If you continually have problems sleeping each night, one of the best ways to figure out what might be causing the issues is to keep track of patterns. How long does it typically take you to fall asleep? What times do you usually wake up? How do you feel whenever you wake up? The answers to these questions may be able to shed light on what is preventing you from sleeping. In fact, a sleep diary is often the first thing doctors look at if they believe a patient has sleep apnea in Lincoln. March is actually Sleep Apnea Awareness Month, so today, the team at Pioneer Greens Dentistry is going to discuss why keeping a sleep diary is important if you’re having problems, and what you should include in it.
How A Sleep Diary Can Help
“I’m having difficulty sleeping,” is a very broad statement. It can mean many things to many people, and can be caused by an almost endless list of factors. The only way to truly focus and start treating the problem is to get specific. Simply keeping track of what occurs one night doesn’t provide enough information, and trying to remember specific details of a week’s worth of sleepless nights can be difficult, which is why recording them in a sleep diary is so helpful. It not only helps you keep track of your sleep patterns, but also can show you how certain habits are affecting you. If you notice that you sleep badly whenever you go to bed at a certain time, you might adjust it and see if your sleep improves. Perhaps you see that reading before bed seems to help you sleep longer, so you can work to do it more consistently.
In addition to helping you help yourself, a sleep diary can also give your doctor vital information when trying to figure out what is causing your issues. They’ll be able to notice if certain patterns are consistent with particular sleep disorders, and will be able to advise you on how to get treatment if necessary. They will often ask patients to start keeping one at the first sign of problems. You can get a head start by simply beginning a diary before you visit your doctor. Basically, the more information they have, the faster they will be able to help you finally rest.
What Should I Include in My Sleep Diary?
Here are a few questions you can answer each night that will provide important information about your sleeping habits:
- What time did you go to bed?
- What time did you wake up?
- How many hours did you sleep?
- How many times did you wake up during the night?
- Did you take any medication during the day?
- Did you have alcohol or caffeine at any time?
- What were you doing right before bed?
- Did you take any naps during the day?
- How rested did you feel in the morning?
Also, be sure to include any life-altering or stressful events that may have disrupted your normal sleep patterns. Pretty much, anything you think might be affecting your sleep should be included.
What Should I Do with My Sleep Diary?
After you have kept a sleep diary for at least a week, take it to a local sleep doctor so they can go over it. With enough information, they might be able to tell what is causing your problems, and know if you need to complete a full sleep study. After that, they will be able to advise you on how to get treatment (which may involve you coming to see us) so you can finally rest. You should keep your sleep diary throughout this entire process so your progress can be monitored. We work with a variety of highly-qualified local sleep doctors, so if you need to find one in your area, simply give our office a call.
A sleep diary can be one of the most important tools to help you finally get the rest that you need, so if you consistently have issues sleeping, be sure to start keeping one tonight. If you have any questions about what should be included, just give us a call and we’ll help you get started.
“Wait, did you say that the dentist near me can help treat sleep apnea? How?” Yes! We have been helping sleep apnea patients for years, and you can learn more about how we do it right here.