Your Sleep Diary - Los Angeles, Beverly Hills, Encino, Tarzana, Chatsworth, Calabasas, Studio City, Sherman Oaks
There is an unfortunate, and largely inaccurate, image of healthcare professionals as cold and imperious individuals who tell you “what’s good for you” and don’t really care about your input. This is not, however, an accurate portrayal of the techniques characteristic of modern medicine. Many doctors want their patients to take an active role in their own healthcare and, ultimately, those patients who do take an interest oftentimes fare much better. If you’re suffering from sleep apnea, you may be asked to keep a sleep diary. Doing so can really help your doctor to find the root of your problem and to monitor your progress.
A sleep diary for this purpose will be much different that a personal diary or a diary kept for psychological purposes. This diary is for raw scientific information that can help your doctor to identify problems using one of the mainstay tools of science: good data. The data provided will catalog your sleeping hours, any interruptions you notice and your behavior during the day. The doctor isn’t looking for your personal behavior; they’re looking for how much time you exercised, what medications you took and so forth.
You’ll usually be given a form or a book of forms to construct this diary. Most often, it will have the hours of the day broken down into blocks so that you can record information on a time scale. For instance, if you woke up and drank a cup of coffee at 9am, you’ll probably be asked to put an indicator in that hour block, such as a “C” for caffeine. If you took medication, you might put an “M” in that block, as well. When you exercise, you may put an “E” in the appropriate hour block, or blocks, which apply to that time spent exercising.
In many cases, your sleep diary may start to reveal patterns to you before you even show it to your doctor. You may notice, for instance, that the days on which you drank caffeine brought more interruption to your sleeping hours. You may also find that you slept like a log on the days that you included a workout in your routine. This sort of data can be revealing and it can also show real progress, which can encourage you to stick with healthy habits and which can clearly identify the consequences of poor habits.
Your sleep journal will be of interest to all your healthcare providers. If you use a device to treat sleep apnea, such as an nCPAP device or a dental appliance, for instance, you may see better or worse sleeping patterns on the night that you used it. This data allows your doctor and dentist to determine what treatments are working and which are not. This sort of involvement in your own healthcare is also enormously psychologically empowering, as you’re being asked to actively help, not to just sit back and listen to what the doctor tells you to do with no question on your part.
To learn more about Sleep Apnea treatments and to find out if they are right for you, contact Smile Studio LA at 818-788-1352 today for a free consultation!