This is where a small device is worn on  the wrist and it measures the person’s sleep wake cycle for a specified  period

Physical Examinations and Tests

Sleep Study:

Polysomnogram – The sleep study or polysomnogram  measures the brain waves, blood oxygen, leg movements and breathing  during sleep (Meghdadi et al., 2019). The Nurse Practitioner would be  able to rule out physiological reason’s ad the cause for the patient’s  insomnia.

Actigraphy: This is where a small device is worn on  the wrist and it measures the person’s sleep wake cycle for a specified  period (Meghdadi et al., 2019). This is convenient for this client and  the Nurse Practitioner would be able to monitor the client’s sleep  health and gauge the severity of the disruption of her sleep.The nurse  practitioner could also physically examine the patient’s nares for  septal occlusion.

Septal occlusion or deviation could lead to problems  with sleeping even during sleep, this would be important for the nurse  practitioner to evaluate as this could be interfering with the patient’s  sleep.

Epworth sleepiness scale – assesses the patient’s  tendency to nod off in various situations (Meghdadi et al., 2019).  For  this client it would be necessary for the nurse practitioner to assess  the severity of her nodding off during the day time especially at  unexpected times like during eating and other activities that would put  her safety at risk.

Differential Diagnosis

G47.00 Unspecified Insomnia Disorder– The patient is  experiencing insomnia at nighttime that could be related to several  factors. She reports staying up late to watch T.V., depressive symptoms,  restless leg syndrome, sleep apnea and sleeping during the daytime.  Some of these factors have not been ruled out yet as the cause of her  anxiety.

G47.23 Persistent Irregular Sleep Wake type severe

F32.9 Unspecified Depressive Disorder

G25.81 Restless legs syndrome


Trazodone 50 mg – This medication would be the first choice as it  offers antidepressant properties as well as promotes sleep in those  diagnoses with insomnia. It is generally safe for the elderly population  at low doses (Pagel et al., 2018). The Nurse Practitioner should  monitor the patient and evaluate the needs to slowly increase or in some  cases decrease the dose.

Rozerem 8 mg- Is a nonbenzodiazepine hypnotic that promotes sleep.  The patient would benefit from his, but an added benefit would be that  she would be at a diminished risk of falls as this is a concern  following the use of hypnotics in the elderly. This drug is reported as  one that would prevent less falls from over sedation (Pagel et al.,  2018).

Lessons Learned

This writer has learned that it is important to conduct a complete  evaluation of the patient and not just focus on the presenting symptoms.  There are additional environmental and physiological symptoms that  could be attributed to the patient’s insomnia. In this case the patient  had several factors that could be contributing her insomnia and they  needed to be ruled out. The cause of her insomnia could have been  physiological from the sleep apnea or from her habits of staying up tool  late at nights and sleeping during the daytime. It is also important to  evaluate medications, social and economic factors before the resorting  to pharmacological interventions.


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