According to the National Center for Biotechnology Information, there has been an upsurge in sleep problems in old age. About half of older people report age-related sleep disorders. The most common sleep disorder in the elderly is insomnia. It is difficult for older people to fall asleep and stay asleep during the night. While only about 24% of young people suffer from this same disorder.
Other factors that contribute to insomnia include:
● Troubles in personal lives (divorce, widowhood);
● Low level of income;
● Unhealthy lifestyle (smoking, drinking alcohol, lack of physical activity);
● Stress and anxiety;
● Health problems.
If nothing is done about this disorder, then there is a good chance that it will develop into chronic insomnia. Besides, sleep problems contribute to other health conditions and deteriorate overall well-being.
Many people resort to using sleeping pills or googling “10 tips to fall asleep”. However, this is only a short-term solution to the problem. Therefore, in such cases, older people begin to seek help from professionals, such as sleep coaches.
We’ll share what the sleep coach does and how you can benefit from it.
Who is a Sleep Coach?
Sleep coach helps people manage sleep problems. They are called trainers for a reason, as they work individually with each patient, scrupulously studying possible insomnia triggers.
Such a specialist can make an appointment not only in his office to talk about your condition, but Online platforms, as well as applications, are also available. There you can talk to a professional remotely.
In addition, a sleep coach makes an individual assessment of what is happening in your life, finds out your habits, explores your sleep environment, and assesses your physical condition and mood. Based on the information, the specialist draws up a detailed action plan for you to get your healthy sleep back. You don’t just get general answers you can find on the Internet, but a personalized plan based on your life choices and health condition.
What if a sleep coach app could serve as your very own personal sleep coach without requiring you to travel? You can achieve the same result as if you were going to a specialist for therapy sessions. You can talk to your sleep coach no matter what time it is or where you are. Most importantly, the app is much cheaper than offline visits, which can cost more than $100 per visit.
What Does a Sleep Coach Do?
Manages Insomnia Using Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
Not all sleep coaches have a background in this type of treatment. However, more psychologists are starting to use CBT as this approach has gained a reputation as the gold standard in psychology and is widely used for the treatment of insomnia.
This kind of therapy is divided into two parts: cognitive and behavioral. The first part of therapy is that patients learn to recognize thoughts and beliefs that can deteriorate the quality of sleep and create new skills to manage sleep problems. Such factors can sometimes even be subconscious, which the patient may not be aware of.
The second part of therapy is behavior change. This includes changing habits or behaviors that interfere with sleep. This part also involves doing homework from the therapist (e.g. keeping a diary of thoughts).
Help Maintain Sleep Hygiene as Well as Improve the Environment
Every person knows that scrolling the feed before sleep is unhealthy, as well as working or eating in bed. However, these bad habits are sometimes hard to break. A sleep coach helps you improve sleep quality through a series of healthy habits called sleep hygiene.
Apart from this, they also help in making changes to the sleep environment. They may suggest buying blackout curtains that block out light, removing the TV from the bedroom, waking up at the same time, and much more.
Helps Change Eating Habits
A study by the NIH confirms that foods help improve sleep quality, and sleep duration, and also reduce sleep latency. Among these products are milk (containing tryptophan), cherries (containing melatonin and serotonin), etc.
An experienced sleep coach helps to detect bad eating habits, as well as suggests eating more or less before sleep, adding melatonin-rich foods to your evening snack, and so on.
Teaches Relaxation Techniques
In most cases, people forget that it is necessary to properly prepare for sleep. Sleep routine is important as it helps separate day from night, get rid of restless thoughts, and relax before sleep
The sleep coach teaches relaxation techniques, mindfulness practices, breathing exercises, meditation, as well as physical exercises that help ensure sound sleep. Simple, but efficient techniques, such as 4-7-8 breathing, body scanning or gratitude walk help properly relax before bedtime
Helps to Identify Minor problems preventing sleep
Let’s say you have no problem falling asleep or getting more than 8-hour sleep a night, but you do not feel refreshed in the morning.
There may be many reasons for that, such as a lack of oxygen due to apnea or a stuffy bedroom. A sleep coach helps detect these reasons and suggests talking to a doctor or keeping improvements in sleep hygiene.
Lack of good quality sleep can be a stumbling block on the path to a happy and healthy life. It can be quite difficult to find the problem by yourself since it can be either a lack of sleep hygiene or daily stress or hundreds of other reasons. A problem like this needs to be addressed by a professional, such as a sleep coach, as it can lead to other health problems.
The specialist helps to establish the causes and develop an individual plan for returning to healthy sleep. You can talk to a specialist offline or use an app to communicate with a sleep coach at a lower price whenever and wherever it suits you.