How do you create and use a sleep tracker bullet journal?
To create a sleep tracker bullet journal, determine which elements of your sleeping patterns you want to track. This could include the length of time you’re asleep, sleep quality, dreams, or the number of times you wake up during sleep. Then, gather the necessary tools to create your sleep tracker log, including a pencil, black pen, markers or highlighters, a ruler, and a blank spread in your bullet journal.
In this article, we’ll explore what a bullet journal sleep tracker is used for, how to create and use a sleep tracker bullet journal, and creative ways to track your sleep in your bullet journal.
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What is a Bullet Journal Sleep Tracker?
A bullet journal sleep tracker is a spread where you keep track of your nightly sleeping habits and patterns. Doing so helps you monitor one of those most important aspects of our health – sleep! Sleep impacts nearly every part of our lives, so we must get quality rest.
Sleep tracking doesn’t only apply to the number of hours you sleep. To learn more about your own sleep, you may be curious to track things like:
- How rested you feel when you wake up
- If you woke up before your alarm
- Did you press snooze multiple times
- What you ate the night before
- Your wind-down process before bed
By tracking these behaviors, you’ll learn what patterns lead to your best night of sleep. Then, you can repeat these behaviors to improve your overall wellbeing, including your heart health, weight, brain function, fitness performance, mood, immune system, body recovery, and more.
How to Set Up a Sleep Tracker Bullet Journal
To set up your sleep tracker bullet journal, turn to the next blank spread in your journal. For a basic sleep tracker, you’ll only need one page. If you plan to track more than just hours slept, you may want more space, but we’ll dive into those more creative options in the next section.
1. Set the Title and date range
Title your page “Sleep” and mark the date range you plan to track. We’re using a monthly sleep tracker in this example, so we’d mark March 1 – 31.
2. Outline your sleep tracker chart
Grab a ruler and a pencil, and lightly outline your sleep tracker chart. First, draw a horizontal line across the top of the page using your ruler for nice, clean lines. Next, draw a vertical line beginning at the left-hand corner of the horizontal line, down the page’s left-hand side, and using your ruler.
3. Assign the top row hours of the day
Along the top of your chart, just above the horizontal line, write the hours in the day for a 24-hour day. This looks like this:
12 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12
If you want more clarity, you can add a horizontal bracket over the first 12 hours that says “PM” and another horizontal bracket over the second part of the 24-hour period that says “AM.” The day starts with PM hours on this tracker and progresses into AM hours since we’re tracking overnight sleep.
If, however, you work at night and sleep during the day, you can switch this around to start with AM and end with PM.
4. Assign each row a day of the month
Now, number each row with the day of the month on your vertical axis. If there are 31 days in the month, you’ll have the numbers 1 through 31 numbered all the way down the chart.
Set up the sleep tracker page the same way if you’d rather track your sleep on a weekly chart in your bullet journal. But, instead of numbers down the vertical axis, add the day of the week (S, M, T, W, T, F, S).
Once you’re finished building your chart in pencil, track over it in pen. Then, take an eraser to remove the pencil lines and clean up the page. Now, you’re ready to track!
5. Assign colors for sleep quality
Choose which color markers you want to use to track the hours that you slept. Some people choose to use only two colors and alternate them because they look aesthetically pleasing. Others choose multiple colors, with each corresponding to a certain quality level of sleep.
If you decide to track the quality of your sleep in addition to the length of time you slept, add a color key to the sleep tracker spread. For example:
Yellow = light sleep
Red = terrible sleep
Green = heavy sleep
Purple = regular sleep
Now, take your marker and draw a line between the day you slept hours, which corresponds to the day of the week that you are tracking.
Highlighters work well for sleep tracking since they quickly fill in your corresponding row with color. Over the highlighted row, some people like to write in the number of hours of sleep they got that night, just so you can quickly see it.
You could also use a finer-tipped marker to draw dots, patterns, or fill in boxes with a solid color to mark the period in which you were sleeping.
Want to see what this simple sleep tracker looks like in action? The Petite Planner, a former elementary school teacher, turned self-employed organizer extraordinaire, has a great example on her YouTube channel.
Creative Ways to Track Your Sleep in a Bullet Journal
Depending on your needs and which patterns you’re trying to ascertain, there are other creative ways to track your sleep in a bullet journal to get a better visual representation of your rest.
1. Track Sleep Alongside Other Trackers in the Same Spread
Some BuJo fans like to track their sleep weekly rather than monthly, so they can fit other trackers onto a single spread that may relate to sleep.
For example, the quality of your sleep could depend on the habits you performed that day. If one of your habits is exercise, you may find that you sleep deeper on days you fit in a workout.
The quality of your sleep may also impact your food consumption and vice versa.
For example, if you ate dessert and didn’t sleep well, you may be able to identify a pattern around sugar and sleep. Or, if you didn’t sleep well, then ate more sugar the following day, you may be able to identify a pattern about sleep and how it impacts your food choices later.
Finally, some BuJo fans like to track their mood alongside both their sleep, food, and habit trackers.
Your mood is so dependent on sleep. Food can significantly impact your mood, and the inverse can also be true. And habits, whether you’re proud of yourself for accomplishing them or mad at yourself for skipping a habit you’re trying to build, can impact all of these bullet journal trackers.
2. Sleep Compass
A sleep compass is a visually beautiful way of tracking your nightly sleep against the phases of the moon or the weather. Like the simple bullet journal sleep tracker, you can use a colored key to denote the quality of sleep in this version or the weather that day.
Turn to the next blank page in your bullet journal to build a sleep compass. Start with a pencil to outline a circle that takes up most of this page. You’ll want the circle to be big enough to add the day of the month to the top of each of the spokes that you’ll draw out from the middle.
Divide the circle into as many spokes as there are days in the month that you are tracking, from 28-31. Next, draw seven more circles within the larger circle, getting progressively smaller, so you have eight total empty rings on the page. Each of those rings will correspond to an hour of sleeping, aiming for eight hours each night.
At this point, some BuJo’rs choose to add the phase of the moon to each date on the ring. To do this, look up a simple moon calendar and draw the phase of the moon at the end of each day’s spoke, completing an entire moon cycle around the circle of the compass.
You can also choose to add a compass shape to the middle of the circle, with four spokes extending out as if to mark north, east, south, and west.
As each day progresses, color in the hours of sleep you received in the color that corresponds to the quality of your sleep or the weather that day.
Now, you’ll be able to see a visual representation of the number of hours you slept, and if that sleep quality had anything to do with the phase of the moon or the weather outside.
At the end of the month, you’ll have a beautiful, colorful sleep compass! To see what a sleep compass looks like, head over to My Inner Creative, a site dedicated to planning addicts.
Sleep trackers can be simple, or more creative, based on what you want to track. There are many good reasons to track your sleep patterns, the foremost being how important quality sleep is to everything we do.
From our mood to our energy levels, to more serious implications that sleep has on our health, sleep tracking is a good way to visually see what’s working and what’s not when it comes to our sleep patterns, and quickly make improvements.