What is a Sleep Hygiene Worksheet?
Sleep hygiene is the name given to a set of habits, practices, and routines which combined together can improve the quality of one’s sleep. Good sleep hygiene is not just a matter of going to bed on time. It involves incorporating healthy habits during the day, building helpful sleep routines, and optimizing one’s environment to allow the most restful possible sleep.
Our is a tool designed to help your clients adopt good sleep hygiene habits. As with any change in routine, it can take some practice to get into these new habits. Having a worksheet to monitor your client’s progress and sleep goals is a great way to help keep them on track.
This worksheet is also designed to be completed independently, meaning your client can take the worksheet away and return it at a later date with some useful insights on their current sleep practices, habits, and goals for improving their sleep hygiene.
Factors that Impact Sleep
- Unfamiliarity - Sleeping in unfamiliar places allows one hemisphere of our brain to stay active. This means it can be harder for us to sleep in environments that we are not familiar with.
- Noise - Although some of the population are heavy sleepers, noises can disrupt deep sleep for many people. This can be as quiet as a distant house alarm, or a clap of thunder.
- Extreme body temperatures - Feeling too cold or too hot can contribute to restless nights. Research has shown that sleep with the skin being slightly warm can reduce the number of night time awakenings.
- Circadian rhythm disruption - Your circadian rhythm is directly linked to rapid eye movement (REM) sleep that you are able to receive. If you get up too early, or sleep in too late, you can have a disrupted REM sleep cycle.
- Blue light - The blue light that is emitted from our phones and laptops at night can disrupt circadian rhythms. As a result, this affects our REM sleep.
Tips for Good Sleep
To have good sleep hygiene, it is recommended to incorporate the following tips. You can say hello to restful nights!
- Develop a regular sleep schedule - It is important to go to bed and get up at the same time, even over the weekend. This allows for greater consistency, and provides time for your body to get used to an organised cycle.
- Maintain a bedtime routine - Reading a book before bed, or listening to calming music, is a great way to create a bedtime routine that helps your body wind down for sleep.
- Avoid afternoon naps - Afternoon naps can disrupt sleep later in the evening. If you are extremely tired, a quick nap as recommended of around 20 minutes, otherwise, try to tough it out.
- Avoid your phone and TV before bed - This goes for any digital device, as the blue light can overstimulate your brain. Instead, try to read a book, and avoid the lights so your body can prepare properly for sleep.
- Avoid caffeine - Caffeine can be very stimulating for most people, which makes it difficult to fall and stay asleep. As a result, it is recommended to avoid coffee, hot chocolate, tea, and other caffeine beverages before bed.
- Set the right temperature - Make sure that before bed, your room is not too hot or too cold. Extreme body temperatures can disrupt sleep, and so it is important to maintain a moderate, almost a lukewarm temperature.
- Dim lighting - It is also recommended that you lower the lighting as you get ready for bed. The darker the room the better, as your body begins to wind down.
- Reduce noise - there's also recommended that you do not listen to loud music, or do any activities that require lots of noise. Quiet rooms have been clinically proven to and juice asleep. However, it is important to note that if you enjoy listening to white noise or other auditory sleep aids, this is perfectly fine.
- Eat early - You should also avoid having large meals late in the evening. Ideally, your body has had time to digest food by the time you get into bed.
- Don't hit the gym - Exercise can stimulate the body, which makes it difficult to sleep. If you do want to exercise, it is recommended to exercise within the three hours before bedtime.
- Lower alcohol consumption - Although alcohol may make you feel relaxed, it is actually a surefire way to disrupt sleep quality. It is recommended to avoid alcohol so you can have a peaceful night's rest.
How To Use This Sleep Hygiene Worksheet
This sleep hygiene worksheet is split into several sections to make it easy for your patients to complete on their own. All you need to do to start incorporating the worksheet into your practice is provide the worksheet in physical or PDF form to your clients, and ensure they understand each of the sections to complete. Let’s go over these sections in more detail now.
