Growing up, I always wanted to be a whale trainer. This was even before the movie “Free Willy”. I saw a segment on Mr. Rogers and fell in love with the idea gliding through water on a giant orca. However, I grew up, watched the documentary “Black Fish”, and decided against my childhood dream. Which is probably for the best because I don’t have the body to rock a wetsuit.
I never in a million years dreamed that I would become a sleep consultant. In fact, I used to think sleep was extremely overrated and a huge waste of time. Until I hit grad school. I spent more evenings at the University of North Dakota Med School than I did my apartment or bed. As sleep deprivation started to kick in, I slowly started to see the benefits of sleep and appreciate it as a necessity for my health and success as a functioning human.
I graduated college with a Master’s Degree in Occupational Therapy and went to work as a pediatric therapist. For five years, I worked with children (0-3 years old) who were developmentally delayed. I quickly came to realize how sleep deprivation negatively impacted children’s development, behaviors, and family dynamics. I worked with a few kiddos that suffered traumatic brain injuries after being shaken by sleep deprived caregivers. I knew right then and there that I wanted to focus more on helping families get quality rest so they were equipped to handle the daily challenges of life.
I may not get a standing ovation after I train a child or coach an adult to sleep peacefully throughout the night like I would if I were training orcas; however, I think I’m still making a difference. AND, my hands don’t have to smell like fish. WINNING!