Ann Rowland, health coach at Interactive Health knows what it is like to suffer from insomnia. She draws from her personal experience, a master’s degree in Health Psychology and training in cognitive behavioral technique to help members use their mind/body to relax and get a good night sleep.
Ann shares how she helps members
We’ve all been there. Wide awake at 3 a.m., mind racing with a rising sense of anxiety about the difficult day ahead if we can’t fall back to sleep. As a health coach, my goal is to help our members who suffer from insomnia debunk myths and give them tips to manage the stress and anxiety associated with not getting enough sleep.
Sleeping well is strongly connected with overall health, life satisfaction and emotional well-being. In fact, experts have concluded that getting enough high-quality sleep may be as important to health and well-being as nutrition and exercise. Conversely, long-term effects of sleep deprivation are real. It drains your mental abilities and puts your physical and emotional health at real risk.
I started working with a member who signed up for one of our health coaching courses entitled “Getting a Good Night’s Sleep”. This member thought he had to have 8 hours of uninterrupted sleep and when this expectation wasn’t met, it created a lot of tension and stress. Upon waking in the middle of the night, he was allowing his mind to race to worrisome thoughts, which triggered anxiety and stress responses.
First, I helped the member manage expectations, letting him know during lightened stages of sleep that it is normal to wake up several times a night and we have a tolerance for sleep loss. In addition, age plays a factor in the quality of sleep.
Next, we discussed the relationship between anxiety and sleep and how to use relaxation techniques to help him get back to sleep at night. In less than a month, this member was able to reduce anxious thoughts about his sleep and during night time awakenings. In addition, he was able to successfully go back to sleep using the techniques he had learned during our sessions. We continued to work on good sleep hygiene and helped him with tips to sleep better while traveling on the job.
When this member graduated from the health coaching course, his quality of sleep had dramatically increased, and the associated stress and anxiety continued to diminish as measured by a sleep quality rating. I was proud to be a part of this member’s transformational journey giving him the tools and confidence he needed to overcome his bout with insomnia.
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