NYC Sleep Specialists Explain the Benefits of Keeping a Sleep Journal

By Nick Johnson NYC Sleep Specialists Explain the Benefits of Keeping a Sleep Journal Custom Tag

In this article, we'd like to pass along as a tip one of the techniques we use in our Manhattan sleep center that has helped many patients to learn more about their sleep patterns, and thus find ways to improve the overall quality of their sleep.


The technique is to keep a sleep journal, and what's best about it is 1) it requires no special equipment, only a pencil and a notebook, and 2) you can do it at home. If you are already thinking of coming to see us at New York Sleep-Wake Center, we recommend that you keep such a journal for several weeks, and bring it with you to your first appointment. It only takes a few minutes, and it may provide some useful information that helps you and your doctors to pinpoint possible sleep disorders that keep you from getting the quality rest you need.


Things you should record in your sleep journal


We recommend keeping your sleep journal beside your bed where you can easily jot things down when you wake up in the morning, or if you awaken during the night. You can use a template such as this Sleep Diary from the National Sleep Foundation, or you can use a standard notebook and create your own. Here are some examples of things you'll want to record in your sleep journal:


·         What time you went to sleep, and when you woke up.

·         How long you slept continuously, and how well you felt you slept.

·         Whether you woke up during the night, and if so, how often.

·         How much caffeine or alcohol you consumed during the day, and when.

·         What you ate after 4:00 PM, and when.

·         Whether you took naps during the day.

·         Whether you were under any unusual stress or emotional turmoil.

·         What drugs or medications you were taking.

·         How much exercise you had during the day, and when.

·         Whether you felt rested when you woke up.

·         Whether you felt any new aches or pains when you woke up.


In our experience as NYC sleep doctors, we have found that maintaining an accurate and consistent sleep journal is vital if you want to pinpoint the causes of your poor sleep. Don't worry about trying to analyze or interpret the entries in your sleep journal as you make them – it's the patterns that emerge over time that will give you and your NYC sleep specialists the most insight into whether you suffer from sleep disorders and how to treat them.


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By Nick Johnson October 8, 2013 10:23 Custom Tag