How Can We Innovate Sleep?

We take a look at the University of California's study into sleep coaching


For some people, getting to sleep can be a battle.

There are a number of remedies that can help people get to sleep, but none are foolproof. Sleeping pills are addictive and can bring a whole host of unpleasant side effects, whilst herbal remedies are often inadequate.

It’s due to this that many fail to get regular sleep, causing unproductive days and at its worst, major health concerns including heart attacks, diabetes and strokes. With this in mind, anything that has the capacity to help rid of sleep deprivation should be taken seriously and acted upon if possible.

In line with this, there’s been considerable research into ‘sleep coaching’, a process whereby trainers ‘help subjects achieve habits and hygiene that can lead to quality sleep’.

In most situations sleep deprivation is created through consistent napping, high coffee consumption, smoking and alcohol. Sleep coaches promote a routine which removes their patients from this, whilst also integrating tissue manipulation, facial massages and meditation.

Equinox Fitness, one of the world’s most luxurious health-club chains, have kept a close eye on this development, investing in a study by the University of California into the effect that sleep coaching can having on heart-rate variability (HRV).

A higher HRV is healthier, whilst a lower reading can be indicative of overtraining if you’re an athlete or mental stress, something that’s experienced by everyone at some point.

The study by the University of California involves 25-40 people, none of which suffer from sleeping disorders, but all of whom are on a bad sleeping regime.

With the help of three 30 minute sessions per week from their sleep coach, it’s hoped that all the participants will be able to embark on a successful sleeping pattern after completing the 12 week experiment.

The experiment is expected to come to a close by the summer, so it will be fascinating to see the case study’s findings. Although on the face of it sleep coaching looks and sounds like a fad, it’s a space that now has a scientific foundation. Due to this, it’s not unimaginable to see those of us who suffer from sleepless nights turning to ‘sleep coaches’ rather than our bathroom cabinet to guarantee a good night’s sleep.


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