Want Better Sleep? Track it!

Track your sleep

Your spouse has made it very clear that you’re having some strange nighttime happenings and that you must see a doctor in order to figure out what’s going on. Perhaps your snoring is keeping everyone in the house awake. Or maybe your spouse needs to know why you’re jerking awake after a workout. You may even be falling asleep in the middle of the day because you’re so tired from grinding your teeth all night long. Whatever the reason, your sleep specialist will definitely want you to keep a sleep diary so that you can record all of the information that may affect the quality and quantity of your sleep.[1] If you’re feeling a little lost about where to start, follow this guide from The Sleep Doctor, Dr. Michael Breus and click here for a printable version of Dr. Breus’ Sleep Diary.

Sleep doctors and sleep specialists help monitor and understand your sleep by having you answer questions in a sleep diary.[2] A sleep diary will help you see what your sleep looks like over time. You can then take the diary to your doctor to discuss your entries and see if a sleep specialist may be someone you need to talk to. You may also be able to see your own behavioral and sleep patterns that can help you correct the problem on an individual level.

To begin, you should write down what time you get into bed every night of the sleep diary schedule. Then put the diary away and get some sleep! In the morning when you wake, fill out the rest of the diary by answering questions such as “how many caffeinated beverages did you drink yesterday?” and “How many naps did you take yesterday?”

Remember, the diary will be most effective if you fill it out every day. Don’t try to remember what happened earlier in your week and absolutely don’t lie in your diary. If you withhold information, your doctor won’t be able to give you a proper diagnosis.

Keeping a sleep diary is a great way to decode the inner workings of your nighttime routine. Hopefully, you’ll find out that you only need to make a few sleep changes to begin reaping the benefits of a good night’s rest.

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