Somn Sleep Journal: record and improve your sleep - Somn

Somn Sleep Journal: record and improve your sleep

Try using the somn sleep journal to record and track your daily sleep, waking, and related activities over a period of several weeks. The information you generate can help you understand your sleep patterns and find ways to improve your sleep.

What is a sleep journal?

A sleep journal is used to track and record your daily sleep, waking and related activities. Typically maintained over a period of several weeks, sleep journals help people understand their sleep habits and patterns so they can find ways to improve their sleep and daily performance.  Healthcare professionals frequently analyze data from sleep journals in research settings and in their clinical practice. Often, just the simple act of tracking and recording can help people improve their sleep. Sleep journals can help support and improve both the Routine and Mind sleep factors.

The Somn Sleep Journal

Our three-week program is designed to help you dive into your sleep habits and embrace the importance of healthy routines in your sleep journey. The Somn Sleep Journal program focuses on goal setting and taking consistent, incremental steps towards change. The sleep journal also helps you identify and track daytime events that may be affecting your sleep. Change isn’t always simple, but this journal will help you ease into a new routine. According to Matthew Ebben, PhD, a psychologist specializing in sleep medicine, “A sleep log is a great way to document what someone is feeling about their sleep quality and see if that improves over time.”

Routines are important

Healthy routines make a world of difference to sleep. Sleep scientists see this again and again in their research. Studies on sleep often involve 2 weeks where people track sleep, and a curious thing happens during that period… Their sleep improves! Often a lot. Just by tracking their sleep.

Daily behaviors & routines

Routine encompasses daily behaviors that impact sleep such as diet, bedtime and wake time, exercise, and when and how much caffeine we consume. However challenging our day-to-day may be, we all have routines we follow from morning to night. The question is: do they help or hurt sleep? One way to answer this question is to keep a sleep journal, so you can track your daily habits and discover how they impact your sleep.

Somn Sleep Journal basics

Before further examining why a sleep journal will likely boost your z’s, let’s discuss how it’s done.

Pen & paper? Remember that? Yeah, but I have a phone that does everything and there are lots of sleep diary apps, why paper? We like digital things too, but a paper journal is special and has its advantages. The physical journal sitting beside your bed can be a good reminder to log and protect your sleep, while avoiding extra time on sleep-disrupting screens. Tracking your sleep with pen and paper (or “old school tracking” as we like to call it) helps you visualize your sleep patterns and understand your sleep health. The act of journaling or creating lists has also been found to be a relaxing or therapeutic activity to calm the mind before attempting to fall asleep.

Follow these steps:

Step 1) Set goals

  • Select a target bedtime.  Consistent bedtimes are important and a good 1st thing to fix or improve.  Find help here about how to set a target bedtime.
  • Record this target bedtime in your journal. Setting, declaring and recording a goal helps to establish the goal and helps you to stick with it.

Step 2) Track daily/nightly

  • Your actual bedtime each night (hopefully close to your target bedtime!)
  • If you missed your target bedtime
  • Sleep quality; how well you felt you slept
  • If and when you awoke during the night…and when you fell back asleep
  • When you woke up for the day
Sonm Sleep Journal entered

You will also track some of your activities during the day that are known to be sleep related:

  • Physical activity – moving during the day helps sleep at night
  • Caffeinated and alcoholic drinks you consumed during day
  • Screen time before bedtime – it’s hard, but put the phone down

Step 3) Journal your thoughts at night

Somn Bedtime Journaling

Getting ideas down and out of your head can help the Mind sleep factor. See if it works for you. Write about whatever you like. Recapping the day is a good start. Try it for a few nights, it gets easier and more natural each time. Journaling is a well proven tool that can bring peace after a stressful day.

Step 4) Sleep & keep going… record your sleep for a week and then interpret 

We are here to help you interpret as well. More guidance on interpreting your sleep can be found here.

Step 5) Review & reflect

When you become aware of the daily activities and behaviors that negatively impact your sleep, you are more likely to make adjustments. As you keep your sleep journal, you’ll start to see how your routines impact your sleep.  Adjust your goal or create a new one… we’ll help.

Step 6) Repeat… keeping going; every night

Over time, these insights will allow you to piece together your shuteye puzzle. For example, if you often eat a heavy meal too close to bedtime, you may find that your digestive system may be the sleep thief. If you begin to realize that the glow from a streetlamp outside your window frequently wakes you, your particular light sensitivity may be the culprit. Recording and evaluating your habits will shed light, too, on your particular susceptibilities and where you can clean up your sleep hygiene. Good news: sometimes you can problem-solve on your own, without the help of a doctor. Eye mask, anyone?

What to do next…

Get your own Somn Sleep Journal, start tracking your sleep & take the first steps to better sleep health.

Need some more reasons to keep a sleep journal…?

1. Keeping a sleep log will help you understand your own sleep habits

Sleep disorders are not always to blame for your trouble snoozing. The real problem is often your sleep routines & habits. Assessing whether or not your sleep routine, or lack thereof, is serving you could do wonders for your sleep. With a little reflection on your patterns, you can find better sleep. Take note of any tendencies that don’t align with good sleep hygiene, self-correct, and see if things improve.

2. A sleep journal helps you prioritize shuteye

When you become aware of the behaviors that negatively impact your sleep, you adjust. As you start keeping your sleep journal, you’ll start to make conscious choices to improve your nights spent in subconscious dreamland. You’ll choose chamomile tea over a bourbon nightcap… abolish blue light… put the phone down… and draw the curtains. You’ll scent your space with lavender. Once you realize how your choices have been negatively impacting you, you’ll make different and better choices.

3. A sleep journal is an effective tool… and there’s science to back it up.

According to Dr. Ebben, keeping a sleep log for at least two weeks is a “wealth of information”, giving patients the opportunity “to find and fix sleep problems”.

4. Keeping a sleep log will encourage you to take charge of your health

Tracking your own personal data (lifelogging, quantified self, body hacking, etc) is not a bad habit to get into, and it’s not so much about counting your steps each day or meticulously recording calories: it’s a feeling. What wakes you up at night? Which foods wreak havoc on your digestive system? Everyone is different, and when you start to pay attention to how you react to sleep disruptors, you’ll learn to pay attention to what breaks your skin out, makes you bloated, and gives you anxiety. In short, you’ll be better able to understand and nurture your own health.

5. You might enjoy keeping a sleep diary

If you write morning pages, keep a bullet journal, or consider yourself a writer – you just might like keeping your sleep log. Make it your own, make it sustainable, and make it fun! There’s no truer form of self-care than learning how to keep yourself healthy and happy. Do it your way.

Get your own Somn Sleep Journal, start tracking your sleep & take the first steps to better sleep health.

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