Create a Sleep Diary

By | March 11, 2016

How Can A Sleep Diary Help You?

You should notify your doctor if you are concerned that you might have a sleep disorder. He or she may ask you to create a sleep diary to keep track of your sleeping habits for a period of 1-2 weeks. This will help to determine what kind of sleeper you are. Create a chart and keep track of the following things:

  • What time did you go to bed each night
  • What time did you get out of bed in the morning
  • How long did it take you to fall asleep (in minutes)
  • How many times did you wake up during the night
  • How did you feel when you woke up in the morning (eg. tired, refreshed, etc.)
  • How many hours did you sleep last night

Before you go to sleep, try to avoid substances that may prevent you from sleeping, such as alcohol, caffeine, heavy exercise, and large meals or spicy foods 3 hours before bedtime.

One thing that I use that has helped keep track of the above items for me is the use of a Fitbit Charge HR device. It will record the answers to almost all of the items you’re tracking above. If you don’t have one of these devices, you should seriously consider getting one. Not only does it record this information for me, it is also an excellent motivating tool as it also records how many steps you walk each day and you can make a game of it by challenging friends of yours who also have one of these devices. I’m in the process of writing a review of my Fitbit Charge HR device. I have been using mine since October 2015.

After the 1-2 week period, present your doctor with your results. At that point, they may decide to arrange for you to have a sleep study.

Good luck!

Feel free to drop me a line and let me know if creating a sleep diary has helped you in any way!

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10 thoughts on “Create a Sleep Diary

  1. Shavon Fox

    Getting enough sleep is so important.

    Thank you for the “Sleep Diary” suggestions, I am starting mine tonight!

    Reply
    1. Shawn

      Hi Shavon!
      I hope the Sleep Diary suggestions prove beneficial for you.
      Regards,
      Shawn

      Reply
  2. Susan

    It is so important to remember that one has to be an active participant in one’s care. Your advice on how to keep a sleep diary and using a Fitbit was excellent. Thank you!

    Reply
    1. Shawn

      Thanks very much for the comment Susan! Absolutely, everyone should have a vested interest in their own health. Hopefully the sleep diary and Fitbit device are two small components to that end.
      Regards,
      Shawn

      Reply
  3. Rolf K. Bratli

    Shawn,

    what an excellent idea to create a sleep diary! I’m going to make one for myself. Not because I have sleep apnea, but to find out how many hours a night I sleep,if I am awake during the night and so on.

    The device you discussed interested me. I am in Abu Dhabi, where can I get one here? Will Amazin shup it here or not?

    I have to say that you are providing a lot of relevant information, even for people without sleep apnea. Than you for sharing this valuable information,

    All the best for now!

    rolfkb

    Reply
    1. Shawn

      Thanks very much Rolf! I checked the Amazon website and it looks like Amazon delivers to United Arab Emirates so I think you might be okay. I find my fitbit very useful, so if you get one, I hope you see the benefits of it as well.
      Regards,
      Shawn

      Reply
  4. BlueCQ

    This information was great. My husband, I believe, has sleep apnea. I will pass this information on to him to start logging and if and when I am awake I can log his breathing. He went for testing and there was nothing found. Shocking but hey, sometimes you just have to help them along. We will also look into the FitBit.

    Great site!
    BlueCQ

    Reply
    1. Shawn

      Thanks very much for your comments! I remember the first time I got tested, they told me it wasn’t bad enough to warrant using a CPAP device. I can tell you my wife wasn’t very happy with that decision. Finally this time around, it was confirmed that I had sleep apnea so I was able to start using a CPAP device. The Fitbit is an interesting device isn’t it? I really enjoy mine.
      Regards,
      Shawn

      Reply
    1. Shawn Post author

      I’m glad that the information about a sleep diary has been able to help your dad. Thanks very much for sharing!

      Reply

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