In order to diagnose insomnia, your doctor looks at your medical and sleep histories and does a physical exam. They also may recommend a sleep study. Your doctor may ask whether you have any new or ongoing health problems; have painful injuries or health conditions, such as arthritis; take any medicines, either over-the-counter or prescription; have symptoms or a history of depression, anxiety, or psychosis; or are coping with highly stressful life events, such as divorce or death.

Your doctor also may ask questions about your work and exercise routines; your use of caffeine, tobacco, and alcohol; and your long-distance travel history. All these can provide clues about what’s causing your insomnia.

Your doctor also may ask whether you have any new or ongoing work or personal problems or other stresses in your life. Also, he or she may ask whether you have other family members who have sleep problems. A sleep study will answer lots of questions about your sleep habits that can also pin down the problem.