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How and Why You Should Keep a Sleep Journal

Should a sleep journal be part of your daily routine? It just might help you improve your sleep.

Getting quality sleep for at least 7 hours comes with a slew of health benefits, but the opposite is also true: a lack of good sleep can impede good health, both physically and mentally.

If you're not getting the sleep you need, perhaps starting a sleep journal can help you determine why. Read on to find out why a sleep journal can be beneficial and tips to help you get started.

Benefits of Good Sleep

Getting enough quality sleep every night has several health benefits, including the following:

  • Reduces the chances of getting sick

  • Helps maintain a healthy weight

  • Reduces the risk for serious health issues, including heart disease

  • Reduces stress

  • Improve your mood

  • Helps you be more mentally alert

  • Helps you perform better at work or school

  • Helps you make better decisions

  • Helps you avoid injuries

  • Helps improve energy levels

Why Keep a Sleep Journal?

Having a sleep journal allows you to record essential information about yourself. Sleep journals typically include details about the following:

  • Bedtime

  • Wake time

  • How long it takes you to fall asleep

  • Number of hours slept

  • Quality of sleep

  • Number of sleep interruptions

  • Duration of sleep disruptions

  • Number and duration of naps taken during the day

  • Caffeine, alcohol, or tobacco consumption

  • Medications

  • Exercise

Recording all of this information every day will allow you to see a pattern in your sleep. If you're having trouble sleeping, you can refer to your journal to pinpoint where there may be issues that require attention.

If you eventually seek medical assistance, your doctor can use the information you recorded in your sleep journal, which can help them make a more accurate diagnosis and provide a protocol tailored to your situation.

You can use your journal to tally up your total sleep time, identify sleep disruptions, and highlight other important factors that can impact your sleep quality.

Getting Better Sleep

Establishing a routine for both morning and night is helpful. In fact, having a sleep routine that you follow every day is one of the best ways to ensure better sleep.

Wake up at the same time every day, even on weekends

Spend a few minutes outside every day to soak in some vitamin D

Avoid consuming caffeinated beverages no later than 2 pm

Avoid daytime napping

Start your nighttime routine at least 30 to 60 minutes before bed. There are several things you can do before bed, such as the following:

  • Take a warm bath

  • Read

  • Meditate

  • Write in your journal

Performing the same tasks in the same order each night will tell your brain that these activities precede sleep.

With a sleep journal in hand, you can accumulate important information about your sleep habits that can help you spot any potential red flags and take steps to rectify them.


1. Worley, S.L. "The Detrimental Effects of Inadequate Sleep on Health and Public Safety Drive an Explosion of Sleep Research", P T., December 2018; 43(12): 758–763. Times Cited: 133; Journal Impact Factor: 3.043.

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