Talking to Your Doctor About Insomnia
- Bring someone else with you. It helps to have another person hear what is said and think of questions to ask.
- Write out your questions ahead of time, so you do not forget them.
- Write down the answers you get, and make sure you understand what you are hearing. Ask for clarification, if necessary.
- Do not be afraid to ask your questions or ask where you can find more information about what you are discussing. You have a right to know.
- What causes insomnia ?
- How do I know if I have insomnia?
- Am I currently taking any medicine that puts me at higher risk for developing insomnia?
- How can I prevent insomnia?
- How do I know if I’m getting enough good or restorative sleep?
- How do I best treat insomnia?
- Where can I go to get help with psychological problems?
- Who can help me learn to reduce stress?
What medicines are available to help me?
- What are the benefits/side effects of these medicines?
- Will these medicines interact with other medicines, over-the-counter products, or dietary or herbal supplements I am already taking for other conditions?
- Are there any complementary or alternative therapies that might help me?
- Is cognitive behavioral therapy a good treatment option for me?
Should I engage in exercise?
- What kind of exercise is best?
- How often should I exercise?
- How do I get started with an exercise program?
- Should I exercise in the morning or at night?
- Are there any alternatives to the medicines I am presently taking that would be less likely to cause insomnia?
- Is there something I can do to my bedroom to make it more conducive to sleep?
- Are there activities I should avoid that could disturb my sleep?
- Should I stop drinking alcohol or caffeine?
- How can I find help to quit smoking?
- If I lost weight, would my sleep improve?
- Is it okay for me to take a nap during the day?
- How do I know that my prevention or treatment program is effective?
- Will I be able to cure my insomnia?
- Will it come back? If so, what should I do?
Insomnia. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: https://dynamed.ebscohost.com/about/about-us . Updated July 9, 2012. Accessed August 13, 2012.
Jacobs GD, Pace-Schott EF, et al. Cognitive behavior therapy and pharmacotherapy for insomnia: a randomized controlled trial and direct comparison. Arch Intern Med . 2004 Sep 27;164(17):1888-96.
National Center on Sleep Disorders Research website. Available at: http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/about/ncsdr/index.htm .
National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute website. Available at: http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov .
National Sleep Foundation website. Available at: http://www.sleepfoundation.org .
- Reviewer: Marcin Chwistek, MD
- Review Date: 05/2014 -
- Update Date: 05/07/2014 -
This content is reviewed regularly and is updated when new and relevant evidence is made available. This information is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with questions regarding a medical condition.
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