Last updated on November 9th, 2023 at 09:33 am
Sleep coaches have been on the rise for some time, and with good reason. With the non-stop pace of life and increased use of technical devices from laptops and phones to iPads, many people struggle with drifting off for deep, refreshing sleep. Turning to a sleep coach is a holistic approach to solving the disturbances and falling back in love with bedtime. New to coaching? Read on to discover what a sleep coach is, how it works and the benefits it can have for your slumber.
What is a sleep coach?
A sleep coach could be considered the fairy godmother of bedtime; they are trained professionals who can help adults and children resolve their sleeping problems. Our expert, Max Kirsten, has been a coach since 2003. He says, “It’s my job to be a detective to identify why people are not sleeping well, long enough, or deeply enough.” This can be for many reasons, from lack of routine to not having the right pillow to lifestyle choices.
A sleep coach may have overcome their own sleeping problems like Max, who experienced insomnia for many years. Over time he has developed his own award-winning methods and ways to help his clients get a good night’s sleep.
What type of problems can a sleep coach help with?
The reasons many people find it hard to drift off are varied, from lifestyle choices and anxiety to disorders like sleep apnea. Whatever the reason, the lack of nourishing, quality sleep can impact physical and mental well-being over time. A coach can help with various issues, looking at what can be changed to help you get back into a good routine and feel at your best. “I see the people who find trying to sleep a conscious effort. Falling asleep is a natural process that you cannot do consciously.” Max says. He coaches the sleep-deprived ‘over-thinkers’ with ‘racing-mind’ syndrome to late-night screen-addicted teenagers and the twenty to thirty-somethings who never get enough sunlight in the mornings with Circadian Rhythm imbalances. He also coaches the saboteurs, who do everything that can negatively impact their sleep ability, quality and depth without any concept of practising positive sleep hygiene behaviour.
What happens during a sleep coaching session?
During an initial session, your coach will usually ask questions about your current sleeping set-up and lifestyle. This can include looking at everything from nutrition exercise to your working schedule. This helps them to get a picture of what could be causing you problems. They will want to know if you have any underlying sleeping disorders, how long you’ve had them, and the effects. Max explains that he does not teach people how to sleep. It is not something you can learn to do consciously. Instead, he teaches people how to relax deeply, to get out of the way, to allow it to happen, and to coach them to prepare optimally in every way before they go to bed. “It’s all about achieving often small but significant marginal gains that improve your sleep quality,” says Max.
How can a sleep coach benefit your slumber?
From understanding what has led to your sleep issues to providing a constructive plan to get you back on track, a sleep coach can have many benefits of your slumber. Here are some of the dreamy benefits a coach can bring to bedtime:
Appreciating natural rest
A good coach will help you understand your repeating nightly 4-5 sleep cycles and how to optimise them. Our coach says, “he helps people value the natural process of rest, which includes the repeating semi-conscious ‘light sleep’ stage between deep sleep and REM sleep throughout the night. Understanding this can help to reduce the worry and anxiety many poor sleepers experience before bedtime or if they feel semi-awake a few times during the night. Vaguely waking is completely normal; there’s nothing to panic about.
Develop better sleeping habits
From avoiding blue light and caffeine before bed to having a cool shower and setting the temperature at the optimum setting of 18. 5 degrees, a coach takes time to get to know the lifestyle habits that are getting in the way of relaxing and helps you to develop sleep improving ones instead.
Create a better relationship with bedtime
Ensuring you have everything you need for a great night’s rest is one of the best investments for your well-being. A supportive mattress, pillow and breathable bedding will encourage a better relationship with bedtime. You want the bed to be where you cannot wait to relax deeply at the end of your day. This means choosing the best products that support your unique dominant sleeping position and preferences.
Snooze success stories
Working with a coach has been incredibly successful for many sleepers, from reducing anxiety around drifting-off, to developing healthier, more restorative bedtime habits. Mia was a police officer working on a 5-day on/off schedule of 12-hour shifts and then developed sleep difficulties that lasted for years. She says after using Max’s ‘ABC of Better Sleep’ Insomnia downloads, she now “falls asleep before the recording ends.” If you have developed an unhealthy relationship with rest, working with coach can help get you back in love with drifting off at bedtime.
How can you find the right sleep coach for you?
There are many coaches available worldwide and finding the right one for you can take time. It is best to read reviews and look at coaches that specialise in the particular area you are struggling with. Having an initial consultation with a coach can help make sure they are the right fit for you. You want to choose a coach you can trust, feel comfortable and relaxed enough with to open up and let them coach you back to getting a good night’s sleep again.
Sleep coaching can work for many people and is a healthy, holistic way to help you get back to sleeping soundly. If you are considering trying it, take your time to find the right one for you. Working with a coach could be just the thing to have you drifting-off shortly after snuggling into bed and then waking up restored, refreshed and ready for the day. Ultimately, a certified coach can help you enjoy better sleep in a natural, balanced and more holistic way.