Diagnosis Of Sleep Disorders
Identifying each specific sleep disorder is imperative for effective treatment, as treatment for one may adversely effect another. While sleeping pills may help in some instances, in others they exacerbate the problem. The most important step in diagnosis is the sleep history, a highly detailed diary of symptoms and sleep-wake patterns. The patient records events such as daily schedule; family history of sleep complaints; prescription or non-prescription drug use; and symptoms—when they occur, how long they last, their intensity, whether they are seasonal, what improves or worsens them, and effects of stress, family or environmental factors. Important contributors are family members or friends; for example, a bed partner or parent may be the only observer of unusual occurrences during the patient's sleep.
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