Track Sleep Hygiene Using a Sleep Diary

sleep journal on pillowMost of us recognize the familiar yawns of morning commuters as we make our way to work each morning.  Having a second cup of coffee before your 10am meeting is also not unheard of, for most people.  However, lack of energy, decreased motivation, lethargy, and feeling tired for most of the day is actually not healthy or normal, and could signal an underlying condition.  The first step in discovering whether or not you are “too tired” is to get your sleeping habits, or your sleep hygiene, under control.

Sleep Hygiene Discovered

You can find out more about your sleep hygiene using a sleep diary (or journal) to record your nighttime habits, and find out what is causing your restlessness.  For the best and most accurate results, it is recommended to maintain your journal for at least one week.

Here are some things to record in your journal:

  • What time you get ready for bed
  • What your nighttime ritual consists of
  • If you used any electronic devices prior to bed
    • Did you watch any television?
    • Did you fall asleep with the sleep timer on your TV?
    • Did you use a laptop or mobile phone in bed?
  • If you consumed any food or beverages prior to sleep
  • The look/feel of your sleeping environment
    • Is the room completely dark?
    • What is the temperature of the room?
  • How often you wake up during the night
  • How you feel throughout the night
    • Are you frustrated?
    • Do you wake up feeling sleepy or are you wide awake?
  • How you occupied yourself during interrupted sleep
  • Average total hours of sleep per night

If you stick to the plan and are diligent in your recoding, the sleep diary can be most beneficial because it allows you to track your exact behavior incredibly accurately.  All of the questions above, allow you analyze the environment and how it affects your sleep hygiene.  And once you have some information jotted down, it will allow you to draw certain patterns and conclusions based upon the behaviors that you are displaying.  In most cases, people begin to associate one or two certain behaviors with a lack of sleep, and they are very easily able to correct the behaviors and get back to a good night’s sleep.

What if the journal doesn’t work?

In other cases, however, the journal still may not be able to help you conclude what is the cause of your lack of sleep during the night.  In this scenario, it is time to seek help from a professional who can get at the root cause and diagnose a condition and subsequent treatment option for you.

The health professionals at eos sleep, will work with you to determine why you are awake during the night and what can be done to fix the problem.  A lack of sleep may seem like a minor and bothersome annoyance, but it can signal sleep apnea, most commonly, as well as other serious conditions, that may have prolonged and long-term negative effects on your health and well-being, for many years to come.

At eos sleep, we offer at-home sleep studies so that doctors can be provided with the information that they need in order to diagnose obstructive sleep apnea.  And because the study is done at home, there are no hassles to disrupt your ordinary routine.

Even if you are not prescribed an in-house sleep study, talking with a board-certified otolaryngologist will surely be helpful in correcting your sleep troubles and getting your sleep hygiene on the right track.

If you are constantly feeling tired and run-down because you are not getting enough sleep, consider a sleep journal, and consider calling to make an appointment today.  You don’t need to spend any more of your life yawning on the train to work every morning!

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