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How to Make a Sleep Chart

by Colby Stream

Sleeping charts allow you to track yours or your child's sleeping schedule. After you've recorded weeks of date, the chart shows you sleeping patterns you wouldn't have noticed previously. The patterns clue you into when you or your baby are most likely to sleep. They also show you any patterns you may want to change, such as if you start putting your baby or yourself to sleep progressively later in the evening. The chart, which you can make with a paper, pen and a colored pencil, takes less than an hour to create.

Write the first letter of each day of the week down the left side of a piece of paper, starting with Monday, with a 1/2-inch line to the right of each. Include two or more weeks on one piece of paper. Draw horizontal lines between each day of the week, extending out about 6 inches.

List every other hour of the day along the top of the page starting with "12 a.m." and ending with the same. Draw a vertical line between each time and extending as far down as the days of the week.

Draw another vertical line from the middle of each time. This line represents whatever time it touches. The vertical line before it represents on hours before; the vertical line after represent the time after.

Choose a color to use for "sleeping." Blank spaces represent awake. Mark off the spaces the correlate with the date and time you or your baby sleeps. For example, if your baby slept from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. the colored space touches the middle line of "2 p.m." and the line between "4 p.m." and "6 p.m."

Track when you put your baby down and when it wakes up with the letters "D" and "U" respectively. Each letter lines up with the time of the action. Write "sleep" or "nap" in the colored potion to indicate nighttime sleep or nap time sleep.

Items you will need
  • Paper
  • Pen
  • Colored pencil

Tip

  • Use an Excel spreadsheet to track the time instead of drawing the chart yourself.

Photo Credits

  • Jupiterimages/Pixland/Getty Images