Sleep & Stress:  I hope this exercise will serve you well in helping you to find strategies to improve the amount and quality of your precious sleep.  If successful, this could be a lifelong gift to yourself!

Your sleep reflection will be comprised of two parts:

Part One will involve recording your sleep for 2 weeks.  For the first week, please do not modify anything specific about your behavior.  Simply record when you go to bed, when you wake up, whether or not you remember your dreams (you do not need to share any details about your dreams!), what your level of stress and your general state of wellbeing were on the following day.  (On the first day’s entry, you’ll simply enter the time you went to bed.)  Please use the table attached or create your own.

Part Two is your Reflection Paper, some of which you will complete after week one and some after week two.

First Phase: Please reflect on the first week and respond to the following questions (BEFORE BEGINNING WEEK TWO):

What patterns do you notice between the amount and quality of your sleep and your stress levels?
What patterns do you notice between the amount and quality of your sleep and your general mood and overall sense of wellbeing?
What, if anything, would you like to change about your sleep habits?
For the second week, please choose one or more strategies to improve optimal sleep – this may include ways to increase your amount of sleep, help you to fall asleep, or improve your quality of sleep – and could include a range of techniques such as:  setting a regular bed time; relaxation techniques such as gentle yoga, breathing exercises, meditation, progressive muscle relaxation, journaling, listening to mellow music, etc. before bed; limiting screen time before bed; limiting caffeine in the afternoon and evening; using your bed/bedroom only for sleep; aromatherapy such as lavender; etc.  Record your sleep in the Week 2 Table, as in week one.

Second Phase:  Please reflect on the second week and respond to the following questions:

What strategy/strategies did you use, and why?
Did you notice any changes in your sleep?
Did you find anything to be particularly helpful in improving your sleep?  Please explain.
Did you notice any changes in your stress levels?  Please explain.
Did you notice any changes in your overall sense of wellbeing?  Please explain.
Is there anything you plan to continue or change to facilitate optimal sleep moving forward?
Incorporate at least one assigned reading and one additional reading from a reputable source to provide a scholarly reflection on your personal findings.

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