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What questions might I ask my doctor about my sleep quality?

Review the following questions about sleep disorders so you're prepared to discuss this important issue with your healthcare professional. Consider asking the following questions:
  • Could my excessive daytime sleepiness (EDS) or insomnia be caused by an underlying physical, emotional or psychological condition? How are EDS and insomnia treated?
  • Could my EDS or insomnia be caused by a medication I'm taking?
  • Could my fatigue be caused by an underlying physical, emotional or psychological condition? How can it be treated?
  • I don't sleep as well as I did when I was younger. Are sleep changes normal in older adults?
  • How much sleep do I really need, under normal conditions?
  • Should I take sleeping pills for my insomnia? What are their possible side effects? Am I at risk of becoming addicted to them?
  • How can I improve my sleep habits to help relieve my insomnia? What should I do if I find myself tossing in bed, unable to sleep?
  • What should I avoid eating or drinking if I want to improve my chances of getting a good night's sleep? Should I avoid napping during the day?
  • If a polysomnogram (sleep study) is recommended for me, how should I prepare for it?
  • What is a sleep diary? How can it help you evaluate my sleep problems?
  • What details should I include in a sleep diary to help diagnose the causes and effects of my sleeping problem?
  • Are there any tests that I can do at home to determine if I'm suffering from excessive sleepiness or fatigue? If so, what are they?

If you find that you are having daytime sleepiness or know that you snore at night, you may wish to speak with your physician about your quality of sleep. Poor sleep doesn’t just leave you feeling tired during the day; it can also contribute to medical problems such as cardiovascular disease

The following questions can help you talk to your physician about your sleep concerns. Print out or write down these questions and take them with you to your appointment. Taking notes can help you remember your physician’s response when you get home.

  • How much sleep should I aim to get each night?
  • What can I do to promote good-quality sleep?
  • Is my heart disease contributing to my sleep problems?
  • Are certain sleeping positions better than others to help me get the sleep I need?
  • Are my sleep problems affecting my heart disease?
  • Is my snoring a sign of sleep apnea? How does sleep apnea affect my heart?
  • Do any of my current medications cause sleepiness or insomnia?
  • I’m feeling stressed and I can’t sleep well at night. What can I do about my stress level?
  • Are there any sleep medications that can improve my sleep?

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.