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The Complete Guide to Sleep Journaling and How it Can Help You Sleep Better

The Complete Guide to Sleep Journaling and How it Can Help You Sleep Better

Hi WashiGang Crew, 

It's WashiGang team member Emily here and I'm wondering... How is your sleep? 

Most of us are answering... “not so good” in the WashiGang warehouse. Except for WashiGang team mate Lisa, who managed to sleep 11 hours the other night! Who is she? We want answers!!! 

We thought we'd do a little research into sleep journaling and sleep tracking, to find out if there are any tips on getting a better night’s sleep. Plus, we love journaling and we love sleep, so why not put them together? 

Do you ever have trouble falling asleep, have racing thoughts or have trouble winding down from your day? Sleep journaling and sleep tracking might be your answer.

Sleep JournalWhat is a Sleep Journal?

Sleep journaling is the act of journaling your thoughts and feelings within a few hours before you go to sleep each night. Writing in a sleep journal before bed decreases distractions, overthinking, and worry, which can help you to fall asleep faster.

How to Start a Sleep Journal

There are many ways to start a sleep journal. You can use:

Sleep Journal PromptsSleep Journal Prompts to Help You De-Stress for a Good Night's Sleep

We've come up with a few journaling prompts to help get you started. Feel free to make your own list that is relevant to you, or use a few of our ideas.
  1. Write one word to describe your day.
  2. What emotions did you feel today?
  3. What was your biggest challenge today?
  4. Vent it out to let it go! Is there something that bothered you today, or are there some worries on your mind that just won't go away? Write them out to get them off your chest for a better night’s sleep. 
  5. Practice gratitude. What are you grateful for in your life right now? Or what is something that happened today that you are grateful for? 
  6. What is something I learnt from today?
  7. Set your intentions. What would you like to do tomorrow? Is there something that you would like to try and do better in your life? Be it personal, work related or a new mindset? What is on your to-do list? 
  8. Are there any challenges or deadlines coming up that you're thinking about? Make a game plan! 
  9. Are you feeling lonely? Write about someone you care about, or write a letter to someone you care about, such as a family member or a friend, as a way to feel connected. 
  10. What is your theme for tomorrow? Is it productivity? Rest? Connections? Screen free day? 

Sleep TrackerWhat is a Sleep Tracker?

A sleep tracker is a diary that people keep in order to track their sleep patterns, such as hours slept, bed time routines and other factors that may or may not contribute to a good night's sleep.

Sleep trackers are useful because they provide information about how well a person is sleeping and can help them identify what might be causing any problems with their sleep and what they can do to improve it.

What Should You Include in Your Sleep Tracker?

A sleep tracker should include information about your bed time routine, hours slept, quality of sleep, and can even include factors that may affect your sleep such as temperature, lighting, meals and exercise. We recommend starting with a simple sleep tracker to get started. Once you are in the habit of tracking your sleep, you can try changing and tracking your sleep routine to see if it changes your quality of sleep.

Here are a few questions that we recommend including in your sleep tracker:

  • What time did I go to bed last night?
  • What time did I wake up this morning?
  • How many hours of sleep did I get?
  • Did I have any trouble falling asleep at any point last night?
  • How many times did I wake up during the night?
  • What was the quality of my sleep? Good/average/bad.

Sleep Tracker
Although not all sleep trackers are identical, they commonly include details about:

  • Bedtime and/or lights-out time.
  • Wake-up time.
  • How long it takes to fall asleep.
  • The number and duration of sleep interruptions.
  • The number and duration of daytime naps.
  • Perceived sleep quality.
  • Consumption of alcohol, caffeine, and/or tobacco.
  • Daily medications.
  • Daily exercise.

A lot of sleep trackers also include visual aids, such as a graph for tracking hours slept each day of the week/or month. Different colours or stickers to represent sleep quality and graphs for tracking exercise and other daily habits that contribute to sleep.

MiGoals Sleep JournalTypes of Sleep Journals & Sleep Trackers

If you're wanting to start your own sleep journal and are finding it a bit overwhelming, the MiGoals' Sleep Journal is filled with prompts that are perfect for journaling before and after sleep. It's designed to help you get in the right headspace before bed, with prompts for you to reflect and be grateful at the end of each day and keeps you on track with your sleep habits. It also features handy sleep tips and research along the way!

Create your own sleep journal or sleep tracker using a notebook or bullet journal!

Or you might find that a guided journal is another way to journal before bed each night, with prompts to help you reflect on your day and well being.

We also have lots of different habit tracking pages, stickers and books in the shop to help you on your sleep and habit tracking journey.

Tips & Tricks: Sleep Journaling & Sleep Trackers

Need a few tips on setting yourself up for a better night’s sleep?

  • Reduce your screen time (especially in the hours before bed).
  • Avoid heavy meals and liquid just before sleep.
  • Make sure your room is nice and dark for the best sleep.
  • Try to go to bed and wake up at the same time each day, so your body gets used to the habit.
  • Cut out caffeine after lunch time.
  • Get outside for some vitamin D, as daylight exposure helps to regulate your sleep rhythm.
  • Make sure the temperature of your room is just right! Slightly on the cooler side is better for sleep.
  • Try to form a night time routine that gets you ready for sleep and helps you wind down for the day such as a relaxing bath and journal writing before bed.

If you’re having significant troubles sleeping, there may be an underlying cause affecting your sleep and it’s a good idea to get further help from your doctor.

Sleepy CatHow Long Should You Keep Your Sleep Journal?

Keeping a sleep journal is an important part of understanding your sleep patterns. You can use it to help you manage your sleep and find out how your day-to-day habits affect the quality of your sleep.

The length of time that you should keep a sleep journal will depend on what you are trying to achieve by keeping one. If you are only interested in seeing how well you are sleeping each night, then it is best to keep the journal for a couple of weeks. However, keeping a sleep journal is a great way to wind down at night for a better sleep, so why not start a daily journaling habit? Daily journaling has many benefits and is a great way to reflect on your day, find gratitude, reduce stress, create memories and set intentions!

Sleep JournalingWhy Keeping a Regular Sleep Journal is Important for Your Health

Keeping a regular sleep journal is important for your health; it is backed up by evidence and research. The evidence shows that people who keep a regular sleep diary have better quality sleep, which in turn improves their mood, energy levels, and ability to focus on tasks.

Lastly, there are many ways to keep a regular sleep diary meaning you can create a sleep journal or sleep tracker to suit your style and needs. One way would be to track the number of hours of sleep you get per night, the time you went to bed and woke up each day, and how tired or energised you feel every day on a scale from 1 to 10.

Thanks so much for reading along. Does reading about sleep make you sleepy? Writing about sleep sure has made me sleepy!!! Let us know your tips for a good night’s sleep in the comments and feel free to share with your friends!

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Rachel Keerie - April 6, 2022

I am definitely going to try this! What a great idea, and my sleep patterns are all over the place so I can use these ideas to see if I can change my hours and ease of sleep.

Sophie - April 6, 2022

This is so helpful, thank you! Can’t wait to start journalling before bedtime :)

Marc - March 22, 2022

Nice! This has made me want to start my own! Thanks so much!

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