anniversary gifts for couples JOURNALING- How & Why to Try a Sleep Diary (Part 6 pillow covers solid

This article is the FINAL in a six-part series about different types of journaling techniques you can do before bedtime to help calm your mind for better sleep.

“;I keep waking up in the middle of the night and can’;t fall asleep. I don’;t know why I can’;t sleep through the night,”; says small business owner, Amy S.

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Can you relate? Sleep is critical to your overall health and well-being. However, many people aren’;t connecting what happens during the day to their night—and visa versa. Keeping a sleep diary may be just what your bedtime routine needs to help your mind, body and soul perform their best. After all, sleep isn’;t just for the 8 hours you’;re asleep; it’;s also for the 16 hours you’;re awake.

There are a few ways to approach writing about your sleep habits. You can free-write in a journal, or use a sleep tracking app, like the SleepIQ?technology found inside Sleep Number? beds. The Sleep Number bed with SleepIQ technology inside tracks how well you sleep each night, giving you personal insights into your sleep. Your perfect Sleep Number? setting? Best sleep hours for you? It even connects to your favorite health and wellness apps, so you’;ll learn how life affects your sleep, and how sleep affects your life. These insights help put you in better control of your sleep.

You can free-write diary-style: “Last night I slept average, had several bad dreamsanniversary gifts for couples, possibly due to my late dinner. Had soda at 2 p.m. but that was my only caffeine.”;

Or you can make a chart to record the basics such as:

Journaling can reduce stress, calm the mind, and help recognize detrimental sleep habits, says Pete Bils, vice president of Sleep Science and Research at Sleep Number. If you’;re not sleeping well, discovering why may be as easy as writing in your sleep diary.

Recognize habits. “Writing down thoughts, worries, and sleep quality (including dreams, length of sleep, how many times you are restless) can help you to recognize habits and patterns in your sleep that need some work,”; notes Bils. For instance, if you wake frequently in the night, it may be time to play around with bedroom temperature, consider getting a new pillow/covers or mattress, cut caffeine after noon, or stop reading the news on your phone or tablet in bed.

Reduce stress. When we’;re anxious, cortisol—a stimulant—is released into our bloodstream, explains Bils. It’;s like having a shot of espresso before sleeping. Journaling about daily stressors an hour before bed can reduce the anxieties and worries that keep us up at night.

Release outcomes. Journaling can help release issues keeping us awake. Take an event that’;s bothering you, like tomorrow’;s big meeting. Consider, in the journal, what might happen and how you’;ll deal with anything negative. This provides a plan of action to release the worry, rather than dwelling on any potential problems, and having it interfere with sleep.

Use technology. Embedded apps, like Sleep Number’;s SleepIQ technology inside Sleep Number beds, can provide insight into sleep quality, duration, restlessness, and more, especially alongside actively keeping a journal.

“When paired with a sleep journal, the user will have nearly double the information including their holistic sleep data, thoughts, feelings, and dreams,”; remarks Bils, who recommends keeping a journal even if you’;re using an embedded app. Seeing it in two places may help make the connections more obvious to you, to help confirm what is and isn’;t helping you get your best quality slumber.

Regardless of how you choose to journal, what’;s most important is the data itself and what you learn from it—spotting trends and habits, and pinpointing trouble areas that, if fixed, could improve your sleep quality.

For example, if you notice you sleep poorly when you have caffeine, you could drop that afternoon soda, and see if you sleep better. Perhaps working out too close to bedtime is a culprit. Try moving your exercise time earlier to see if sleep improves. Since you track your sleep, you’;ll be able to see what works, and what doesn’;t.

Sleep well!

Like diet and exercise, quality sleep is essential for optimal health and performance. Because everyone’;s sleep needs are different, Sleep Number? beds adjust to your ideal level of firmness, comfort and support. Find your Sleep Number? setting for your best possible night’;s sleep.

Was there ever a more classic color palette than blue and white? It’s a combination that has stood the test of time, but that doesn’t mean you can’t interpret this perfect pairing in a more modern way. In this living room, we used solid upholstery and white walls (in Benjamin Moore’s White Dove) to create a clean, uncluttered room that lets bold drapery and a patterned rug shine.

I’ve got another Cricut Maker & EasyPress DIY project for you! Don’t worry, it’s still simple, but adorable! Look at these Heat N Bond Holiday Gift Bags I made! This no-sew?project is perfect for people like me! You know… people who don’t sew, but people who still want to use fabric with their new Cricut Maker.

I’m packing up the car and headed to St. Louis for International Quilt Market. ?I’m very excited to introduce my newest fabric line Safari Party to the “quilting world”. ?I’ve been sewing like a mad man for the last 2 months. Throw in a bout of the flu, and a couple of trips and this last few weeks have been absolutely insane.