Depending on your situation, the diagnosis of insomnia and the search for its cause may include:

  • Physical exam. If the cause of insomnia is unknown, your doctor may do a physical exam to look for signs of medical problems that may be related to insomnia. Occasionally, a blood test may be done to check for thyroid problems or other conditions that may be associated with poor sleep.
  • Sleep habits review. In addition to asking you sleep-related questions, your doctor may have you complete a questionnaire to determine your sleep-wake pattern and your level of daytime sleepiness. You may also be asked to keep a sleep diary for a couple of weeks.
  • Sleep study. If the cause of your insomnia isn't clear, or you have signs of another sleep disorder, such as sleep apnea or restless legs syndrome, you may need to spend a night at a sleep center. Tests are done to monitor and record a variety of body activities while you sleep, including brain waves, breathing, heartbeat, eye movements and body movements.
Oct. 15, 2016
  1. Riggin, EA. Allscripts EPSi. Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. July 21, 2016.
  2. What is insomnia? National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. https://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/health-topics/topics/inso#. Accessed Sept. 6, 2016.
  3. Insomnia fact sheet. WomensHealth.gov. http://womenshealth.gov/publications/our-publications/fact-sheet/insomnia.html. Accessed Sept. 6, 2016.
  4. Sleep-wake disorders. In: Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders DSM-5. 5th ed. Arlington, Va.: American Psychiatric Association; 2013. http://www.psychiatryonline.org. Accessed Sept. 6, 2016.
  5. Sleep disorders: The connection between sleep and mental health. National Alliance on Mental Health. http://www.nami.org/Learn-More/Mental-Health-Conditions/Related-Conditions/Sleep-Disorders. Accessed Sept. 6, 2016.
  6. Approach to the patient with sleep or wakefulness disorder. Merck Manual Professional Version. http://www.merckmanuals.com/professional/neurologic-disorders/sleep-and-wakefulness-disorders/approach-to-the-patient-with-a-sleep-or-wakefulness-disorder. Accessed Sept. 6, 2016.
  7. Insomnia. Natural Medicines. https://naturalmedicines.therapeuticresearch.com/databases/medical-conditions/i/insomnia.aspx. Accessed Sept. 6, 2016.
  8. Sleep and aging. National Institute on Aging. https://nihseniorhealth.gov/sleepandaging/aboutsleep/01.html. Accessed Sept. 6, 2016.
  9. Kliger B, et al. Complementary/integrative therapies that work: A review of the evidence. American Family Physician. 2016;94:369.
  10. Bonnet MH, et al. Clinical features and diagnosis of insomnia. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Sept. 6, 2016.
  11. Bonnet MH, et al, Treatment of insomnia. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Sept. 6, 2016.
  12. Cassoff J, et al. Evaluating the effectiveness of the Motivating Teens To Sleep More program in advancing bedtime in adolescents: A randomized control trial. BMC Psychology. 2014;2:6.
  13. Valerian. Natural Medicines. https://naturalmedicines.therapeuticresearch.com. Accessed Sept. 12, 2016.
  14. About AASM accredited facilities. American Academy of Sleep Medicine. http://www.aasmnet.org/aboutmembercenters.aspx. Accessed Sept. 15, 2016.
  15. Buysse DJ. Insomnia. JAMA. 2013;309:706.
  16. Olson EJ (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. Sept. 20, 2016.
  17. Sateia M. Chronic insomnia disorder. In: International Classification of Sleep Disorders. 3rd ed. Darien, Ill.: American Academy of Sleep Medicine; 2014. http://www.aasmnet.org/EBooks/ICSD3. Accessed Sept. 20, 2016.