The most useful and efficient way of starting one’s sleep program is by understanding their current sleep–wake patterns. The standard measurement tool for insomnia is the “sleep diary”. Sleep diaries are not really diaries, but simple logs, based on one’s recollection of their last night’s sleep. Because they are the expert on their insomnia, they are the best person to report on each night’s sleep in order to measure their sleep problem. In fact, people with insomnia who go to sleep labs usually have trouble sleeping in the lab, which simply confirms their insomnia. Although the sleep information obtained from consumer wearable devices is appealing, at the time of writing this, these trackers are not yet ready for use in Sleep Therapy. This chapter provides a note about personal electronic sleep trackers and discusses logging your sleep with a sleep diary.
Your search for all content returned 9 results
After Week 4 of Sleep Therapy, it is recommended that one should check to see if they are now free from insomnia. One can do this by looking at the same things in their current sleep diary, before they started Sleep Therapy. This chapter provides suggestions to find out the experiences of initial insomnia, multiple awakenings, middle insomnia, and terminal insomnia. If a person takes longer than 30 minutes to fall asleep, he/she is experiencing “initial insomnia”. If a person has more than 3 awakenings per night, he/she can describe it as having “multiple awakenings”. If a person awakes each night, (3 nights or more) for greater than 30 minutes, he/she is experiencing “middle insomnia”. If a person wakes up for more than 30 minutes too early on at least 3 mornings, then he/she has “terminal” or “end-of-night” insomnia.
There are things over which one have direct control. So, if they are contributing to poor sleep, they can be addressed right away. One will now be perusing their sleep diary for three things: naps, alcohol, and sleep medication. Not that any of these things is bad, one just wants to make sure that they are not interfering with their nighttime sleep. If they are interfering, it is much easier to deal with them now, before one goes further. If one did nap, were the naps inadvertent or intentional? If they were inadvertent, this can be a sign of “excessive daytime sleepiness”. If the naps were intentional, then look at the timing of each nap. If one is taking sleep medication, it is dangerous to also drink alcohol. So, if one takes sleep medication, be sure to read and follow the instructions on the medication label.
One’s sleep diary provides good information about their sleep timing, quality, and quantity, and is the best way to measure sleep if a person has insomnia. For more in-depth examination of sleep by scientists, or sleep medicine clinicians, special equipment is used to track sleep stages and cycles through the night. To determine sleep stages, three main measurements are used: brain waves, eye movements, and muscle tone. These are measured using electrodes that are attached to the scalp, the face near the eyes, and under the chin, respectively. Polysomnography is measurement of sleep overnight in the sleep lab, with electrodes that are attached to the scalp, face, and chin, to determine sleep stages. Actigraphy is another way that sleep can be measured, but only roughly.
This chapter guides one forward after the second week of sleep therapy. It presents a chart called Calculating Your Week 2 Sleep Efficiency. By copying one’s sleep diary answers to Questions 1 to 7 for the typical night into the top section of this chart one can calculate the sleep efficiency for week 2. The chapter also presents a chart that helps to adjust one’s threshold bedtime, and Six Steps to Solid Sleep for week 3. The six steps are: go to bed only when sleepy and not before your threshold bedtime; maintain a regular threshold rise time in the morning; use the bed only for sleeping; leave the bed if you can’t fall asleep or go back to sleep within 10–15 minutes; if sleepiness is overwhelming, one may take a short nap (set aside no longer than 45 minutes) in the afternoon; and maintain a sleep diary.
This chapter guides one forward after the third week of sleep therapy. It presents a chart called Calculating Your Week 3 Sleep Efficiency. By entering the sleep diary answers for Questions 1 to 7 in the top section of the chart one can calculate the sleep efficiency. The chapter also presents Six Steps to Solid Sleep for week 4: go to bed only when sleepy and not before your threshold bedtime; maintain a regular threshold rise time in the morning; use the bed only for sleeping; leave the bed if one can’t fall asleep or go back to sleep within 10–15 minutes, return when sleepy, and repeat this step as often as necessary during the night; if sleepiness is overwhelming, one may take a short nap (set aside no longer than 45 minutes) in the afternoon, between 1:00 and 4:00 p.m; and maintain a sleep diary.
This chapter guides one forward after the first week of sleep therapy. It presents a chart called Calculating Your Week 1 Sleep Efficiency. By entering the Sleep Diary answers to Questions 1 to 7 for one’s typical night into this chart one can calculate the sleep efficiency for Week 1 of Sleep Therapy. If at any point one realizes that the night chosen is not really representative of the week, then one can try another night and see how close the sleep efficiencies are. If the nights are not consistent, then one may want to calculate all 7 sleep efficiencies and take the average for the week. The chapter also presents a chart that helps to adjust one’s threshold bedtime, and Six Steps to Solid Sleep.
This chapter summarizes the strategies of sleep therapy in 6 specific steps. The steps of sleep therapy appear to be simple, but they require some time and effort. The most important factor that determines whether their sleep will improve is the consistency with which one follows the steps. The chapter discusses fifth and sixth steps. Fifth step is if sleepiness is overwhelming, one may take a short nap (set aside no longer than 45 minutes) in the afternoon, between 1:00 and 4:00 p.m. Many programs recommend that one avoid daytime naps entirely because naps may make it harder to sleep at night. While this is partially true, one also knows that humans are biologically predisposed to have a nap in the afternoon if circumstances permit. Sixth step is maintaining a sleep diary. Keeping a sleep diary will show how one’s sleep improves as a result of their actions.
This chapter comes up with two numbers that are essential for Sleep Therapy. Sleep Therapy combines the most effective components of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Insomnia (
CBT-I); it involves tailoring bedtime and rise time for sleep needs, and associating bed with great sleep. Knowing the numbers will allow one to tailor their sleep improvement procedures. The first number is one’s “total sleep time”, which is how much sleep they are getting now. The second number is “sleep efficiency”, which is how solid their sleep is. One can use their baseline sleep diary to estimate fairly accurately their baseline values for total sleep time and sleep efficiency. The chapter shows how to estimate one’s baseline sleep duration, based on a night from their sleep diary.