1. Sleep Hygiene Checklist
Your client should select the activities that apply to them from the checklist. This step is useful for quickly identifying strengths and weaknesses in your client's current sleep hygiene. Note, there is a mixture of “good” and “bad” sleep habits in this checklist so your client should feel motivated to answer honestly rather than leaving them all blank.
2. Healthy Daytime Habits
This section focuses on your client’s daytime habits, building upon the positive and negative habits identified in the first section. It’s important your client understands good sleep hygiene is not limited to their nighttime behavior, and factors such as exercising and eating well during the day can have positive effects on their sleep later that night.
3. Night Time Routine
The next step is for your client to start planning their nighttime routine, and what activities they can engage in that will help them relax and wind down for bed.
4. Sleep Schedule
Sticking to set sleep-wake times is crucial for helping your body clock stay in its natural rhythm. We have included space here for your client to write down their bedtime and wake-time.
5. Sleeping Environment
This section of the worksheet is an evaluation of your client’s sleeping environment or bedroom, and if it is optimized for a good night’s sleep. While lots of sleep issues are related to complex mental factors such as stress or anxiety, some factors such as darkness or noise levels can be quickly improved through simple interventions such as blackout curtains or soundproofing.
6. When you can’t get to sleep
There are bound to be some times when, even if your client is following all the best sleep hygiene advice, for whatever reason, they can’t fall asleep. This section includes a plan and tips for if your client finds themselves still wide awake after 20 minutes or so in bed.
This worksheet is designed for your client to take home and keep for themselves, rather than as a formal part of their medical record. However, if your client chooses to share this information with you, we recommend transcribing and collating the information digitally into the client’s notes.
Sleep Hygiene Worksheet Example (Sample)
It’s important you understand the questions asked and tips included in this worksheet to ensure you can confidently support your clients to use this worksheet. To help you get a better idea of how this worksheet can be used, we have included an example completed sleep hygiene worksheet. While your client’s worksheet may look very different from this sample, it can be useful to see a finished version of a template before you put it into practice.
Who Can Use these Printable Sleep Hygiene Worksheets (PDF)?
Sleep issues such as insomnia often go hand-in-hand with other mental health issues such as anxiety, depression, or excessive rumination. As such, conducting a sleep hygiene check-up with the help of this sleep hygiene worksheet can benefit a multitude of different practitioners, including:
- Clinical psychologists
- Social workers
- General practitioners/family doctors
- Mental health nurses
- Life coaches
And many others! There can be many reasons why someone is struggling with sleep, and it can often seem like there is nothing that can be done. However, good sleep hygiene starts with some simple habits and adjustments that this worksheet helps to develop for your client.
Why is This Form Useful for Therapists?
Includes explanations and tips
We have included some quick tips and explanations to help your client understand why each section is important to their sleep hygiene. This can be useful if you have verbally conveyed this information during a session, but want to reinforce it in written form as part of this worksheet.
Encourage Personal Reflection
Giving your client the space to reflect on their daily habits, sleep schedule, and night-time routine empowers them to start making positive changes to their sleep routine. This in turn will have knock-on positive effects on the rest of their life, as quality sleep can improve a whole variety of aspects of your client’s mental and physical health.
Why Use Carepatron For Sleep Hygiene Worksheet Software?
Carepatron is a comprehensive suite of software solutions for all kinds of healthcare practices including therapy, counseling, mental health, social work, and general practices. Carepatron offers a seamless and intuitive experience for managing and automating all aspects of your practice’s administration.
With Carepatron, you can offer your clients their own patient portal to access this sleep hygiene worksheet. The client portal also allows your clients to schedule an appointment with you, greatly reducing your administration workload.
On your end, Carepatron allows you to manage your team's calendar, appointment billing and statements, medical coding, and data storage. Additionally, you can access this template and a whole range of other templates from Carepatron's community template library. Finally, Carepatron comes with all the high-tech solutions you’d expect from state-of-the-art practice management software, including AI-powered dictation, smart calendar integration for your team, and video appointment scheduling.