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A sleep diary
with nighttime in the middle and the weekend in the middle, to better notice trends
A sleep diary is a record of an individual's sleeping and waking times with related information, usually over a period of several weeks. It is self-reported or can be recorded by a care-giver.
The sleep diary, or sleep log, is a tool used by doctors and patients.   It is a useful resource in the diagnosis and treatment of especially circadian rhythm sleep disorders, and in monitoring whether treatment of those and other sleep disorders is successful.
Sleep diaries may be used in conjunction with actigraphy.
In addition to being a useful tool for medical professionals in the diagnosis of sleep problems, a sleep diary can help make individuals more aware of the parameters affecting their sleep. This data alone can help people self-diagnose what helps them get a good sleep.
The information contained in a sleep diary includes some or all of the following points:
- The time the person tried to fall asleep
- The time the person thinks sleep onset occurred
- The number, time, and length of any nighttime awakenings
- The time the person had wanted or intended to wake up
- The time the person woke up
- The time the person got out of bed
- Whether the person woke up spontaneously, by an alarm clock, or because of other (specified) disturbance
- A few words about how the person felt during the day (mood, drowsiness etc.), often on a scale from 1 to 5
- The start and end times of any daytime naps
- The name, dosage and time of any drugs used including caffeine and alcohol
- Time of evening meal, heavy or light
- Stress level before bedtime
- Activities the last hour before bedtime
Sleep logs are often hand-drawn on graph paper, as a rule one week per page. Specialized software for creating sleep logs is also available; a spreadsheet or database software can also be used. Online services can also be used to track daily sleep patterns.
- ^ Michael L Perlis, Carla Jungquist, Michael T Smith, and Donn Posner (2005). The Cognitive Behavioral Treatment of Insomnia: A Session-by-session Guide. Springer-Verlag New York Inc. pp. pp 33, 50. ISBN 978-0387222523.
- ^ Morin, C.M. (996). Insomnia: Psychological Assessment and Management (Treatment Manuals for Practitioners). Guilford Publications. pp. p 61. ISBN 978-1572301207.
- ^ Charles M. Morin and, Colin A. Espie (2003). Insomnia: A Clinician's Guide to Assessment and Treatment. Kluwer Academic / Plenum Publishers. pp. p 30. ISBN 978-0306477508.