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By Rebekah Delling

LMBT, MFA, Certified Sleep Coach 

Your Guide to Sleep Coaching, Sleep Massage and Sleep Aids 

Sleep struggles are on the rise. Over 70% of Americans report difficulty sleeping at least once a month and researchers are calling insufficient sleep a global health crisis. In response, the sleep support industry has exploded, offering a plethora of products, services and (often conflicting) advice. But when you’re already tired and overwhelmed, sorting through the onslaught can be daunting.  

To help get you started, I’ve broken down the top three sleep-support options that have proven effective in both my personal and professional sleep experience. As someone who has struggled with sleep anxiety since I was a child, I understand how not getting enough rest can negatively impact one’s life. But there is hope and help!  


The road to becoming a savvy sleeper becomes easier when you team up with a qualified sleep coach. For adults, a sleep coach (also called a sleep consultant or sleep therapist) is similar in many ways to a personal trainer or health coach. Our job is to educate you about sleep, familiarize you with the sleep cycles and your circadian rhythm, and create a personalized sleep plan you can implement after the session. Sessions typically range from 60 to 90 minutes and costs vary from region to region.  

During an effective individual sleep-coaching session, your coach may:

a. Make recommendations to improve your sleep habits (hygiene)  

b. Suggest a de-stimulating bedtime routine that will set you up for sleep success 

c. Educate you about the sleep cycles and recommend ways to work with your unique biology and circadian rhythm 

d. Help you recognize and alter thoughts, attitudes and behaviors that are preventing restorative sleep  

e. Screen for sleep apnea and underlying conditions and refer you to the correct medical professionals 

f. Make suggestions on how to turn your bedroom into a sleep sanctuary

g. Suggest effective sleep-support products and aids based on your specific needs such as Snooze by Kindroot, the sleep lozenges I recommend and sell the most of

In my personal practice, I focus on taking my clients through a process of de-stimulation in the areas of hygiene, environment and lifestyle, and educate them on the benefits of strategic exposure to darkness and light. Natural darkness is a powerful tool in the savvy sleeper’s toolbox. Clients go home with a customized sleep plan that takes their current lifestyle and preferences into account.  

If a sleep coach isn’t available in your area or you prefer an online option, virtual one-on-one coaching (I offer virtual coaching via my website) or a group coaching program might be a good fit. For example, I work closely with Dr. Angela Capozzi of Roots to Rest. Dr. Capozzi helps women 40 and older improve their chronic sleep issues holistically. She has been helping women with their chronic sleep issues for more than 20 years by applying effective, individually tailored solutions (cognitive and behavioral) to eradicate sleep problems that exhaust and deplete a woman’s vitality and zest for life.   

With her expert guidance and support, you’ll revitalize your relationships, energy and career. Her unique online sleep coaching program pulls from her extensive experience as a licensed clinical psychologist and previous career as a massage therapist. She can be reached at rootstorest and you can book a free consultation call to learn more about her approach.  


Getting a regular massage every two to three weeks is another great way to improve sleep naturally. It can help reduce three of the most common sleep disruptors: pain, stress and overthinking. But like exercising or eating well, it must be done regularly to be effective.  

Massage reduces pain by addressing the issues in your tissues that keep you up at night. By finding and releasing stress and tension in the muscles, pain decreases, circulation improves and cortisol (the stress hormone) is reduced. Massage also facilitates body awareness by inspiring you to pay attention to your breath and the various sensations in your body.  

To reap the most sleep benefits from your massage, book an appointment later in the day and don’t plan any activities for after. At bedtime, recall how comfortable and centered you felt while on the massage table and allow yourself to go back into that Zen-like state.  

While all massages can help you sleep better, in 2015, I created a sleep-centered modality called the Hypnotic Sleep Massage. It was created specifically to help clients jump-start a better sleeping pattern the day of their session. I combined years of bodywork knowledge with sleep coaching to create a truly trance-inducing massage experience. I use techniques like rocking and repetitive pressure to put you in the hypnagogic state right during the session. The session also includes guided meditation and sleep suggestions that supplement your personalized sleep plan.  

This service is currently only available at my practice in North Carolina. But I will be offering a Hypnotic Sleep Massage certification course for massage therapists starting in late spring/early summer of 2023. (See bio for more information.) 


Not all sleep aids are created equal. And not all sleep aids work for everybody. But having something physical that you can do as part of your nightly routine — even if it’s just a placebo effect — can trigger a feeling of serenity and sleepiness.  

Here is a list of my most recommended sleep aids: 

1. Oral Sleep Aids (non-prescription) 

a. Snooze Lozenges by Kindroot – These snooze lozenges work better than every other oral option I’ve encountered. I recommend it to ALL my clients. The lozenge contains a sleep-inspiring blend of melatonin and ashwagandha that melts in your mouth. Take it 30 minutes before bed for a tasty and trance-inducing experience. Get them online at

b. CBD Gummies – Gummies work great for some clients and not at all for others. I recommend doing your research and trying brands that use the purest and most effective ingredients without a lot of added sugar.  

c. Melatonin – Works best when taken as a sleep pattern adjustor. It is most effective when you are changing your sleep pattern, doing shift work or experiencing jet lag.  

2. Weighted Blankets – A weighted blanket is a like a warm hug for your body and engages your body’s natural relaxation system. Like a swaddled baby, our bodies relax under the compression. Start with a lighter weight to see how it works for you. 

3. Essential Oils – Diffusing or spraying essential oils onto your pillow can have a de-stimulating effect on your senses while signaling to the brain that it’s time for sleep. I recommend using calming scents like lavender, chamomile, ylang-ylang, cedarwood, sandalwood and bergamot. 

4. Masks and Blackout Curtains – Darkness is the key to sleepiness. If putting up blackout curtains isn’t possible, using a comfortable sleep mask is a viable substitute. Darkness stimulates our pineal gland to create melatonin, which signals the body to get sleepy. Any exposure to LED lights (which mimic daylight) decreases sleepiness, so make sure your phones are off or face down. Or better yet, remove all devices from your bedroom at night! 

The journey to becoming a savvy sleeper isn’t always easy, but with the support of a great coach, an experienced massage therapist and some effective sleep aids, deeper, more restorative sleep is no longer a dream.  

Rebekah Delling is a licensed massage therapist and bodyworker in North Carolina with 23 years of massage and meditation experience. She is also a certified sleep science coach with seven years of sleep experience. She owns the Hypnotic Massage Sleep Boutique in Tryon, North Carolina, is the creator of the Hypnotic Sleep Massage and is a sleep consultant for Kindroot, the makers of the best sleep lozenge on the market.  

Book a virtual sleep coaching session or get on the waiting list for the Hypnotic Sleep Massage certification class at Hypnotic Massage Sleep Boutique.  


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