Benefits of Keeping a Sleep Journal - Crozer-Keystone Health System - PA

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Published on May 07, 2013

Benefits of Keeping a Sleep Journal

If you’re plagued by sleeping problems and low energy levels during the day, you might want to start keeping a journal.

And no, we don’t mean a “Dear Diary” pour-your-heart-out-and-release-your-feelings kind of journal (unless, of course, you want to keep one of those too). The type of journal we’re talking about here is one that tracks your sleeping habits and everything that might impact your ability to get a good night’s sleep.

And why exactly would you want to write that stuff down?

Well, if you don’t sleep well during the night, it can put you at a greater risk for a variety of issues, such as weight gain, diabetes, cardiovascular problems, and low energy and concentration levels. Not to mention all of the money spent on creams designed to reduce the appearance of undereye bags—which can be reduced for free with a little extra sleep.

By observing your daytime activities and sleeping habits for at least two weeks, you (and maybe a doctor) can observe patterns or factors causing those restless nights, such as stress and caffeine overloads.

To create a basic sleep journal, you can print a downloadable version or look for one in your mobile app store. In each of these, you’ll be tracking the following:

Daytime information:

  • Average amount of energy you had during the day
  • Times you consumed alcohol, caffeine, and tobacco (also include amount)
  • Time and duration of naps
  • Medications you’re currently taking
  • Stress or emotion(s) during the day and right before bed
  • Time you went to sleep at night.

Once you’ve completed your chart for the night, put the pen and journal down! Even when you wake up during the night, don’t jot down these disturbances, as this will prevent you from getting back to sleep.

Instead, wait until the morning to note:  

  • How long it took you to fall asleep (approximation)
  • Number of times you woke up during the night and an estimate of how long you were awake
  • Time you woke up in the morning
  • How long it took for you to get out of bed
  • How you felt upon waking up in the morning

You can also keep a specific sleep journal to identify different sleep disorders such as snoring, sleep apnea and sleep deprivation. You may be surprised to find out that changing the smallest behavior, such as drinking one fewer cup of coffee, can be your ticket to a wonderful slumber!

For more information, visit Crozer-Keystone’s website at http://sleep.crozerkeystone.org. Crozer-Keystone offers a multidisciplinary approach to the identification and treatment of all types of adult and pediatric sleep disorders. To make an appointment, visit our website or call 1-888-SLEEP-03 (1-888-753-3703).

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