Everyone needs a good night’s sleep each and every night. Unfortunately, for a large segment of the population that is a rare commodity. While there are some who would argue that the time spent sleeping is time you cannot enjoy some of the more entertaining aspects of life, sleep actually improves the quality of your life and may even help improve your life expectancy. If you’re having trouble sleeping, keeping a sleep diary can help you manage your sleep a little better now and in the future.
Benefits of Adequate Sleep
There are many benefits that you get from a proper amount of sleep that most people don’t really understand until after they’ve gone through a fairly significant period of sleep deprivation at least once. As you age, the side effects of a sleepless night become much more pronounced and harder to overcome. These benefits include: improved mood and temperament, a brain that’s more receptive to learning, improved immunity, better alertness, increased balance, and more energy.
What is a Sleep Diary?
A sleep diary is very much what it sounds like. It’s a written record of the sleep you’re getting. You’ll record the answers to a list of questions relating to your sleep each morning. These questions include:
- What time did you go to sleep and wake up?
- How long did you sleep?
- How was the quality of the sleep?
- Did you wake during the night? How many times? When?
- How much caffeine did you consume? When?
- How much alcohol did you consume? When?
- Was there any emotional stress plaguing your thoughts?
- Did you take any medications or recreational drugs?
- What did you eat and when did you consume it?
They may not seem like burning questions to the general public, but if you’re suffering from a lack of sleep they can be extremely important clues that will help you get to the bottom of your sleep issues. If you’d like something a little less complex, there are pre-made sleep diary charts like this one from the National Sleep Foundation you can print to use instead.
Why are Sleep Diaries Beneficial?
There are many reasons people benefit from regular use of a sleep diary. First of all, it holds you accountable for your bedtime routine. Make no mistake about it, developing an effective bedtime routine helps you prepare your mind and body for a restful peaceful sleep.
Similar to sleeping on a latex mattress, a sleep diary is considered a natural remedy for sleep. A sleep diary helps you establish the routine that seems to have the greatest impact on your ability to sleep well throughout the night. It also helps you identify any habits you have that may have a damaging effect on your ability to fall asleep or stay asleep at night. As a final benefit, a sleep specialist can examine your sleep diary to help figure out problems you may be having with the quantity and quality of your sleep.
Not everyone has the discipline required to maintain a sleep diary for a long period of time. However, the longer you can sustain your sleep diary the greater benefit it has the potential to provide.
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