A Survey of Practicing Sleep Coaches

David G. Ingram, Jodi A. Mindell, Kristina Puzino, Russel M. Walters

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Background: Sleep coaches are individuals of various backgrounds who offer services to families struggling with behavioral childhood sleep problems. We conducted a survey of coaches to further elucidate scope of practice, practice patterns, geographic distribution, education, training, and beliefs regarding qualification requirements. Methods: A Web-based survey was completed by 142 individuals who identified as a sleep coach. Results: Coaches were distributed across 17 countries and 5 continents. Overall, 65% of coaches served clients in countries beyond their home country. Within the United States, coaches were generally located in more affluent and well-educated zip codes near large metropolitan centers, 91% served clients beyond their home state, and 56% served clients internationally. Educational background varied across coaches (12% high school degree, 51% bachelor’s degree, 32% master’s degree, 2% doctoral degree, 1.5% JD degree). Few coaches (20%) were or had been licensed health care providers or carried malpractice insurance (38%). Coaches usually provided services for children < 4 months of age to about 6 years of age, and were much less likely to provide services for children with comorbid neurodevelopmental (32%) or significant medical disorders (19%). Coaches reported an average of 3 new and 6 total clients per week and working 20 hr per week on average. Most coaches (76%) felt that a formal sleep coach training program was the most important qualification for practice. Conclusions: These results highlight a diversity of background, training, and geographical distribution of sleep coaches, and may help inform discussions regarding guidelines for training and credentialing of sleep coaches.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)272-281
Number of pages10
JournalBehavioral Sleep Medicine
Volume16
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - May 4 2018

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Neuroscience (miscellaneous)
  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Psychology (miscellaneous)
  • Clinical Neurology

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