Take One Minute Out of Each Day
Good sleep can seem like a mystery: The sleep fairy blesses us with sleep or keeps us awake all night, regardless of our best intentions. But of course that’s not the case. Much of our sleep is determined by what we did hours earlier in the day, along with the attitudes and behaviors we bring to our bedtime.
Getting good sleep doesn’t have to be so mysterious. Professional sleep therapists know this and the first step they recommend to their patients is to keep a sleep diary. Why? Because so much of our behavior passes unnoticed – keeping even a short and simple record of our sleep can reveal a lot. The good news is that this works for you too – you can get a big benefit from a sleep diary without presenting it to a sleep doctor. The simple act of recording how you sleep and what behaviors surrounded your sleep can open your eyes to the changes you need to make.
Here’s how to get started
You can write your Sleep Diary in a simple document like Word, or print out copies of a preformatted Diary like this one, shared by the National Sleep Foundation: https://sleepfoundation.org/sleep-diary/SleepDiaryv6.pdf
OR, you can try the online sleep diary here at The Better Sleep Project
The key is to keep it simple and only track the big information:
How long did you sleep?
Did you wake up refreshed?
How much caffeine and alcohol did you consume?
Did anything else affect your sleep – temperature, noise, melatonin, anxious thoughts…
What did you do in the hour before bed?
If you keep a Sleep Diary for at least two weeks, I guarantee that your sleep will improve. I’m so impressed with the power of keeping a Sleep Diary that if it doesn’t work for you I will refund your money. That’s right, I’ll give you back $0. Just kidding of course! What I’m trying to say that keeping a Sleep Diary is free and it’s very effective. You have nothing to lose, so get started today!
Make a Change
Keep a sleep diary for at least two weeks. At the end of each week, look over what you’ve written: Do you see any patterns? Does anything surprise you? Use what you find to guide the next changes you make to sleep better.
References and Additional Resources