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Health-Based Coaching: The Many Dimensions

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Here is our partial list of exercise options (some traditional and some nontraditional) (you can add to this list your own favorites):  Walking, Yoga, Cardiovascular movement, Free Weights, Karate, Running, Swimming, Bicycling, Dance, and even just a little bit of stretching—and how about shaking like that engaged by the much smarter rodents (or is this what we do when we dance!!).

Sleep

Sleep is obviously a critical element in the restoration of health and prevention of disease. As health-based coaches we can be of great value to our clients if we help them identify ways in which to extend the duration of their sleep (goal: 7-8 solid hours of sleep per night), as well as improve the quality of sleep (the goal being to spend significant time in at least three of the four stages of sleep)

Many of the symptoms associated with sleep problems are obvious: difficulty falling asleep, difficulty staying asleep throughout the night, trouble getting back to sleep when awake during the night, and waking up too early. The impact of inadequate or low-quality sleep can be pronounced and have a wide-ranging impact on our waking life: not feeling refreshed after sleep (non-restorative sleep), feelings of fatigue, low energy or being always tired, struggles concentrating, mood swings, aggression and irritability, problems at work, school or in relationships. These latter symptoms are often not directly attributed to sleep problems—having many other sources. Yet, sleep is often primary.

Sleep quantity is impacted by many factors. Many people are “too busy” and have too many other priorities and life demands to set aside 7-8 hours for sleep. Many people might be in bed for 7-8 hours, but a significant proportion of this time is spent in a waking state or in fragmented sleep (dispersed states of sleep and wakefulness) Diurnal (bi-phasic) sleep is very common: 3-4 hours of sleep at start of the night and 2-3 hours at the end of the night with a period of wakefulness between these two sleep episodes. How does one build a bridge between these two episodes? It is especially common for the bridge to grow longer and become harder to cross as we age; long bridges are also often associated with alcohol consumption and late meals.

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