When you recognise you are having difficulty sleeping, it could be an idea to start keeping a sleep diary.
A sleep diary helps you understand your sleep patterns and habits. Sometimes, your sleep troubles might not be due to a sleep disorder but rather some bad sleep habits. Drinking too much caffeine in the afternoon, drinking alcohol before bed, staring at a screen before bed and not giving yourself time to wind down could all be habits your sleep diary helps you recognise.
Keeping a sleep diary will also make you more proactive about your sleep. By actively thinking about your sleep, and recognising triggers that may effect it, you can begin to start making some positive changes such as switching your coffee to herbal teas in the afternoon or ensuring dedicate an hour to wind down every evening, away from the screen.
You may also begin to notice a better night’s sleep on the days you exercise or the weeks you keep to your sleep schedule. A sleep diary can also be really useful to present to your doctor If you have been keeping it for a number of weeks and made some positive changes but still haven’t found your sleeping to improve.
Things you may want to record include the time you went to bed, how long it roughly took you to get to sleep, when you got up and what if any wakefulness you experience in the night, to understand your sleep patterns. To get a better idea of what helps and hinders your sleep, keep a record of how you relaxed before bed. How long do you spend reading, listening to music or meditating before bed? Try and find a pattern that works for you.
Start scribbling and get sleeping!