Sleep. It’s the thing we spend one-third of our lives doing but somehow can’t get enough of. And oh, how important it is! Sleep not only allows your mind and body to recharge but also boosts your immune system, repairs muscle tissue, and supports brain function, among other things. As a coach, you should know the importance sleep plays in wellness, and make sure your clients are maximizing their rest.
Signs Your Clients Need Better Sleep
If you’re not getting enough sleep, your coaching clients probably aren’t either. The truth is your clients may be hitting the snooze button for good reason. They may be…
- On blue-light overload from their digital devices
- Too maxed out with work and personal life to wind down
- Experiencing a sleep disorder like insomnia or narcolepsy
- Exposed to light pollution from living in a big city
All of these reasons (and more) can cause someone to toss and turn when they should be resting. Fortunately, it’s never too late to clean up your sleep hygiene and catch more Zzzs. Here’s how you can coach your clients to get better, deeper sleep and improve their lives all around.
Best Practices for Deeper Sleep
Here are a few essential healthy habits to promote solid slumber and ensure your clients wake up feeling refreshed and rejuvenated every morning.
1. Turn Off Devices Two Hours Before Bed
This can be tough for kindle readers and social media scrollers, but it’s essential for promoting restful sleep. Blue light produced by cell phones can disrupt our brain waves and throw off our circadian rhythm: our natural internal clock which controls when we’re asleep and awake. Too much blue light can confuse our bodies from knowing whether it’s 9 am or midnight. Shutting down the devices two hours before bed gives enough time for the body to enter a much-needed restful state.
2. Get Rid of Ambient Light
If your client lives in a big city, they could be impacted by ambient light from outside. Exposure to light pollution, or a bright lamp near the bedside, can suppress the production of melatonin—the hormone that helps ease the body into a state of sleepiness. Your clients can block out ambient light by swapping out bright bedside lamps for options with dimmer switches, and getting black-out curtains to mute outside light.
3. Optimize Your Bedding
There’s nothing like hot, itchy, and uncomfortable sheets to make anyone toss and turn at night. Choosing the right sheets can make a big difference in one’s quality of sleep. Your clients should opt for comfortable, breathable bedding materials like organic cotton, linen, or bamboo. Encourage them to outfit their bedroom as seriously as they choose their wardrobe. Comfy pillows, and well-chosen blankets go a long way to promoting deeper sleep. It’s worth it!
4. Lower the Temperature to 60-65 Degrees
Interesting research out of Oxford Academic found that sleeping around 60-degrees Fahrenheit yields better quality of sleep than sleeping at 68 or 75 degrees. That’s because your body heats up as you sleep, so maintaining a cooler room temperature helps the body establish a comfortable temperature to sustain eight hours of rest. Simply lower the thermostat to 60-ish degrees or open a window for a breath of fresh air.
The Ideal Bedtime Routine for Solid Slumber
Once you help your clients establish best practices for sleep hygiene, you can build them an ideal nighttime routine that they can stick to. Remember: consistency is key—when you teach your body what to expect, sleeping well becomes second nature.
1. Wind Down with 10-15 Minutes of Pre-Bedtime Yoga
Yoga is often seen as an energizing practice, but in fact, nighttime yoga has a positive effect on reducing symptoms of insomnia. A handful of gentle, slow stretches and yoga poses is all you need to feel less restlessness and promote sound sleep.
- Legs up the wall to increase blood circulation
- Corpse pose (a.k.a. Savasana) to relax the muscles in the body
- Child’s pose to ease lower back discomfort
2. Sip Soothing Hot Herbal Tea
Sipping tea at nighttime can help calm the nervous system and encourage your body to relax. Just make sure to avoid teas with caffeine in them, so you don’t stimulate your brain and heart right when it’s time to wind down. Try teas like…
- Chamomile for it’s calming and relaxing effects
- Lavender to help ease insomnia
- Peppermint to promote restfulness
A simple hot tea before bed infused with one of these ancient herbs can help promote both restful sleep and hydration for the next morning.
3. Infuse Your Bedroom with Essential Oils
Much like drinking soothing teas, a handful of herbs have calming effects that can help ease our minds and bodies into a restful state. Put a few drops of essential oils in a diffuser, on your bed sheets or mixed with a light carrier oil on your hands and feet to promote rest and relaxation before bedtime.
Opt for essential oils like…
- Lavender to help ease symptoms of insomnia
- Ylang Ylang to help reduce one’s heart rate
- Eucalyptus to help promote easy breathing during sleep
4. Pick Up a Journal or Book
Taking the time to read or write before bed can help calm a busy mind and process any lingering thoughts before bedtime. Journaling helps you wind down and ward off wandering thoughts or anxiety produced earlier in the day. Similarly, reading for just six minutes before bed can help reduce stress levels by up to 68%, according to research from the University of Sussex.
5. Start a Gratitude Practice
Whatever your personal or spiritual practices are, listing (outloud or in your mind) what you’re thankful for, before you hit the hay, has been shown to promote deeper, longer sleep. The idea is to fixate on the good and positive things happening in your life, rather than the bad or negative. Gratitude helps us focus on what’s meaningful to us. For more tips on how to establish a gratitude practice, check out our favorite ways to be thankful, now and throughout the year.
Everyone can refine their sleep hygiene to establish deeper, more productive rest. By practicing these key sleep habits and setting the stage with a consistent bedtime routine, you can help your clients optimize slumber, which supports the rest of their life. Ready to give your clients this valuable information? Join HCI to become a certified Health and Wellness Coach.
Grow Your Coaching Career with Health Coach Institute
Health Coach Institute offers a variety of programs designed and tailored to meet your coaching needs. Whether your focus is health and wellness, or stress management, HCI has a program to help you start your coaching career. Plus, if you’re a graduate of our entry-level coaching programs, take your business to the next level with our Coach Mastery program!