Sleeping and success in coaching really go hand in hand. Unfortunately, sleeping is a topic entirely ignored in coaching. I admit as an NLP and coach trainer, I used to treat lack of sleep as a presenting problem on its own, regardless of if it was caused by stress and anxiety, or not prioritizing sleep.
Coaches fail to educate themselves about sleep
As long as coaches don’t understand the basics of sleep, and aren’t asking their clients about sleeping, they continue to be ineffective. This blindspot will limit their success. And it will be a blind spot that the client continues to have.
Here are a few examples of coaches missing the boat:
A weight management coach and fitness trainer offers all the expertise in the world to their client about food and exercise. Even how to set up the brain for success using NLP or a similar tool. However, if this professional doesn’t help you prioritize sleep, you continue to do something that causes you to gain weight and makes you unhealthier both physically and mentally. In fact, sacrificing sleep to go to the gym in the morning is completely counter-productive!
Or the life coach who wants to help a client to navigate an emotionally challenging time in their life. You can throw the most amazing tools and goal-setting techniques, however, sleep deprivation causes the client to emotionally deregulate, not process any emotions at night, and become less capable of reality testing and focus.
Regardless of what kind of coaching session you do, you require your client to be able to concentrate, focus, memorize, and be more creative.
You get the idea.
In my opinion, everyone should read the book: “Why we sleep.” By Dr. Matthew Walker.
Book links inside this article earn me an affiliate commission at no extra cost to you. I do recommend these books to my students, friends and family.
40 Reasons why sleeping is the secret to success in coaching
Sleep is what stands between rationality and insanity.
1. Sleeping is the most effective thing we can do to reset our brain
2. Sleeping is the most effective thing we can do to reset our bodies
3. Sleep primes the brain for more learning.
4. Sleep primes the brain to make new memories.
5. You make more errors when you are sleep deprived.
6. If you do not sleep after the first day of learning, the brain fails to consolidate the information on the 2nd day.
7. At night, sleep cements the learning we do during the day.
8. Seep prevents us from forgetting those things we experienced or learned.
9. Sleep increases the speed of motor skills and (useful) movement
10. Sleep increases the accuracy of our motor skills and movement
11. Less than 8 hours of sleep and more so, less than 6 hours of sleep reduces our physical recovery by 10- 30 percent. (Especially from aerobic activity.)
12. It accelerates physical recovery from inflammation.
13. And muscle repair.
14. It replenishes cell repair.
15. Even the littlest amount of deprivation reduces our concentration.
16. We need 7 hours of sleep to maintain cognitive performance.
17. After 10 days without 7 hours of nightly sleep, we are as dysfunctional as we would be by going for 24 hours without sleep.
18. 3 full nights of sleep are not enough to restore performance back to normal after being sleep deprived.
19. Emotional problems occur under sleep deprivation.
20. So do psychiatric problems.
21. Generally speaking, the shorter you sleep, the shorter your lifespan.
22. We experience and learn during the day when we are awake. We store, strengthen, and process data like facts and skills while we sleep.
23. You can’t “bank:” sleep by sleeping longer to offset not having enough sleep. It doesn’t work.
24. Sleeping re-calibrates and fine-tunes the emotional circuits inside the brain.
25. Sleep fuels creativity, which in turn makes us better problem solvers, teachers, builders, creators, etc.
26. If you need an alarm to wake up, you haven’t had enough sleep.
27. A lack of sleep is the key indicator of getting Alzheimer’s disease later in life.
28. The leading causes of death all are linked to a lack of sleep.
29. Obesity is directly linked to sleep deprivation,
30. Loss of sleep increases appetite and hunger.
31. Sleep deprivation reduces impulse control.
32. Lack of sleep reduces testosterone.
33. Lack of sleep increases the chances of infection.
34. Sleep reduces exposure to anxiety.
25. Sleep allows us to understand facial expressions better.
36. Even the slightest sleep deprivation increases your risk of a heart attack.
37. Sleepy drivers are more deadly than drunk drivers.
38. By being awake for 17 hours you are similarly impaired as a drunk driver.
39. Being awake for 24 hours is similar to being above the legal driving level in the United States.
40. Sleeping 4 hours a night for 6 days leads to impairment equivalent to a person who has been awake for 24 hours
Understanding sleep changed the way I coached forever
Both my life as well as the way I work changed after reading Matthew Walker’s book “Why We Sleep.” I realized that the majority of coaches, and other professionals working in the world of health have a huge blindspot that not only makes them entirely ineffective, but it also renders their work counter-productive.
I started to ask my students and my clients these questions:
1. What is your level of satisfaction with the quality of sleep you are getting? Between 0 – 100 %.
2. Do you sleep 7 – 9 hours nightly? If not, what hours specifically are you keeping?
3. Do you go to bed and wake up each day at similar times?
I discovered that my clients who weren’t sleeping had far less benefit from coaching than those who do.
I believe sleeping can make or break coaching. Sleeping is the secret to success in coaching.
Why We Sleep – Dr. Matthew Walker
“The Sleep Solution: Why Your Sleep is Broken & How to Fix it” – W. Chris Winter M.D.
“The Promise of Sleep: A Pioneer in Sleep Medicine Explores the Vital Connection Between Health, Happiness & a Good Night’s Sleep”– William C. Dement, M.D., Ph.D