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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:

Recommended Related to Sleep Disorders

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Babies can sleep through a circus. Older kids may fight bedtime. And teens -- good luck getting them out of bed on a weekend. But what about you -- the grown-up? Your sleep life is still changing -- and not just because time is passing. How does sleep work in adulthood? Does it change -- for better or worse -- as we age? And why do we feel like we never get enough of it? An average adult needs between 7.5 and 8 hours of sleep per night. “But many people can function with 6 hours' sleep, and there...

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  • 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

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