Complaints of poor sleep or insomnia are among the most common reasons why patients consult their primary care physician. The diagnosis of insomnia, however, is non-specific and easily confused with parasomnias and hypersomnias. So the clinician must fully assess the sleep problem and rule out a primary or underlying condition (Taylor et al., 2007) before treating sleeplessness symptomatically with a hypnotic (medication to induce sleep). The three cases in this chapter illustrate insomnia as well as less common sleep disorders. At the end of this chapter, the reader will be able to 1. Discuss a differential diagnosis for symptoms of insomnia 2. Identify the behaviors associated with parasomnias 3. Develop a plan for assessment of daytime hypersomnia.
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