Everyone knows how to keep a diary and you’ve probably written one or two in your time, but you may not know about keeping a regular sleep diary. Journaling your dreams, the quality of your sleep and how you feel in the morning can be very beneficial to tracking any patterns in your routine – and it can even help you to discover any irregularities should you suffer from sleep conditions. That’s why we’re here to let you know the best tips and tricks for keeping a handy sleep diary.
Much like a regular diary, the aim is to write in your sleep diary daily, detailing as many aspects as you can think of that may affect your sleep.
It is recommended that you fill out the journal before you go to bed and note down key factors about your evening, such as your last meal or what you last had to drink; cheese and anything containing caffeine can have a major effect on the night’s sleep you receive, so it’s worth noting down in case you’ve consumed anything that may trouble your shut-eye.
Whether you stick to a regular routine or not, it’s a good idea to document the time you go to bed each night. The following morning, jot down what time you think you may have fallen asleep, then on looking back through your diary, you may be able to determine what is preventing you from falling asleep based on what you ate the night before or the last things you did before bed.
With that in mind, ensuring that you don’t over-stimulate your brain with too much activity before bedtime and not using technology a couple of hours before you go to bed could be a good idea if you want to get the most from your sleep. If you happen to have spent longer than normal on your smartphone or tablet before sleeping or if you watched a film before dropping off, add this to your diary – as it can be useful to refer back to at a later date.
If you feel you are suffering from a sleep condition, keeping a regular sleep diary can act as a great tool for both you and your healthcare professional to determine what may be causing the issue. It may be that it is just your sleeping habits that are affecting the way you sleep, and your journal can help you to make any necessary changes to improve both the amount and quality of sleep you are getting.
A sleep diary is a great way of making your sleep a priority; we all have busy lifestyles and it can be very easy to take our sleep for granted, so finding the time each night to sit down and determine exactly how you are sleeping can work wonders for your well-being, not to mention the positive effect it can have on your sleep. Now we’ve taught you how to keep a sleep diary, let us know how you get on.