What is a Sleep Coach?

By Seth Davis

adult sleep, adult sleep coach, sleep coach certifications, sleep coach techniques, what is a sleep coach

Here at Sleepably, we provide child and adult sleep coaching services to individuals nationwide. One question we often hear is, “What is a sleep coach?” Well, sleep coaches help you optimize your sleep habits so you can fall and stay asleep better. Sleep coaching initially focused on sleep training babies and young children, but now certified adult sleep coaches can also help parents and professionals. The goal of any sleep coach should be to help you experience healthy, restorative sleep on a nightly basis.

This blog will explore sleep coaching techniques and how to choose the right sleep coach for you.

What Does a Sleep Consultant Do?

A sleep coach is a professional who helps you create better sleep habits. Some sleep coaches use a talk therapy technique called cognitive-behavioral therapy for insomnia (CBT-I) to assess and identify your current sleep patterns, then provide strategies tailored to your individual needs. This personalization makes it easier for you to stick to the plan and learn how to become an independent sleeper. 

Additionally, sleep coaches provide education about good sleep hygiene and create plans for lifestyle changes that can improve your overall quality of sleep. Though most people can develop a healthy bedtime routine on their own, sometimes it can be challenging to follow through, especially if you don’t see results immediately. A good sleep coach can provide support to help you succeed in following the plan long-term.

Sleep Coaching Techniques

Sleep coaching techniques vary from coach to coach, but many use CBT-I to help clients identify and change poor sleep habits. This therapy uses evidence-based strategies such as stimulus control, improving sleep hygiene habits, and cognitive restructuring to help you adjust your behaviors and beliefs surrounding sleep.

A sleep coach practicing CBT-I

For example, a sleep coach might suggest that you keep a regular sleep schedule to regulate your circadian rhythms. This means getting up at the same time every day, even on weekends, and avoiding stimulating activities like watching TV or checking your phone in bed.

Your sleep coach might also suggest progressive relaxation techniques such as deep breathing exercises or guided imagery before bed. These can help reduce stress and relax your body and mind, making it easier to fall asleep and stay asleep throughout the night.

One thing to be aware of is that there are no specific certifications required for sleep coaching, which means that the quality of sleep coaching you receive can vary greatly depending on the coach you choose. Ask a potential sleep coach about technique, certifications, and results to ensure that you are making a good investment in your health. We’ll cover certifications to look for a bit later.

Reasons to See a Sleep Specialist

Sleep coaching is ideal for anyone struggling with insomnia, sleep deprivation, or just difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep. It can also benefit those dealing with anxiety, stress, depression, and other emotional issues affecting sleep.

Anyone looking for a personalized plan to help them achieve better sleep quality and quantity may benefit from working with a certified sleep coach. Sleep coaches are trained to help children and adults learn how to get the rest they need, so no matter your age, there’s likely to be a coach that can help.

Some sleep issues, however, can be caused by an underlying health issue, so you may want to speak to your doctor first to rule out a medical cause. Sleep coaching focuses on optimizing sleep and developing healthy habits, so it’s not a replacement for medical treatment. You can also schedule a consultation with a reputable sleep coach to help determine if you should see a doctor first.

What Sleep Consultant Certifications Should I Look For?

When selecting a sleep consultant, look for certifications like CBT-I Certified Clinician or from programs approved by the Association of Professional Sleep Consultants (APSC). The APSC exists to uphold professional and ethical sleep coaching, so these certifications demonstrate that the sleep coach has undergone additional education and has your best interests in mind.

Before hiring a sleep coach, it’s also important to research their experience. Ask for references or testimonials from previous clients and read reviews on sites like Yelp, Google, or Facebook. Speaking with the sleep coach before committing is also a good idea. This will allow you to get more information and ask questions about their techniques, certifications, and experience.

Are Sleep Consultants Worth It?

Sleep coaching can be a powerful tool for improving sleep quality and quantity. It offers personalized advice tailored to suit your needs and can help you stick to the plan long-term. Sleep consultants also have experience with different techniques and evidence-based strategies, which makes them an invaluable resource when it comes to creating a beneficial sleep environment. 

Ultimately, the decision is yours. If you are looking for help with getting better sleep, then a sleep coach may be worth exploring. With their guidance and support, you can learn how to make positive changes to your lifestyle that will improve your overall health and well-being and your sleep quality.

Hire a Sleepably Sleep Coach

Schedule a free consultation today if you’re tired of struggling with insomnia or poor sleep quality. At Sleepably, we provide online sleep coaching to individuals nationwide. We’d love to help you get to the root of your sleep issue and develop a personalized plan for success. Listen to the podcast episode linked above to learn more about sleep coaching.

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