How to Use a Sleep Diary to Get a Better Night’s Rest

Do you wake up just as tired and groggy as when you fell asleep the night before? If you’re like many people, you don’t get a good night’s sleep, but you really don’t know what the problem is. That’s where a sleep diary can help. Sleep diaries allow you to track your habits so you can better see what might be causing your sleeping problems.

You can use it for yourself or can even record your child’s sleep behavior and habits in order to help your child get a better night’s rest. Sleep diaries aren’t hard to use, and you can even find a sleep diary online, so it’s easy to get started. A sleep diary can be an indispensible tool for getting better sleep at night.

Why use a sleep diary?

Is it really necessary to chart your sleeping habits? It really depends. If you are struggling to fall asleep at night or waking up just as tired as when you went to bed last night, then a sleep diary can be just the thing to help. You can track different things such as what time you went to bed and got up in the morning, how long it took you to fall asleep, how you feel in the morning, what you ate or drank during the day, if you took any naps, if you exercised, if you took medicine, how much stress you felt during the day, etc.

This information can help you or a doctor spot trends in your sleeping habits and help you see what you can do to improve your quality of sleep. A sleep diary can be an invaluable tool for anyone who wants to take a closer look at their sleeping habits. You can also do the same for your child if needed. A sleep diary for children can show you how your children are doing in their sleeping patterns.

How to use a sleep diary

If you think a sleep diary form would help you pinpoint the problems in your sleeping habits, you should definitely try keeping a log. First, find a template that you like and print it out. Keep it in a spot where you are likely to remember to use it, such as beside your bed or in the bathroom. Chart your information for at least a week or two and then look for trends. You may find that the types of food you eat affect your quality of sleep. Or maybe your occasional naps are disrupting your sleep routine. It helps to see what you are doing during the day and night so you can pinpoint what helps you have a good night’s sleep and what may be causing a lousy night.

You can also use your sleep diary as a tool for your doctor. If you are working with a doctor regarding your sleep issues, a sleep chart will be very helpful for the doctor to see. It can give them an accurate picture of your daily habits so they can get better pinpoint your problem areas.

Sleep diary template

You don’t need to create a sleep diary template from scratch unless you want to. There are plenty of sources for an online sleep diary. All you have to do is find a printable sleep diary in a format you like with the information you need on it. And it doesn’t have to be complicated with a lot of information if you don’t want that. A simple page with the following information is helpful, but feel free to find a template that best suits your needs.

  • What time you went to bed and woke up in the morning
  • How long it took you to fall asleep and if you woke in the night
  • How rested you feel in the morning
  • What you ate during the day
  • If you took a nap during the day
  • If you took any medications
  • If you drank alcohol or caffeine
  • How stressful your day is

If you need help finding a sleep diary pdf online, here are a few of our favorites.

A sleep diary can be a great tool for getting better sleep at night. It takes some initial work to fill it out, but the information it gives you can be invaluable. For many people, getting quality sleep at night is an elusive goal. With a sleep diary, you can get closer to your goal by figuring out what is helping and what is hindering you from getting the quality of sleep you want and need.

About Holli Ronquillo

I'm a freelance writer, mom, wife, and sleep connoisseur (not necessarily in that order). When I'm not sleeping or chasing a toddler around, I'm usually writing or reading.