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Tracking your sleep schedule can help you maintain healthy sleep patterns and improve your sleep quality. Learn how to record your nightly sleep with a diary.



What Is a Sleep Diary?

A sleep diary is a written log documenting your sleep schedule. You can keep a simple sleep log in a pocket notebook by your bedside. Use it to record the details of last night's sleep from bedtime to wake-up time, and include notes about sleep quality. Keeping a sleep diary has less to do with format and more to do with consistency. Choose a format you can easily incorporate into your bedtime routine.

Why Keep a Sleep Diary?

If you have a sleep disorder or simply struggle to fall asleep, you can keep a sleep diary to create and maintain healthy sleep habits. Consistent sleep is essential for maintaining your health. Prioritizing a good night's sleep can stave off daytime drowsiness, fogginess, and other related problems, and a sleep diary can be a helpful tool for fixing your sleep schedule.

How to Keep a Sleep Diary

To keep a sleep diary, record your sleep and wake cycles in your notebook each morning and night. The following are some key metrics to include in your sleep diary:

  • The time you got into bed
  • The approximate time you fell asleep
  • Any times you woke up during the night, and for how long
  • The time you woke up in the morning
  • The time you got out of bed after waking up
  • Any sleep medicine you used (including supplements like melatonin, as well as over-the-counter medications)
  • Any current health issues
  • Intake of alcoholic or caffeinated drinks before bed
  • Hours of any daytime napping

If your diary reveals inconsistent sleep patterns, try to maintain a sleep and wake schedule at the same time each day, ideally in alignment with your circadian rhythm. You can also bring your sleep diary to a healthcare professional to review the metrics together. A sleep specialist will be better able to help you tackle sleep problems if they have a clear sense of your sleep habits.

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Want to Learn More About Catching Those Elusive Zs?

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