How Does Your Health Care Provider Test for Insomnia?

There is no definitive test for insomnia. Doctors use many different tools to diagnose and measure insomnia symptoms, some of which involve asking you questions in the office, having you fill out logs and questionnaires, performing certain blood tests, or doing an overnight sleep study. All of these tests help your doctor understand your personal experience with insomnia and create the right treatment plan.

Sleep log: A sleep log is a simple diary that keeps track of details about your sleep. In a sleep log, you’ll record details like your bedtime, wake up time, how sleepy you feel at various times during the day, and more. A sleep log can also help your doctor figure out what might be causing insomnia. Here is a sample sleep log.

A sleep inventory is an extensive questionnaire that gathers information about your personal health, medical history, and sleep patterns.

Blood tests: Your doctor may perform certain blood tests to rule out medical conditions such as thyroid problems, which can disrupt sleep in some people.

Sleep study: Your doctor may suggest that you do an overnight sleep study, or polysomnography, to gather information about your nighttime sleep. In this exam, you sleep overnight in a lab set up with a comfortable bed. During the exam you will be connected to an EEG, which monitors the stages of your sleep. A sleep study also measures things like oxygen levels, body movements, and heart and breathing patterns. A sleep study is a non-invasive test.