Would you hire a maths tutor with 3 hours of knowledge?
So called “Sleep Coaches”, also sometimes known as “Sleep Whisperers” in some quarters, are cashing in on the desperate parents of poorly sleeping children. Reuters Health report that more than half of paediatric sleep coaches have no prior health care or educational experience. Anyone can be a sleep coach! See report here
Sleep problems are very common in infants, children & teenagers, and may result in learning, behavioral & mood problems. Additionally sleep problems cause distress & upheaval for the whole family. Parents become desperate, & so sleep coaches have a large & ready market, ripe for the picking. This problem may be compounded further by sleep treatments from other “practitioners” with minimal knowledge of sleep, including Iridologists, Kinesiologists, Osteopaths, Homeopaths, & Chiropractors. In my practice I frequently see families who have spent thousands of dollars on futile sleep therapies, that are prescribed on a whim, & which have no scientific basis. Such treatments are set up to fail.
Before a sleep problem is treated, a diagnosis must be sought. Sleep problems in the paediatric age group have many & varied causes, & these are best sorted out by an experienced Sleep Paediatrician. There should never be a “one treatment fits all” philosophy.
Sleep coaches typically assume (& treat) all paediatric sleep problems as having a behavioral basis, and tend to ignore the possibility of a physical problem. Their lack of specialist sleep knowledge may result in them missing an underlying medical, developmental, or psychological problem that affects a child’s or teenager’s sleep.
Worryingly sleep coaching is a growing industry. There are paediatric sleep assessment units within most children’s hospitals in Australia & these are the best places to seek advice and direction about kid’s and teenager’s sleep.
Study & findings sourced from "Reuters Health"
Dr Chris Seton, SleepShack