Standard Interview Format for the Evaluation of Insomnia
Edward J. Stepanski, PhD
Sleep Disorder Service and Research Center
Rush-Presbyterian-St. Luke's Medical Center
Definition of the Problem
- What time do you go to bed? What time is your final awakening?
- How long does it take you to fall asleep?
- Do you awaken during the night? If yes, how many times?
- How much total sleep time do you get?
- How much total sleep time do you need to feel rested?
- How long have you had this sleep pattern?
- What was your sleep like before you developed this problem?
- What treatments have you tried for your sleep problem?
- Did any of these treatments help?
- Do you watch television, read, work, or eat during the night? In bed?
- How do you sleep away from home (e.g., on vacation)?
- Do you fall asleep more easily on the couch than in the bed?
- Are you easily awakened by noise or light?
- What do you do while awake at night?
- Was there a precipitating event when your insomnia first began (e.g., hospitalization, stressful event)?
- Do you take naps during the day?
- Do you look at the clock during the night?
- Do you feel frustrated or tense when seeing your bed or bedroom?
- Do you think about your sleep difficulty during the day?
- Are you afraid of not sleeping? What do you think will happen to you?
- How does difficulty sleeping affect your life?
- Do you have any medical problems? (Review of systems)
- Do you have any pain at night?\
- What medications do you take? What dosages? How often?
- Do you drink alcohol? How much? How often?
- Do you take any non-prescribed drugs? Diet pills?
- Have you tried medication for your sleep problem?
- How much coffee do you drink?
Restless Legs / Periodic Leg Movements
- Have you noticed muscle twitches in your legs at night?
- Do you ever have painful or itching sensations in your legs that prevent you from sleeping?
- Has your bed partner ever noticed leg movements while you were sleeping?
- Do you snore?
- Do you ever awaken gasping for breath?
- Has your bed partner noticed any unusual breathing pattern?
- Do you have any difficulty breathing through your nose?
- Have you ever had surgery on your nose or throat?
- Have you ever been treated for emotional or psychological problems?
- Have you felt depressed recently?
- How is your appetite? Has your weight changed lately? How much?
- Do you have any phobias? Panic attacks?
- How is your marriage? Does your spouse understand the problems you have been having with your sleep?
- Do you have an active sex life? Does this affect your ability to sleep?
- Do you have a stressful job? Stressful life?
- Do you find it difficult to get out of bed in the morning?
- Do you sleep later on weekends (or days off)?
- What are your work hours?
- Do you ever change work shifts?
Daytime Sequelae / Misc
- How does poor sleep interfere with your performance the following day?
- Is your job performance affected?
- Do you fall asleep at unexpected times during the day?
- What would you like to see changed about your sleep?
- How would improved sleep affect your daytime functioning?
- Do any family members have insomnia, excessive sleepiness, or another sleep disorder?
- Do you and your bed partner have similar bedtimes?
- Does your sleep ever improve under certain circumstances?