Turning to a Sleep Disorder Doctor For Your Sleep Problems

Learn how to determine if your sleep problems should be reported to a sleep disorder doctor or family doctor and details about a sleep disorder diagnosis.

Sleep Problems? When to Call a Doctor

While insomnia is the most common type of sleep disturbance, and usually disappears on its own, the following sleep disorder symptoms should be reported to a doctor:

continue story below

Sleep Disorder Diagnosis: How It Works

Once you've reported your sleep disorder symptoms to a doctor, your family doctor or a sleep disorder doctor will attempt to determine the type of sleep disorder and its possible cause. Questions about medications you may be taking, psychiatric diagnoses, chronic snoring and recent weight gain are commonly asked during a medical exam. Your doctor may also elect to use additional tests and questionnaires such as:

  • a sleep diary: You may be asked to record your sleep-wake cycles and symptoms in a diary for a few weeks.
  • a mental health exam: A full mental health exam may be ordered as anxiety, depression and other mental health disorders are associated with sleep disorders.
  • a sleep questionnaire: A medically-validated questionnaire such as the Epworth Sleepiness Scale may be used to assess daytime sleepiness.
  • sleep tests: The doctor may order a sleep study where sleep information is recorded overnight in a lab (known as a Polysomnogram) or give you a device to wear to record movement during sleep (known as Actigraphy).


next: Sleep Disorder Treatment (Sleep Treatment)
~ all articles on sleeping disorders

APA Reference
Tracy, N. (2010, September 8). Turning to a Sleep Disorder Doctor For Your Sleep Problems, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2019, June 26 from

Last Updated: July 15, 2015

Medically reviewed by Harry Croft, MD