If you're starting a new drug that may cause drowsiness, Dr. Carr recommends that you avoid activities that require alertness, like driving, until you find out how the medication affects you. In some cases, your sleepiness will lessen over time, as your body adjusts. If your medication is causing excessive drowsiness or affecting your ability to drive or work, call your doctor.
She also suggests that you keep healthy sleep habits to get a good night's rest; limit over-the-counter drugs that have drowsiness as a side effect; limit other substances that can cause tiredness, such as alcohol; and talk to your pharmacist to see if it's possible to take the medication at night, when you're already preparing for sleep.
Disclaimer: As a service to our readers, Harvard Health Publishing provides access to our library of archived content. Please note the date of last review on all articles. No content on this site, regardless of date, should ever be used as a substitute for direct medical advice from your doctor or other qualified clinician. Harvard Health Letter.
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It may be as simple as adjusting the dose, avoiding alcohol, or taking the drug at a different time of day. This content does not have an Arabic version.
Diagnosis Depending on your situation, the diagnosis of insomnia and the search for its cause may include: Physical exam. If the cause of insomnia is unknown, your doctor may do a physical exam to look for signs of medical problems that may be related to insomnia. Occasionally, a blood test may be done to check for thyroid problems or other conditions that may be associated with poor sleep.
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Sleep habits review. In addition to asking you sleep-related questions, your doctor may have you complete a questionnaire to determine your sleep-wake pattern and your level of daytime sleepiness.
You may also be asked to keep a sleep diary for a couple of weeks. Sleep study. If the cause of your insomnia isn't clear, or you have signs of another sleep disorder, such as sleep apnea or restless legs syndrome, you may need to spend a night at a sleep center. Tests are done to monitor and record a variety of body activities while you sleep, including brain waves, breathing, heartbeat, eye movements and body movements. Request an Appointment at Mayo Clinic.
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Share on: Facebook Twitter. References Riggin, EA. Allscripts EPSi. Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. July 21, What is insomnia? National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. Accessed Sept. Insomnia fact sheet. Sleep-wake disorders. Arlington, Va. Sleep disorders: The connection between sleep and mental health.
National Alliance on Mental Health. Approach to the patient with sleep or wakefulness disorder. Merck Manual Professional Version. Natural Medicines.
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Sleep and aging. National Institute on Aging. Kliger B, et al. American Family Physician. Bonnet MH, et al.
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Clinical features and diagnosis of insomnia. Bonnet MH, et al, Treatment of insomnia. Cassoff J, et al. Evaluating the effectiveness of the Motivating Teens To Sleep More program in advancing bedtime in adolescents: A randomized control trial. BMC Psychology. About AASM accredited facilities.
American Academy of Sleep Medicine. Buysse DJ.
Treatments for Sleep Changes
Olson EJ expert opinion. Sateia M. Chronic insomnia disorder.