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How to use a sleep diary

If you have many sleepless nights that affect daily activities, keeping a sleep diary will help a doctor or sleep specialist diagnose the problem.

There may be a pattern to disturbed nights, and understanding this can help with treatment or lifestyle changes.

To keep a sleep diary, make a chart or table with spaces for:

  • The time you went to bed and woke up.
  • How long and well you slept.
  • When you were awake during the night.
  • How much caffeine or alcohol you consumed and when.
  • What you ate and drank and when.
  • Whether you had any emotional upset or stress.
  • What medications you have taken.

Below is an example of a sleep diary. You may like to print it out and use it, or alternatively create your own sleep diary.

Date:

Bedtime:
Wake time:

Duration of sleep:
Number of times awake at night:
Quality of sleep:

Caffeine
consumption and
time consumed
Alcohol
consumption and
time consumed
Food/drink
consumption and
time consumed
Emotions/
stress
Medication
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WebMD Medical Reference

Medically Reviewed by Dr Rob Hicks on April 25, 2016

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