Sleep Disorders: Circadian Rhythm Disorder

Exams and Tests

There are several tests that may be used to diagnose circadian rhythm sleep disorders, which are characterized by disrupted sleeping and waking times. Your doctor will begin by reviewing your symptoms, taking a medical history, and performing a physical exam.

Other tests used may include:

  • Sleep logs. A sleep log identifies the sleep-wake cycles in a person's normal environment (when at home and not traveling or working odd hours). In keeping a sleep log, a person is asked to maintain a sleep diary describing the previous night's sleep.
  • Sleep studies. Usually performed in a sleep lab, sleep studies monitor a person during sleep, measuring levels of oxygen, number of times he or she stops breathing, and how much he or she snores.
  • Imaging studies, such as CT scan and MRI, may be done to check for neurological diseases, sinus infections, or blockages of the airway.
  • Epworth Sleepiness Scale. A questionnaire that rates responses to eight situations, on a scale of 0-3, of their associations with sleepiness.
  • Actigraphy. A motion sensor worn on a person's non-dominant wrist for a week is used to measure sleep-wake cycles.

WebMD Medical Reference Reviewed by Neil Lava, MD on October 18, 2015

Sources

SOURCE: eMedicine Health.

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