Sleep diary

Systematic recording each day over 2 weeks or more, using a standardized format, avoids the bias or distortion of retrospective generalizations.

• From recording times of going to bed, getting to sleep, awake periods during the night, final awakening, and getting up, estimates can be made of total sleep time, sleep efficiency (proportion of time in bed the patient is actually asleep), and number of awakenings.

• The occurrence and nature of night-time episodes of disturbed behaviour can be determined.

• Daytime events including sleepiness can be assessed.

• Previously unrecognized patterns of occurrence of these sleep phenomena may become apparent including temporal patterns, shift of the sleep phase, or relationships to stressful events or other factors.

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