Sleep diaries are a crucial information-gathering tool. They are used for gathering information about your daily sleep pattern. Sleep diaries have traditionally taken included a variety of items which are thought to be associated with sleep amount and quality. The Consensus Sleep Diary was the result of an expert panel of sleep specialists who met to agree which items are deemed most essential.
What is a Sleep Diary? A sleep diary is designed to gather information about your daily sleep pattern.
How often and when do I fill out the sleep diary? It is necessary for you to complete your sleep diary every day. If possible, the sleep diary should be completed within one hour of getting out of bed in the morning.
What should I do if I miss a day? If you forget to fill in the diary or are unable to finish it, leave the diary blank for that day.
What if something unusual affects my sleep or how I feel in the daytime? If your sleep or daytime functioning is affected by some unusual event (such as an illness, or an emergency) you may make brief notes on your diary.
What do the words “bed” and “day” mean on the diary? This diary can be used for people who are awake or asleep at unusual times. In the sleep diary, the word “day” is the time when you choose or are required to be awake. The term “bed” means the place where you usually sleep.
Will answering these questions about my sleep keep me awake? This is not usually a problem. You should not worry about giving exact times, and you should not watch the clock. Just give your best estimate.
Sleep Diary Item Instructions
What time did you get into bed? Write the time that you got into bed. This may not be the time you began “trying” to fall asleep.
What time did you try to go to sleep? Record the time that you began “trying” to fall asleep.
How long did it take you to fall asleep? Beginning at the time you wrote in question 2, how long did it take you to fall asleep.
How many times did you wake up, not counting your final awakening? How many times did you wake up between the time you first fell asleep and your final awakening?
In total, how long did these awakenings last? What was the total time you were awake between the time you first fell asleep and your final awakening. For example, if you woke 3 times for 20 minutes, 35 minutes, and 15 minutes, add them all up (20+35+15= 70 min or 1 hr and 10 min).
What time was your final awakening? Record the last time you woke up in the morning.
What time did you get out of bed for the day? What time did you get out of bed with no further attempt at sleeping? This may be different from your final awakening time (e.g. you may have woken up at 6:35 a.m. but did not get out of bed to start your day until 7:20 a.m.)
In total, how long did you sleep? This should just be your best estimate, based on when you went to bed and woke up, how long it took you to fall asleep, and how long you were awake. You do not need to calculate this by adding and subtracting; just give your best estimate.
How would you rate the quality of your sleep? “Sleep Quality” is your sense of whether your sleep was good or poor.
- Carney, C. E., Buysse, D. J., Ancoli-Israel, S., Edinger, J. D., Krystal, A. D., Lichstein, K. L., & Morin, C. M. (2012). The consensus sleep diary: standardizing prospective sleep self-monitoring. Sleep, 35(2), 287-302.