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How useful is a Sleep Diary?

A Sleep Diary is recommended in most treatments that doctors prescribed; this tool helps them have an appropriate diagnose of what is required to resolve almost every kind of sleep disorder that is manifesting; this is usually an essential key that will allow preventing any further health complications that could lead to other serious diseases.

Over more than 30% of the American population suffers from some kind of sleep disorder, and even though they haven’t been told by a doctor to keep a Sleep Diary; it is certainly a functional instrument to notice if whether or not they are following an optimal sleeping routine, accomplishing the average number of hours needed to rest every night.

But, how exactly can we start using a Sleep Diary? it is actually really simple, in fact, you will be able to find the official template on the National Sleep Foundation website; nevertheless, if you already have one or want to start a new template of your own; here are some helpful tips you should consider to make sure that it has all the necessary information is required to make a correct diagnosis:

1. TIME

  • You went to bed and woke up
  • Times you woke up during the night
  • How long you stayed awake during the night
  • Naps you took during the day and how much they lasted

2. EATING AND DRINKING HABITS

  • How much caffeine and alcoholic beverages you consume and at what time
  • What did you eat, especially before going to bed
  • How much food you ate during the day

3. MEDICATIONS

  • What medications are you taking and why have they been preescribed for?
  • Write down in your sleep diary the list of every pharmaceutical substance you have taken during the day.

4. EMOTIONS

  • Did you have any stressful situations during the day?
  • Are you dealing with an anxiety feeling?
  • Did you experiece an overwhelming feeling such as anger, happiness, sadness or other?

5. PHYSICAL ACTIVITY

  • What exercise you performed?
  • How much time did you practice exercise?
  • At what time you excercised?

Keeping a sleeping diary helps us track our bedtime routines and habits; making it much easier to identify what could be causing the sleep disorder we are suffering; along with that, it will help us maintain a sleep record that we can provide to our doctor and have a more accurate sleep disorder diagnose.

Maintaining a sleep diary could also help us recognize how good our daily habits are; this means that we will be able to know what we should do or change in order to have a healthy lifestyle; considering all possible factors like noise, lighting, or bedroom environment; that is required to help us keep a proper sleep cycle.

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