It sounds so extra, but what exactly does "sleep coaching" entail? According to this story, a sleep coach might encourage a client to practice good sleep hygiene habits (like having set bedtimes and a calm sleep environment), suggest foods to eat before bed, or teach them relaxation techniques like breathing exercises. Basically, a sleep coach is like a "personal trainer for sleep," the author of the article says.
Technically, there is no certification process or education requirement to become a sleep coach — although some sleep coaches also market themselves as "holistic health coaches" or "nutrition experts." If a person has a true sleep disorder, like insomnia or sleep apnea, or an underlying health condition contributing to sleep issues, then a coach will (hopefully) refer a client to see a sleep physician who can diagnose and treat their condition appropriately. However, some people have already seen doctors and exhausted other treatments, and have extra funds to devote to sleep training, so they turn to a personalised coach for treatment.
In terms of cost, according to this article, people spend anything from £4,000 for three months to £8,000 a day for sessions with a sleep coach. Many of the people who seek sleep coaches tend to be high-power business people, like financial professionals, lawyers, doctors or creative types, who want to be able to sleep better to help their "hustle," the New York Post reports. "When you sleep better, you’re more creative, you’re more productive, you’re more successful," Soda Kuczkowski, a sleep coach in Buffalo told the New York Post.
Whether or not this whole "sleep coaching" thing is all a bunch of BS remains to be seen, but what's clear is that people are really desperate for sleep, and willing to pay top dollar to get it. Sleep is super important, and actually vital to your health, so it can be extremely frustrating to not be able to get the shut-eye you need to go about your daily life. But with such high prices for services, and limited expertise, it's tough to say whether or not a sleep coach would be worth the pennies.
At the end of the day, we know that a few things are proven to be good for sleep, like cognitive behavioural therapy, reading a book, and exercising. You might also have more success seeing a sleep physician, or participating in a research-backed sleep program (Equinox actually has a sleep coaching programme that uses strategies developed by UCLA sleep researchers). So, you might want to give those cheaper healthy habits a try before you pay someone the price of your rent to sit there and watch you sleep.