eat / drink?
  • What time do you typically go to bed each night?
  • What time do you usually wake in the morning?
  • How many hours do you usually sleep each night?
  • What is your bedtime routine?
  • Do you take or have you ever taken sleeping pills before bedtime?
  • Does your bedtime change on the weekends or any other nights of the week?
  • Where do you sleep?
    • Is it quiet?
    • What is the temperature?
    • What is the lighting in the room?
  • Are you experiencing stress or life changes such as job loss, divorce or relationship problems, family issues, and / or new demands at work?
  • Do you drink alcohol? If so how often and how much?
  • Do you use tobacco?
  • Does anyone else in your family have sleep problems?
  • Have you traveled recently? Do you travel often?
  • What prescription and nonprescription medications do you take?
  • Do you have any temporary or chronic health problems?