Sleep is one of my 5 Keys to Staying Healthy, but we often don’t appreciate how important it is to our wellbeing until we’re not sleeping well and everything seems out of balance.
If this sounds familiar and you want to improve your sleep then a good place to begin is by keeping a daily sleep log. This will help establish a baseline – your current sleep patterns and habits – then you can figure out where to focus your improvement efforts.
Set aside a notebook and use the following suggestions:
Fill in Daily – each morning (don’t try to write things down during the night)
• What time did you go to bed last night?
• What time did you fall asleep (approx)?
• How many times did you wake up?
• How long were you awake (combined) during the night?
• What time did you wake up?
• How long did you sleep in total?
• What time did you get out of bed?
• How well do you feel you slept?
4 =Poorly / 3 = Just okay / 2 = Pretty well / 1 = Excellently!
Daytime Activity log
It is also helpful to track what you’re doing during the day as these activities can affect your sleep. Track things like what you eat, your stress levels, and use of caffeine, alcohol, tobacco, etc.
Fill this out each evening before going to bed.
• Caffeine?(amounts and times of day)
i.e. Coffee, black tea, chocolate, don’t forget sodas, etc.
• Tobacco? (amounts and times of day)
• Alcohol? (types, amounts and times of day)
• Medications and time taken (prescription and/or over the counter)
• How was your stress level? 4 = Very high / 3 = High / 2 = Moderate / 1 = Low
• Did you get any physical activity (types, amounts and times of day)
• Did you eat three meals?
• Did you have a late-night snack?
• If yes, what was it?
• Did you Nap? (number of minutes and times of day)
• What did you do during 2 hours before going to bed?
Both your sleep and daytime activity logs will be most relevant and useful if you fill them out every day for two weeks. This is not the time to change your routine. For now just aim to get an accurate record of your normal sleep patters. That information will help you decide on the best course of action for improvement.
If you’d like to learn more about this important health topic then please take a moment to view this video recording on my recent online class called Healing Sleep HERE