The Purpose of a Sleep Coach: What do sleep coaches do?
Too often, people do not get enough restful sleep. In America, 70% of the population suffer from a sleep disorder which often leads to restless nights, waking up feeling tired, sluggish, and struggling throughout the day. This can lead to a cycle of caffeine and stimulants to energize, and trying multiple forms of sleep aids at night…many of which are not healthy. Sadly, what should be a peaceful and restorative time becomes one of anxiety, frustration, and a battle people are too tired to fight.
However, there is a better and healthier approach to attack this “bed dread” head on…the sleep coach…and that is where you come in. As a sleep coach, you will effect positive change for your clients using holistic and scientific approaches. Through personalized one-on-one coaching and group support, you will help your client determine what is causing their restless nights and aid them in breaking the cycle of exhaustion.
If a possible medical condition is determined to be the root cause of your client’s inability to get the sleep they need, you will refer them to their primary physician. But, if consultations reveal that implementing proven techniques into their nightly routines can change their sleep patterns for the better, then you, their sleep coach, will guide them to the best rest of their lives.
The Tools and Methods of a Sleep Coach: How do they affect positive change with clients?
Once you become a trained and certified sleep coach, you will begin helping clients determine their path to a restful night’s sleep. This can include:
Directing clients to keep a sleep diary – This will help you ascertain the client’s daily and nightly habits through a journal of documented entries such as:
- Food/beverages, and when consumed
- Medications taken
- A detail of their sleep process – wake times, naps, interruptions, etc.
Studying client’s sleep diary to create routine changes tailored for their sleep journey
- Determining if diet changes and/or mealtimes need to be adjusted (too much caffeine, spicy foods, etc.).
- Can the client benefit from more or less exercise?
- Can the client benefit from a relaxing bath before bed, or calming aromatherapy?
Teaching sleep hygiene techniques – Adjusting and adapting the client’s sleep environment in order to create the ultimate condition for them to fully achieve the four stages of sleep. Some of these can include figuring out:
- The optimal temperature of the client’s sleeping environment.
- Deciding which would be beneficial for the client, calming sounds or complete quiet (when possible).
- Keeping electronics out of the sleep process (no watching T.V. or looking at cellphone/tablet before bedtime).
Learning from Sleep Coaches: What are the best resources for building knowledge base as a sleep coach?
Here are the leading books written for sleep coaches:
The Sleep Advantage: Optimize Your Night to Win Your Day — by Devin Burke (Available on Amazon)
Devin Burke gives a step-by-step guide to reaching greater passion and energy through quality sleep so that one can live life to its fullest. Teaching both holistic and scientific approaches, readers will better understand the relationship between sleep and the health of their mind and body.
Burke was named one of the Top 25 Health Coaches in America, and has made it his life’s mission to share the knowledge he learned from world renown health and human performance experts.
Sleep: The Myth of 8 hours, the Power of Naps…and the New Plan to Recharge Your Body and Mind — by Nick Littlehales (Available on Amazon)
Littlehales is a leading sleep coach to athletes and this book offers a different approach to achieving restorative sleep. Unlike his peers, he teaches the R90 Technique which debunks the long-standing rule that everyone only benefits from eight hours of sleep each night.
Set It and Forget It: Are You Ready to Transform Your Sleep? — by Daniel Erichsen (Available on Amazon)
Dr. Erichsen is a sleep physician practicing in New York City, and has a YouTube channel called “The Sleep Coach School,” posting several videos weekly.
A Pocket Coach: The Sleep Coach (Pocket guides to Self-Care) — by Sarah Jane Arnold (Available on Amazon)
This small pocket-sized book is part of a series of a set of four books dealing with managing the stresses of life. Dr Sarah J. Arnold, a Chartered Counseling Psychologist and author, has a private practice helping her clients understand the root-causes of the cycles that limit living the healthy life they desire. It addresses identifying the techniques that will best improve one’s sleep on the way to improving their quality of life.