Exams and Tests
Insomnia is not a disease, and no specific test can diagnose it. But it can make you feel bad, and it can affect your health. It can also be a sign of other problems. Your doctor may want to do blood tests to rule out certain medical conditions such as thyroid problems. "Normal sleep" differs for each person. Checking your health and sleep history is an important first step to finding a cause for poor-quality sleep. Talk with your doctor about your medical history and any medical problems you have or any medicines you are taking.
- Your doctor can learn a lot about your insomnia and its causes by reviewing your Reference sleep history. He or she may also ask you to keep a sleep diary (What is a Reference PDF Opens New Window document?) for 1 or 2 weeks to track your sleep patterns and habits. Your sleep diary can help your doctor spot certain habits that may affect your sleep, or even see signs of a hidden health problem that may need to be checked out.
- If your symptoms point to mental health concerns, such as Reference depression Opens New Window or Reference anxiety Opens New Window, you may be referred to a mental health professional.
If your doctor thinks that you have a sleep disorder, he or she may refer you for a Reference sleep study. When you have a sleep study, you stay overnight in a special sleep lab.
Your doctor may recommend a sleep study if your insomnia seems to be caused by breathing problems (such as Reference sleep apnea Opens New Window) or Reference periodic limb movement disorder Opens New Window, or if you have tried other treatments that haven't worked.
Sleep studies are not helpful for insomnia caused by mental health problems, Reference fibromyalgia Opens New Window, or Reference chronic fatigue syndrome Opens New Window.
|By:||Reference Healthwise Staff||Last Revised: Reference April 2, 2012|
|Medical Review:||Reference Anne C. Poinier, MD - Internal Medicine
Reference Lisa S. Weinstock, MD - Psychiatry