Sleep Coach Helps Kids, Parents Rest Easy
Aug 05, 2016 06:00PM
● By Nicole Schutter
When Erin Grzeszak mentions the fact that 25 percent of kids under the age of 5 have “sleep challenges,” one question comes to mind: Only 25 percent?
What parent hasn’t experienced the happy toddler who turns into a howler monkey at 2 a.m., the exhausting bedtime ritual requiring a fly swatter and monster spray, or the 4-year-old who’s suddenly become the family bed’s staunchest advocate?
Grzeszak has been there, and the experience led her to launch Peaceful Night Sleep Coach, helping other parents help their children so they can all get the healthy rest they need.
“When my own son was having sleep issues as a baby, my fellow teachers told me about Good Night, Sleep Tight, a book written by Kim West, The Sleep Lady. I read the book and realized the value of her teachings and wanted to be more involved personally,” she says. “Later, as a mother of two young toddlers, I quit teaching and became a stay-at-home mom. My personal issues with my son’s poor sleep habits wer the turning point in my decision to make this my new career.”
In December 2015, Grzeszak was certified as a sleep coach, trained to help families shift to a happier, healthier lifestyle. She works from her home—coaching clients, assessing their problems and goals, and then making a sleep plan for each family’s needs. For clients in Destin, Niceville, Freeport, Fort Walton and the immediate surrounding areas, she will visit their homes to assess their children’s sleep habits and environment. She offers three service levels: the Baby Package for ages birth to 6 months; and the premium- and platinum-level Sleep Packages for ages 6 months to 4 years.
“Peaceful Night offers gentle, personalized plans for parents who need help with their child’s sleep troubles,” she says. “I guide them through the process and am the extra support they may need during the tough stages.”
While the contact she has with her clients is unique and specific to each family, she says, she often finds herself repeating the same mantra: Patience. “My biggest challenge as a coach is getting parents to realize that, with patience, they can achieve their goals of getting their children the healthy sleep that they need.”
And ultimately, health is the whole point. That 25 percent of children with “sleep challenges” aren’t getting the rest their brains and bodies need. And their parents, who slog through days after fractured nights, carry the effects of sleep deprivation into their work and home lives. When that negative cycle is replaced with a positive one, Grzeszak says, the ripple effect is amazing.
“The highlight of my job is seeing families attain their goals of establishing good sleep patterns for their children, and seeing their stress levels diminish with a better night’s sleep,” she says. “I enjoy helping families implement good sleep habits for their children, knowing that it makes for a happier, healthier family environment.”