Fast Five Quiz: Insomnia

Stephen Soreff, MD


June 05, 2020

According to AASM guidelines, actigraphy is indicated as an approach to characterize circadian rhythm patterns or sleep disturbances in patients with insomnia, including those with depression. Actigraphy applies to devices that are worn on the wrist and record movements that can be used to estimate sleep parameters with specialized algorithms in computer software programs.

Actigraphy allows for continuous recording for days, weeks, or longer. Although it is not indicated for routine diagnosis of sleep disorders or for assessment of severity, actigraphy may be useful as an adjunct in diagnosing insomnia, excessive sleepiness, or circadian rhythm disorders.

AASM guidelines state that polysomnography and daytime multiple sleep latency testing are not indicated as part of the routine evaluation of chronic insomnia, including insomnia suspected to be a result of psychiatric or neuropsychiatric disorders. However, polysomnography is indicated when sleep apnea or movement disorders are suspected, when initial diagnosis is uncertain, when treatment fails, or when precipitous arousals with violent or injurious behaviors occur. Other laboratory testing (eg, blood, radiography) are not indicated for the routine evaluation of chronic insomnia, unless comorbid disorders are suspected.

Read more about the workup of insomnia.


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