Health Watch: what is a sleep coach?

You've likely heard of life coaches and personal trainers but what about a sleep coach?

Millions of Americans say they have a hard time nodding off at night.

And some enlisted a tutor of sorts to help them get some zzz's.

So what is a sleeping coach?

Someone trained to listen to what might be keeping you up at night.

And then that person trains you, sometimes using cognitive behavioral techniques.

That's partially where people replace negative thoughts with positive ones. So you learn to sleep better.

"Coaches help people, they help them set goals. They help them achieve those goals. They provide encouragement along the way," said Sleep Medicine & Neurology Dr. Nathaniel Watson.

He says sleep coaching is most well-known for helping new parents get infants on a sleep schedule but now the service is working for grown-ups too.

"For adults, it's really a very new concept," said Dr. Watson.

If you're looking for a sleep coach, it's a good idea to check out that person's education, training and even reviews from other clients.

Because there is no required training for someone to call themselves a sleep coach.

You can also look for someone who is a doctor, psychologist or someone with certification.

John's sleep coach is a psychiatrist.

"I find that sleep coaching is a vital part of doing any kind of treatment with people who struggle to sleep," said Psychiatrist Dr. Gayani DeSilva.

And before you hire a sleep coach, experts recommend you see your doctor first to make sure the issue isn't related to something like sleep apnea.
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