What Is Sleep Journaling?
Sleep journaling is the act of recording or writing down your thoughts and feelings before you fall asleep each night. You may have heard of dream journals or sleep diaries, and while those are similar, a sleep journal is used for different purposes.
While sleep diaries or dream journals are intended to track specific patterns, certain dreams, and habits, a sleep journal intends to simply practice mindfulness and write down your thoughts. We know that writing can be intimidating, especially if you have no idea where to begin. To get you on the path to better sleep through journaling, we’ve gathered a few easy ways to help you get started.
What Do I Write in a Sleep Journal?
Every person is unique, making what they write in their sleep journal completely up to them. Typically, in sleep journals, it’s important to center your writing around your specific experiences and be as thorough as possible. No one besides you will read it, so don’t hold back!
Even with this general overview, you may still be wondering how to organize your thoughts. If you’re new to journaling, we recommend the following writing prompts until you get used to the idea of writing all of your thoughts down.
To help you get started, here are three topics you could explore in your new sleep journal:
1. Vent About Your Feelings From The Day
Did you have a particularly rough day or maybe an extraordinary one? Write all about it. We particularly love to write about any feelings of anger, worry, or resentment we may be holding on to as this is a healthy way to cope with stress. Journaling is considering a healthy coping mechanism as it can help you make sense of the emotions you’re feeling instead of bottling them up until, inevitably, they come crashing out all at once.
2. What Are You Thankful For?
We also encourage you to write about the things that make you happy and thankful in life. When you reflect on what makes you feel joy, it can help put you in a better mood — which also benefits your mental health, leading to improved sleep. We find it helpful to focus on one big experience where you felt extreme happiness and gratitude or making a list of small, but notable experiences that bring you joy. It’s always helpful to add extra positivity to your life, even if you’re just writing about it.
3. To-Do Lists
Creating a to-do list may not be everyone’s cup of tea. But practicing this exercise can be extremely beneficial for putting anxious thoughts to rest and helping you go to sleep with a clear mind.
If you’re unsure how to start writing a to-do list, begin by compiling all of your unfinished tasks that need to be done tomorrow — no matter what their significance. This allows you to have a clear set of intentions for the next day as well as help you keep track of your progress. After putting these tasks to paper, you’ll feel less inclined to lay in bed, worrying about all of the things you need to accomplish.
Incorporating Writing Into Your Nighttime Routine
When it comes to your nighttime routine, we know it can be a challenge to perform certain tasks if you’re already feeling drained from the day. While journaling may feel like a chore, taking a mere 15 minutes to write down your thoughts and feelings each night can significantly improve your sleep and better your mental health.
If you choose to journal before bed every night, you’ll create a healthy habit that allows you to feel more at peace before falling asleep. By practicing this habit, you’ll begin to associate sleep journaling with feeling relaxed, which can also contribute to falling asleep easily and calmly.
Your Journey To Peaceful Sleeping
By practicing sleep journaling, it allows for your mind to be more at peace instead of laying in bed with racing thoughts. This is a healthy method of releasing any stress, worry, and frustrations from the day, ultimately improving your sleep quality. If you find that sleep journaling isn’t working for you and there may be an underlying health issue, get in touch with Dr. Lauck.
Schedule an appointment at our Keller office by calling (817) 431-6764. You can also reach out through our online contact form and one of our team members will be with you shortly.