If you’re struggling with a lack of sleep, or from a sleep poor in quality, there are plenty of options you can try to improve your situation, the most important of these being to keep a sleep diary.
Whilst there are plenty of options out there for keeping topped up on sleep levels, from establishing an evening routine through to turning off electronics and a hot bath before bed, keeping a sleep diary is a topic rarely talked about.
So, what is a sleep diary, and how can it improve rest quality for a better life?
What is a sleep diary?
The clue is in the name, a sleep diary is simply a log of all your sleep related patterns, from how many times you wake in the night, through to how you’re feeing in the morning and when you start to feel drowsy in the evening.
What to put in a sleep diary
The overall goal of a sleep diary is to allow you to track various elements of your sleep, in order to identify where your rest might be experiencing disturbance.
Here are a few tips on what to include:
- You should write down what time you go to bed, as well as the time in which you actually begin to try to fall asleep.
- Disturbances in the night should also be logged, including how many times you wake, the reason you’re awake and how long it takes you to fall back to sleep.
- In the morning, it’s useful to record what time you wake, whether you woke with an alarm or naturally, how you felt when you woke up and how long it took you to get out of bed.
- It’s also super important to log whether you were experiencing any sleep interruptions such as a cold. Other issues to note would be whether you’re experiencing chronic pain before sleep or whether you’re highly stressed, as these can all affect sleep quality.
- It can also be super interesting to log in your sleep diary any dreams you can remember, this can help you to spot for consistences!
There are plenty of things you can do with the results from your sleep diary, as you work through your rest patterns to improve your night time experience.
If you’ve logged any frequent waking in the night, look back on this issue to discover the reason you woke. For example, if the most common cause appears as a bathroom trip, it would be best to limit fluids before bed for a deeper sleep.
If you’re sleep appears more broken on the days you’ve recorded yourself as stressed, working on coping strategies for this stress can be a great way to combat this disruption, from meditation apps through to seeing friends and family or having a bath.
Taking each issue logged and tackling the cause can help to resolve sleep disruptions, after a period of sorting of these issues, log your sleep again to note any improvements for a #betterlife.