The sleep history is only one part of what goes into the doctor’s evaluation of the situation. Other physical examination tests may be required, including sleep-specific laboratory tests like polysomnography.
A patient’s sleep history can give insight into the cause of the patient’s sleepiness. The patient is asked to maintain this log for 2 weeks, recording bedtime, wake time, number of arousals, time it takes to return to sleep after an arousal, the use of a sleep aid, and any other relevant symptoms. It is particularly helpful for identifying sleep fragmentation, insufficient sleep time, circadian rhythm sleep disorder and insomnia.
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