Insomnia: Questions and Answers for Your Doctor

If you have insomnia, good communication between you and your doctor is crucial to helping you to get a better night’s rest. Your doctor will ask about your sleep problems, sleep habits, and medical history, among other things.

Assist your doctor by keeping a sleep diary. That way, you can provide accurate information on how long it takes you to fall asleep, how often you wake up during the night, how much you nap, and other important details.

To get the most from your visit, be sure to ask your own questions about what may be causing your insomnia, as well as treatment options and lifestyle changes.

Questions That Your Doctor May Ask You

  • How often do you have trouble sleeping? How long has the problem lasted?
  • On your work days and days off, when do you go to bed and get up?
  • How long does it take you to fall asleep? How often do you wake up at night, and how long does it take to fall back asleep?
  • How refreshed do you feel when you wake up? How tired are you during the day?
  • How often do you doze off or have trouble staying awake during routine tasks, such as driving?
  • Do you snore loudly and frequently or wake up gasping or feeling out of breath?
  • Do you have any new or ongoing health problems?
  • Do you have any health conditions or injuries that cause pain, such as arthritis?
  • Do you take any over-the-counter or prescription medications?
  • Do you use alcohol, tobacco, caffeine or any other substances?
  • Do you exercise?
  • Do you travel long distances or experience jet lag?
  • Do you have any new or ongoing stresses related to work, personal problems, or any other issue?
  • Do you have any family members with sleep problems?
  • Do you worry about falling asleep, staying asleep, or getting enough sleep?
  • What do you consume (food, drinks, medications) before bedtime? What routine do you follow before going to bed?
  • What are the noise level, lighting, and temperature like in your sleeping area?
  • Do you have any distractions in your bedroom, such as a computer or TV?