Insomnia Part 8: Lab testing for Insomnia

By September 19, 2012 October 30th, 2014 No Comments

Is there testing available to determine why a patient has sleep concerns? If a patient has difficulty falling asleep, staying asleep, or waking unrested, specific neurotransmitter lab tests can help determine the best natural treatment approach. In our Mesa office we regularly have patients present to do testing to determine levels of norepinephrine, epinephrine, dopamine, serotonin, and tryptophan. These are standard labs run through Sonora Quest or Lab Corp and are covered by most insurance plans. The best news is that knowing these levels of neurotransmitters help determine the depth of deep sleep and its effects on how a patient handles stress. For example, if a patient has difficulty turning the mind off at the end of the day, or they find themselves feeling exhausted or overwhelmed by stress, we can see this in the lab work and modify stress expression to improve sleep patterns in the brain. Measurement of neurotransmitters allows alternative doctors to measure indirectly, each patients individual response to stress. In fact, we could say that stress in general, is the first and greatest cause in sleep disruption. Now we can test the affects of stress on the individuals themselves and on sleep patterns. With this information, a Naturopathic Physician can begin to create a protocol that is individual and specific to that patient to help them handle and recover from stress and begin to sleep deeply. Often this approach to sleep concerns leads to improvement in energy and ability in handling daily stress. Neurotransmitter testing represents the best way to measure individual stress response and its affects on energy and sleep patterns.