In a previous post I have introduced the topic of sleeping disorders and how to treat insomnia in natural ways with a positive mental attitude. I have listed some tips to sleep better, and after discussing the first two (the second one being split into Part#1 and Part#2), now I am going to discuss the third one, that is, the usefulness to keep a sleep log.
A sleep log, or diary, is a tool that is usually recommended by sleep specialists, because of course they have to know all details concerning your sleeping habits and the problems you falling asleep or maintaining your sleep; moreover, they have to know which are the conditions and circumstances of your daily life that may influence the quality of your night sleep.
The questions you have to answer in such a diary may be of this kind:
- What time you wake up for good
- Whether or not you feel rested when you wake
- New aches or pains not felt the previous night, especially jaw/tooth aches
- Amount of caffeine consumed (type, amount, what time was it)
- Amount of alcohol consumed
- Stressful events (what types and do you expect them to persist tomorrow)
- Exercise (what, at what time and for how long)
- Daytime naps (time of day, length of nap)
- Any medications taken, whether they worked and how they made you feel the next day
- What time you went to bed
- Last foods eaten before going to bed, including amounts
- Estimated time it took to fall asleep
- How many times sleep was disturbed plus how long it took to fall back asleep
- Total time spent sleeping
- If you had any teeth-related dreams
All of this information is very important, of course, but since the approach of this website is more oriented towards the mental aspect, I’m going to suggest a little variation for your log.
Keep a log of your worry thoughts
The problems you encounter in your daily life bring their burden of worry, which can become chronic anxiety and stress; and we already know that anxiety and stress are among the worst enemies of sleep. We already know, also, that a worried person is essentially a person who is not able to manage his thoughts properly. A worried person is always brooding thoughts on his life issues, big or small. When an issue pops up in his mind, immediately thoughts are generated: thoughts of not being able to solve the problem, of not having enough time for it, of having to neglect some other issues in order to manage the new one, and so on, in a endless chain of self-generating worry thoughts.
Here comes my suggestion of a thought log. Keep always with you a pen and a notebook during the day, and on the bedside table at night. When a worry thought pops up in your mind, don’t allow yourself to brood on it, but immediately write it down, with some few notes and considerations, and deliver it to your worry period (see this post). The prompt effect of doing this, is to relax your mind and slow your brain, because you know, now, that whatever problem it is, it will have its proper time and opportunity to be managed, and therefore you don’t have to think about it in that moment.
Maintaining the practice of keeping your log you get two benefits. First of all, you build up your feeling of being an organized person and, therefore, definitely able to face every issue may arise. Secondly, by giving each issue his proper time to deal with, you will make yourself more effective and more likely able to manage everything satisfactorily; this, will increase your self confidence and will establish a virtuous circle that will improve things even more.
As usual, your experience about this and your comments would be much appreciated. Feel free to leave them here below.