We all may have days when falling asleep is difficult, be it a result of stress or demanding schedules. But have you had trouble falling asleep or sleeping through the night? It could even happen despite your attempts to count sheep, use sleep programs, or create the ideal sleeping environment. If such strategies fail, you might have complex sleep problems.
The most prevalent sleep problem is insomnia, or difficulty staying asleep. It may be challenging for you to fall asleep and stay asleep, or it may cause you to wake up earlier than usual and not be able to fall back asleep. Even after waking up, you can still feel exhausted. Along with affecting your energy level and emotions, insomnia can also harm your productivity and quality of life.
To determine your risks of having this sleep disorder, you can take an insomnia test prior to seeing a doctor. How to know if you have insomnia will be explained in this article.
Insomnia can only be diagnosed by a medical professional. Get in touch with one by clicking the button below.
What is Insomnia?
Insomnia is the most common sleep disorder. It can happen even to those having a comfortable sleep environment and enough sleep opportunities.
When you have insomnia, you don’t get as much rest as you need. It may indicate that you aren’t getting enough sleep, your sleep quality is decreased, or you are having difficulties staying or falling asleep. For some people, insomnia can be slightly annoying, whereas others may suffer from insufficient sleep a lot.
The causes of sleeplessness differ greatly. Common causes can be:
- Physical. Some physical conditions linked with insomnia include chronic pain, asthma, overactive thyroid, and heart problems.
- Psychological. In some patients, insomnia may be related to psychological stress, anxiety, or depression.
- Genetic. Several studies have found that in adults, the heritability of insomnia varies from 22% to 59%. The optimum range is 39%.
- Environmental factors. A strange or bad sleeping environment, a shift work schedule, and jet lag are a few environmental factors that may cause insomnia.
How Can You Tell If You Have Insomnia?
According to the DSM-5-TR, if you have been diagnosed with insomnia, the key symptoms will include at least one of the following:
- Having trouble getting to sleep.
- Problems with staying asleep.
- Difficulty falling asleep again after an early morning wake-up.
But nighttime sleep issues may also result in some daytime symptoms. Daytime warning signs to look out for are the next:
- Difficulties paying attention or concentrating.
- Frustration or worries regarding your sleep.
- Poor job or academic achievements.
- A negative mood or irritation.
- Aggressiveness or impulsivity.
- A lack of drive or enthusiasm.
- Fatigue or somnolence.
- Injuries or accidents due to sleep deprivation.
How is Insomnia Diagnosed?
Difficulty getting asleep or remaining asleep all night doesn’t necessarily represent insomnia. A diagnosis made by a medical professional after a detailed examination is the only way to be certain.
A visit to the doctor is the first step in that procedure. You can start by seeing your primary care physician. Then, your doctor will refer you to a sleep specialist for an assessment if they believe you require additional testing. And while there is no specific single test for insomnia, various tests can help an expert get insight into your health.
Get a personalized treatment plan for insomnia from the comfort of your home.
Most Common Insomnia Tests
Several questionnaires are available to help clinicians diagnose insomnia or gauge the severity of symptoms. Listed here are some of the most popular ones.
- Sleep Disorders Questionnaire. This questionnaire is designed to be used by physicians as a screening tool to help diagnose insomnia. It inquires about symptoms commonly associated with sleep disorders. The result of the questionnaire can help healthcare professionals make a diagnosis and develop a treatment plan tailored to the individual’s needs.
- Insomnia Questionnaire. This questionnaire focuses on the symptoms and experiences related to insomnia. It includes questions about the frequency and duration of cases when falling or staying asleep was difficult. It also asks about daytime symptoms such as fatigue or difficulty concentrating. The questionnaire may also inquire about any potential causes of insomnia, such as stress, anxiety, or certain medications.
- Sleep Quality Scale (SQS). The 28-item SQS measures six aspects of sleep quality: difficulty waking up, daytime symptoms, restoration after sleep, challenges starting and maintaining sleep, and sleep satisfaction. The scale was developed to serve as a generic, effective measure that could be used to assess sleep quality across a range of patient and research populations.
- Two-week sleep diary. It is a tool to track an individual’s sleep patterns over two weeks. The diary includes sections for recording the time an individual goes to bed, the time spent sleeping, and the sleep quality. It may also ask about factors influencing sleep, such as caffeine or alcohol consumption, exercise habits, and stress levels. The information gathered in the sleep diary can help healthcare professionals identify patterns or issues with an individual’s sleep and develop a personalized treatment plan to improve sleep quality and duration.
- Auckland Sleep Questionnaire (ASQ). There are 30 items total in ASQ. The questions in ASQ cover a broad spectrum, including demographics, general health conditions, job schedule, drug, and alcohol use, menopausal status, anxiety, and depression, as well as questions about sleep. The questionnaire addresses insomnia symptoms and covers other sleep disorders, such as delayed sleep phase disorder and obstructive sleep apnea.
- Global Sleep Assessment Questionnaire (GSAQ). Each of the test’s 11 items asks patients about symptom frequency during the previous four weeks and has four response options. The subject areas include signs of insomnia and other sleep problems and cover mood, daily activities, and sleep-related medical conditions.
- Holland Sleep Disorders Questionnaire (HSDQ). There are 32 items in the HSDQ. Each item consists of a brief statement and a row of five numbers; participants must circle the number that best describes how much the statement applies to them.
- Iowa Sleep Disturbances Inventory (ISDI). There are 86 items in the ISDI. Each of them contains a brief statement that respondents are asked to mark as true or false. The ISDI has one general scale in addition to 11 particular scales to check for initial insomnia, fatigue, and other sleep-related issues.
In Conclusion: How Accurate Are Insomnia Quizzes?
Online insomnia quizzes are not a reliable resource if you need a credible diagnosis. They are not intended to substitute a doctor’s opinion and only help you know the possibility of having primary or secondary insomnia. These tests serve well for self-examination and help you decide whether or not you should see a doctor. Also, during the treatment process, the results of such insomnia tests could demonstrate to the health professional how your symptoms have evolved since your last visit.
If you have a hard time falling asleep or experience other sleep issues, EZCare doctors are here to help. Sign in, book an appointment, and consult an expert online within 24 hours.