The most basic of sleep journaling is as simple as leaving some paper by your bedside so you can write a few lines first thing in the morning. You’ll want to log a few simple variables:
- Yesterday’s date (the night-of ___).
- What time you went to bed.
- Guess the time you fell asleep (don’t watch the clock!)
- What time you woke up and got out of bed.
- How you slept the night – maybe on a scale of 1-10.
- Any other variable you’d like to track – like number of times awakened, whether you had a hot bath, loud noise from the street, whatever.
Do this for a couple of weeks, and if you notice a pattern of sleep (bad or good) that tells you something. Do more of what’s good, and less of what’s bad. Simple as that.
The journal can be a window into your world at night – something that most of us take for granted – but if you have trouble sleeping, it can be a treasure trove of useful information.
If you’re anything like me – the data you gather by writing things down is a small subset of what you’d like to know. I have about twenty variables that I want to track, and it’s all but impossible to do with a pen and paper. And even if you did, seeing a trend would be very hard.
What I do is log everything in an on-line spreadsheet (note: the Zeo user website that comes with the monitor includes access to an on-line, automatic sleep journal).
Whether you choose to use a spreadsheet of your own, or default to one provided for you, the data you have access to analyze is incredibly revealing.
I’ve put up a sample of my spreadsheet on Google Docs.