Artwork for podcast Selling the Couch
289: Improving Your Sleep As A Therapist: Tips From A Sleep Psychologist
23rd September 2021 • Selling the Couch • Melvin Varghese, PhD
00:00:00 00:39:54

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Today’s show is about one of my most favorite topics in the world: sleep. I’ll admit that my thinking about sleep has changed a lot over the years as I’ve learned more. Whether you’re a champion sleeper or someone who needs to pay more attention to rest, today’s show has helpful information and expert tips for you. Join us!

Our Featured Guest

Liz Slonena

Liz Slonena is a psychologist in Asheville, NC. She has expertise in sleep and insomnia, and I wanted to have her share her insights with us. Pandemic stressors and the blurred lines between work life and home life have been contributing factors to sleep problems for many therapists. We will talk about why quality sleep matters, the basics of sleep cycles, and how our hustle culture has impacted our sleep. We’ll finish up with practical tips about improving sleep. 

Use code #STC for premium access to Aura, an all-in-one wellness app

Find Dr. Liz’s free mindful hypnosis videos on YouTube

You’ll Learn:

● What happens during the normal sleep cycles: light, restful, deep, and REM

● How disruptions can affect sleep cycles

● The connection between quality sleep and mood

● How sleep helps your immune system, neurogenesis, and muscle growth and repair

● How deep sleep is the “washing cycle” for brain and body, flushing out negative thoughts and toxins

● How hustle culture and internalized capitalism (the belief that our worth is tied to our productivity and what we DO) can compound our sleep difficulties

● Why sleep is the first thing we cut away when cramped for time, even though it’s really our most effective superpower

● The specific challenges of entrepreneurship in getting enough sleep

● The intricacies of racism and stereotypes related to internalized capitalism

● Why rest is rebellious and radical empowerment

● The importance of finding peace and balance in life through prioritizing rest

● Liz’s tips for improved sleep:

○ Clearly communicate boundaries to clients and colleagues about your hours and availability.

○ Have a physical wind-down ritual for your body and mind to signal the transition from work.

○ Write a gratitude or “win” list each night before bed.

● What’s up next for Dr. Liz? Become a Better Sleeper course and podcast are coming soon!

Today’s Sponsor: Zynnyme

Zynnyme was founded in 2010 by therapists and private practice owners Kelly Higdon and Miranda Palmer. Kelly and Miranda have become good friends of mine who have helped me immensely on my business journey + they've helped over 50k of our colleagues.

I credit their Business School Boot Camp for helping build the business and life that I imagined. Their values align with mine in helping clients build valuable and gratifying businesses while living healthy, happy, and sustainable lives.

Check out their website for a wealth of resources and services + sign up for a free four-day, live private practice marketing masterclass they're putting together to help us establish a private practice with the best outcomes and income at


Disclosures: Please note that all opinions are my own and based on my personal experience. Sponsors are acknowledged. Some links in the description are affiliate links where if you click on one of the product links, I’ll receive a commission at no additional cost to you. I use these funds to continue to create helpful content to serve our field. As an Amazon Associate, I earn a small commission from qualifying purchases.

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Since 2015, I've hosted a weekly podcast where I interview successful therapists in private practice and other business owners to help us grow our impact + income in and beyond the therapy room.

The podcast has been downloaded over 1.2 million times and is heard in over 140 countries.

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Hi. I'm Melvin. I'm a psychologist (PhD), entrepreneur, and online creator living in Philadelphia, PA.

In 2014, I began to think about how to use the therapy skills we learn in grad school, and in our clinical work into different realms (e.g., podcasting, consulting, online course creation, etc).

This allows us to serve others on larger scales while diversifying our income beyond 1 to 1 work.

I make podcasts and videos about business, tech, productivity, and lessons I'm learning from becoming the CEO of a lean, mean 5 person 100% remote team (we're not really just rhymed =P).

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We'd Like to Thank Today's Sponsor

Just because you own a private practice, it doesn't mean you magically know how to run a successful, sustainable solo or group practice. There's a lot of nuts and bolts to getting great outcomes and a stellar income. And the truth is, when your business isn't working properly it WILL impact your joy, energy, and your clinical outcomes. You need a rock solid plan that is actionable, measurable and doable! On Sept. 19-22, Kelly and Miranda from zynnyme are hosting a free training on how to create a business plan in less than one hour. This live series contains a specialized training for each phase of practice from starting a counseling practice or growing a private practice to loving your successful practice, and transforming your group practice. Check out their free Private Practice Masterclass where they'll be diving into the core issues that keep even full practice owners from being truly profitable and protected from burnout. While you're there, you can also join the interest list for their Business School for Therapists - an all-in-one resource for growing, revamping, or launching your sustainable, impactful solo or group practice. Business School for Therapists has the perfect blend of personalized support, ready to go content when you need it, and an amazing community all over the world.


Today's Sponsor is Turning Point HQ

Don't let your own money blocks rob you of your future financial security. Turning Point HQ is a financial planning company specifically for therapists. They've created a free guide to help you avoid the 7 money mistakes that most therapists make. Download the free guide today!

Turning Point HQ