When to Seek Medical Care for Insomnia

Medically Reviewed by Carol DerSarkissian, MD on November 02, 2022
1 min read
  • Symptoms of insomnia last longer than 4 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 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 symptom of a broader health problem such as clinical depression.




  • Worsening pain or having a harder time breathing at night may mean you need to seek emergency medical care.
  • The same is true if you have any worsening mood or agitation that results in suicidal, homicidal, or other dangerous thoughts.