When to Seek Medical Care for Insomnia

Medically Reviewed by Smitha Bhandari, MD on October 20, 2020

Call the Doctor Insomnia if:

  • Symptoms of insomnia last longer than four weeks or interfere with your daytime activities and ability to function.
  • You are concerned about waking up many times during the night gasping for breath and are concerned about possible sleep apnea or other medical problems that can disrupt sleep.
  • You have begun taking a new medication that could be interrupting your sleep.
  • You notice an uncomfortable, painful, "crawling" sensation in your legs when trying to sleep or when your legs are not moving for prolonged periods (such as when driving or on an airplane flight).
  • You notice excessive heartburn that keeps you awake at night.
  • You wake up during the night due to physical pain.
  • You have noticed changes in your mood (such as feeling depressed), energy and appetite -- clues that insomnia may be a possible of a broader health problem such as clinical depression.




When to Seek Emergency Care

  • Worsening pain or increased difficulty breathing at night may indicate a need to seek emergency medical care.
  • Any worsening mood or agitation that results in suicidal, homicidal, or other dangerous thoughts.