Benefits of Sleep Journaling
Updated: Nov 13, 2021
While many are familiar with the concept of keeping a journal, a sleep journal may be a foreign idea to some. Sleep journaling is simply keeping a written record of your sleeping habits, your schedule, and even your dreams. It actually has many benefits for your well-being, and you may see a huge improvement in your life if you give it a try!
1. Sleep pattern analysis
Sleep journaling can help you identify patterns in your sleep behavior that may be affecting you. Over time you may notice that certain behaviors make it more difficult for you to fall asleep, such as your level of activity for the day, a certain event you attended, or what you ate. You might see a recurring pattern in how restful your night's sleep is based upon what you were doing right before bed or what shows you have been watching. It can even help you track which sleep aids are doing well to help you, like white noise or blackout curtains. Keeping a close eye on these patterns can help you improve your behaviors to ensure a healthy night's sleep in the future.
If you are a parent of a baby that you suspect has a sleeping problem, keeping a detailed record of their sleep will be the first step in determining if this is so. Recording sleep schedules along with the number of times they wake up, when they wake up and other factors could help reveal to a physician what's behind your baby's sleep issues.
2. Screen-free time
One of the worst things for your sleep is blue light, which is the type of light created by screens from phones, computers, or televisions. Spending some time before bed writing in your sleep journal is a great way to give your eyes and your mind a break from the blue light. This will help your body produce melatonin, the sleep hormone, and set your circadian rhythm to tell your body that it's bedtime.
3. Improves mental health
Having a poor sleep schedule has been proven to have catastrophic effects on your mental health. It can increase the risk of depression and anxiety, make it more difficult to focus, and make you irritable. In short, having bad sleep just makes you miserable! By investing in the health of your sleep routine, you can dramatically improve your mental health and your life.
4. Improves physical health
Similar to the toll taken on your mental health, your physical health suffers from a lack of quality sleep, too. Poor sleep hygiene has been linked to a broad spectrum of physical disorders, including cardiovascular disease, diabetes, hypertension, migraines, and more. By ensuring that you get plenty of sleep, you can prevent many physical ailments and ensure your own good health.
5. See improvement
When change is gradual, it can sometimes be hard to see the improvement you are making over time. Documenting your sleep over time can be encouraging as you see just how much you have improved since starting. You might not feel like you are sleeping much better simply because your sleep has gotten better so gradually that you don't consciously notice. When you flip back towards the beginning of your sleep journal and read about what it used to be like, you might appreciate just how much has changed over the course of time!