Bristol M.E. Service: Activity, Rest and Sleep Diary

Completing an Activity Diary: guidance notes

Activity Diaries can be helpful for several reasons:

  • They can help people to develop successful pacing skills.
  • They can help people to work out a "baseline" for different activities so that they can decide how to make progress with these activities.
  • They can help people to monitor their sleep patterns so that they can work out where the problem areas are and make appropriate plans.
  • They can help people to monitor their balance of activity and rest.
  • An Activity Diary can offer clues about where there might be room for new activities in the day.
  • An Activity Diary can set a "benchmark" for someone's activity and rest levels at a given time. If somebody keeps their diary, they can look back at it and spot the areas where progress has been made.

How To Complete an Activity Diary

  1. Look at the Key at the bottom of the diary: it has five boxes, one for sleep, one for rest, three for different levels of activity. Choose a colour or a pattern for each of these boxes, and fill it in. Choose colours or patterns which will contrast well.
  2. Now look at the first line of the diary: it starts at midnight on the first day, and each box represents an hour. Use your colour or pattern to fill in the boxes, showing what you're doing at different times of the day.
  3. It is possible to fill in only part of the box if an activity lasts for part of an hour. Complete the rest of the box with other colours or patterns, depending on what you did next.
  4. It is up to each individual to decide which activities are high, medium, low demand or restful. Think about how much energy (physical, mental or emotional) each activity might demand from you. In this way, you'll be able to make the diary suit your own current situation.
  5. If your sleep is broken, make a rough estimate of how long you were awake, and fill in the diary with the colour for rest, high, medium or low demand activity depending on what you did whilst you were awake.

Week one

Date: __/__/___

  Midnight to midday Midday to midnight
  12 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11
...day                                                
...day                                                
...day                                                
...day                                                
...day                                                
...day                                                
...day                                                

Week two

Date: __/__/___

  Midnight to midday Midday to midnight
  12 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11
...day                                                
...day                                                
...day                                                
...day                                                
...day                                                
...day                                                
...day                                                

 

Sleep   Rest   Low demand   Medium demand   High demand  

© North Bristol NHS Trust. This edition published March 2022. NBT003472

Bristol M.E. Service: Activity, Rest and Sleep Diary