Sleep Diary

The Good Sleep Clinic Sleep Diary

We want to understand what is really happening with your sleep, and we ask our clients to keep a daily record. At the time of your assessment we use your sleep diary to understand your sleep quantity and quality, and during which part of the night you struggle most. When working with you, we use your sleep diary to guide each step of your treatment programme.

Why use a sleep diary?

We ask all of our clients to use a sleep diary. It is vital in helping us to understand your sleep patterns and to target strategies to improve things. It asks you to record how long it takes you to fall asleep, the amount of time you spend awake during the night, and the total amount of time you spend in bed sleeping or trying to sleep between bedtime and waking.

Using your Sleep Diary


Fill it out first thing in the morning.

Your recall of the night before will be best first thing in the morning – so complete it as soon as possible.

It doesn’t have to be exact.

We do not want you to watch the clock, it is better to estimate timings and not be too focused on being accurate.

Keep an open mind.

You cannot pass or fail. The diary entries are just information, and can help us set goals for improvement.

Don’t rely on your sleep tracker to fill out the diary.

For the sleep diary to be most useful it should record the sleep that you remember and how you feel about it. Not what your sleep watch has recorded.

What is sleep efficiency?

Sleep efficiency refers to the proportion of the time that you spend in bed that you are actually asleep.

Why is it important to have efficient sleep?

Sleep efficiency is particularly important for people with insomnia. This is because spending time in bed when you are not asleep can actually worsen sleep problems, even if it feels good to be resting. This is because our minds should form a strong association between being in bed and being asleep – and this association acts as a powerful cue for sleep. The longer we lie awake in bed, the more we loosen that healthy association and the weaker that cue becomes. Our programmes help to improve the efficiency of your sleep, improving both the quality, and the total amount of sleep that you can achieve.

Many people experience occasional episodes of insomnia, either having difficulty falling asleep, staying asleep, waking too early, or a combination of these things. For some people insomnia can become an ongoing problem, with symptoms continuing regularly for more than a month – and sometimes for many years.

We specialise in working with people affected by chronic insomnia, including those who have tried other treatment options without success, and people who want to reduce the amount of sleeping medication they take. Click here to find out more about insomnia. You can read about some of our particular areas of expertise below, or contact us for a free initial phone consultation about your sleep problems.

It was such a relief to talk to people who really understood what I was experiencing.