Warning! Sleep coaches may be detrimental to your laziness
Career coach? Sure. Sports coach? Duh. But a sleep coach? Is that really a thing?
Yup, it’s a thing. Sleep coaches are helping the nation’s top athletes and corporate players, and they could help you too.
Why even get a sleep coach?
Just because you’ve literally been sleeping since the day you were born doesn’t mean you’re good at it. In fact, more than a third of Americans get too little sleep, meaning less than seven hours per night. And a similar percentage of people describe their sleep quality as “poor” or “only fair.”
Aside from feeling grumpy and unable to concentrate, the all-too-common lack of sleep increases your chances of developing heart disease, diabetes, being obese, having high blood pressure, a stroke, and poor mental health. In the short term, too little sleep will make you eat more, remember less, catch every cold going, and reduce sex drive. Still wondering why calling in a pro might be a good idea?
What sleep issues can a sleep coach fix?
Of course, not everyone needs a coach. Many people know they just need to kick their late-night TV or midnight Amazon browsing habits and get to bed. But if you’re sleeping enough hours and still wake up feeling unrefreshed, or even if you’ve got issues with a snoring bed partner keeping you awake, it could be coach time.
Sleep coaches can even help with specific circumstances that disrupt sleep, like traveling or the anticipation of big events. A coach can also step in to help your whole family develop a plan to ensure you’re all getting the quality sleep you need. Importantly, they can also ensure your poor sleep isn’t due to underlying health conditions like sleep apnea, during which your breathing temporarily stops.
What can a sleep coach do to help?
Thankfully, a sleep coach isn’t going to stand next to your bed with a whistle and gym shorts whispering, “Come on, you can do it!” Sleep coaching is often a one-off consultation in the coach’s office, or even by phone or email. Some offer overnight facilities where you sleep while being monitored to test for potential disorders or other issues. You might work together regularly, like you would with a therapist, discussing changes to your sleep routine and how they’re working out. Some sleep coaches even come to your home and help customize your sleep space.
Not sleeping well can be due to a range of poor sleep habits, so a coach will ensure you’ve got good sleep hygiene. This includes things like regulating screen time, the length of naps and daily exposure to sunlight.
A sleep coach can also help you determine your sleep “chronotype;” are you a morning lark or a night owl? If you’ve never lived in harmony with your sleep chronotype, it could be causing sleep issues. This is often the case with nights owls; if your body wants to be up all night, but you have to get up for work early, sleep deprivation is bound to happen.
They can also help ensure your bedroom is set up for good sleep. From the temperature of your toes to the alignment of your head on the pillow, a sleep coach can make sure all the sleep essentials are accounted for and working to help you achieve great sleep.
Sleep coaching can help you get some more z’s in the short term, but it’s an especially good investment in your long-term sleep—which translates into an investment in your long-term health. You can’t give yourself a much better gift than that of sleep, so if your shut-eye could use some improvement, a sleep coach might be just the thing for you.
Written by Vicky Ware
Want to learn more about sleep and wellness? Check out:
- What your sleep position says about you
- How to lose weight while you sleep
- Stop hitting the snooze button: Here’s why.