SLP Journaling (digital)

Journaling For Better Sleep

Journaling can improve your sleep by helping you deal with stress and anxiety. It can also quiet an active mind before bedtime. This article will cover how to choose a journaling method, and how journaling helps. There are also some journaling prompts and tips to help you get started.

Benefits of Journaling

Journaling is writing about your thoughts, feelings and experiences. You can use your journal to explore your thoughts and feelings as they relate to trouble sleeping.

Journaling and writing can help your health in many ways. Studies that show that journaling can improve mood and quality of life, and even quicken healing

Writing can also help with sleep. A recent study showed that writing detailed to-do lists at bedtime shortened the time it took to fall asleep. Writing lists seemed to lessen worry about getting tasks done. In general, journaling helps with sleep by quieting your mind.

How to Choose a Journal or Journaling Method

The most important factor for choosing a journaling method is how easy and enjoyable it is for you to use. You can use a traditional notebook for your journal, but you can also use your computer or phone. 

However, there are some drawbacks to using electronic methods for journaling. The first drawback is that using these devices close to bedtime exposes you to blue light. Blue light exposure lowers your body’s melatonin production, which makes it harder for you to fall asleep. The second drawback is that you may become distracted by your phone or computer’s other uses. Instead of writing a journal entry, you may find yourself scrolling on social media. 

Because of the limitations of electronic methods, we recommend using a notebook that is dedicated solely to your journaling practice.

If you would like to use a paper journal, see the end of this article for some tips on choosing a notebook and utensil.

How to Journal

First, choose your journal method - a notebook, computer, or your phone. Then, find a quiet, comfortable place. 

There is no right or wrong way to journal. Use any method that helps you reflect on yourself, your feelings or your thoughts.

You can journal as often as you would like. But, try to get into a habit by choosing a time for writing in your journal. If journaling every day feels overwhelming, you can start small with a day or two per week.

You don’t need to write with complete sentences, proper grammar, or correct spelling.

Your entries can be short or long. 

You can draw or use colors in your journal.

You can add quotes, lines, or passages that you already know or find online or in books. You might use them as journal-writing prompts. Here are a few you may like:

Journal Prompts

Below are some prompts to get you started with your journal entries. Although they’re not all specifically about sleep, they may help you think about things that improve and interfere with sleep.

You can use each prompt as many times as you want as new thoughts come to you. Or, write about anything that comes to mind. The important thing is to write down what you’re thinking and feeling.