How To Keep A Sleep Journal
There are many practices that can negatively impact our sleep, and a sleep specialist can help you diagnose which habits are making it harder for you to fall or stay asleep at night. If you have suffered from sleep issues, and are planning to talk to a doctor, you should keep a sleep journal ahead of your appointment.
A sleep journal should track what time you went to bed and what time you got out of bed, how often you woke up through the night and how long you stayed awake, what disturbed your sleep, and how you felt in the morning (rested, somewhat rested, fatigued).
It’s also helpful to track your daytime habits like amount of caffeine consumed and times, medications, naps (time of day and length), mood, whether you consumed alcohol before bed, and what your bedtime routine looks like.
The National Sleep Foundation has a journal outline available online, or you can use a blank notebook. Keep track of your rest, and ask a specialist to help you figure out how to make changes to sleep better. Call us today for your sleep consult at 509-345-3154!
Build A Healthy Sleep Routine
A good night’s sleep starts with building a healthy sleep routine. Many adults have poor pre-bed routines that impact their sleep negatively. Creating a consistent routine that you follow night after night will help you sleep better.
Try to go to bed at the same time every night and wake up at the same time each morning (even on weekends). Most adults require 7-9 hours of sleep for their body to rest and recover, so go to bed early enough that it allows you to get enough sleep. Avoid naps if you can. Napping too late in the day or for too long can make it harder to fall asleep at night.
Reducing light will help you fall asleep. Shut off screens at least 30 minutes before bedtime. Excess light exposure can throw off your sleep and circadian rhythm. Instead of looking at a screen, consider reading or journaling with a low light until you get tired. Wind down with relaxation exercises or by listening to soothing music.
Create a cool environment. Most experts say a cooler room that is around 65 degrees is optimal to sleep. Don’t make it so cold that you’re uncomfortable.
If you’re still struggling with your sleep after trying these techniques, you might be suffering from a sleep disorder, and should contact a sleep specialist. Call us at 509-345-3154 today!