Various factors, such as work stress and a busy lifestyle, can hinder the quality of your sleep. The factors behind insomnia are often complex and may, if prolonged, lead to equally complex issues. According to scientists, about one third of all working-age Finns suffer from temporary insomnia and about one tenth from chronic insomnia.
A sleep coach can help you with sleep issues. The goal of sleep coaching is to increase the customer’s knowledge and understanding about sleep. The coach provides practical tips for restoring a regular sleep cycle, improving the quality of sleep and increasing habits that promote better sleep. A sleep coach can also help identify and eliminate mental factors that often hinder sleep, such as trying too hard to fall asleep or worrying about insomnia. The coach can also offer means to tackle potential setbacks.
Both private and occupational health care customers can book an appointment with a sleep coach without a referral from a doctor. The sleep coach meets with the customer about four to five times, usually between 60 and 90 minutes at a time. During the coaching, the coach cooperates with a multiprofessional team to prepare the customer’s treatment from beginning to end, taking into account the customer’s needs.
To prevent misunderstandings, I tell my customers that sleep coaches are not sandmen who carry a bag of magical sand and a magic wand. Instead, insomnia is treated with forms of cognitive behavioural therapy. The treatment process starts with the customer’s motivation and will to change their lifestyle. During the process, the sleep coach supports the customer’s goal of improving the quality of their sleep.
The best thing about working as a sleep coach is seeing the customer commit to the coaching and seeing their energy levels improve as the insomnia gives way. My practical tip for those suffering from sleep problems is: “Rest does not simply mean physical sleeping; it is also a mental process.”
The text was written by Occupational Health Nurse Niina Kataikko from Mehiläinen Kotka.