Insufficient sleep syndrome and other sleep disorders that trouble us and our sleep can keep us from truly experiencing life in its fullest. Learning about our sleep patterns goes a long way in understanding why we sleep the way we do and how we can improve our sleep for a healthier life. Keeping this in mind, today we are going to discuss everything that there is to know about maintaining a sleep diary.
Maintaining a sleep diary is a great way to learn about one’s sleep patterns and understand why one faces sleep difficulties. But what do you jot down in a sleep journal? For people who have never kept a sleep diary before, it might be a little tough to get started. That is where we come in. We will give you a bunch of questions that you can answer in your sleep journal, and in no time, you will have a map of your sleeping habits and patterns that will help you in tracing the origin and causes of your sleep problems.
Questions for your sleep journal
- What time did you go to bed and what time did you wake up?
Jotting down the time you went to bed and the time you woke up will give you your sleep schedule. Having a good sleep schedule that allows you eight to nine hours of sleep is crucial for good health. Once you have established your sleep schedule, your next target is to stick to that schedule. If you do not maintain your sleep schedule, then research suggests that you are likely to develop cardiovascular diseases. To prevent that, it is essential you go to bed and wake up at the same time every day including weekends and off-days.
- Was your sleep interrupted?
While knowing your sleep duration is important, it is more important to know whether your sleep was interrupted during the night. This will give you insight into the quality of sleep you have been getting. Fragmented sleep is a potentially dangerous sleep disorder, and so knowing about your sleep interruptions can help you nip the condition in the bud.
- How much caffeine did you consume through the day?
Now you are closely looking at the habits that might be contributing to poor sleep. If you keep jotting down the timings and quantity of caffeine you consume throughout the day and the quality of your sleep, you will easily be able to deduce if caffeine is helping you rest or not.
- How do you feel emotionally and physically?
Your stress levels and your fitness levels are other very critical factors that determine sleep, and therefore when maintaining a sleep diary, you have to make a note of these too. Emotional stress is usually found to be a culprit when it comes to poor sleep. Some exercises that can help with this include meditation, breathing techniques, gratitude journaling, drinking chamomile tea, engaging in a sharing-circle with friends and family, etc.
Do you keep a sleep diary? What do you take note of in this journal? Share with us.