New Granite Bay business wants you to sleep better

By: ToLewis, The Press Tribune
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A new business in Granite Bay is aiming to help those with sleep disorders, offering a new form of deep relaxation training. According to the National Sleep Foundation, up to 40 percent of Americans report having some sort of insomnia at any given point throughout the course of a year. Dr. Amer Khan and his wife Iram have developed a new program that combines behavior modification with a form of yoga known as Yoga Nidra, which is intended for complete physical, mental and emotional relaxation. Located at the Quarry Ponds center on Douglas Boulevard, Sehatu Sleep is a deep relaxation studio offering a program that teaches clients to ?unwind their mind,? Amer Khan said. As a sleep disorder and neurology specialist at Sutter Roseville, Amer Khan has seen his share of patients who suffer from sleep disorders. ?The frustrating part is that doctors have few tools other than prescribing sleeping pills for patients with insomnia,? Amer Khan said. ?Even though we already know, and science tells us, that the real answer is not in sleeping pills.? The program at Sehatu Sleep consists of three components: cognitive behavior modification; stretching, breathing and meditation exercises; and Yoga Nidra. Iram Khan said Yoga Nidra means deep relaxation and conscious sleep, so practitioners are awake but focusing attention inward rather than concentrating on conscious thought. ?You?re basically unwinding your mind,? she said. ?We are basically training the mind to not think and to go within our own selves and find deep relaxation.? Amer Khan says the vast majority of people who suffer from sleep disorders won?t visit a doctor and simply try to cope with it. But, he says, sleeping well at night can have positive effects that can be applied to all aspects of one?s life. ?We?re helping them be empowered,? he said. ?If you have more power over your life, you sleep better. You function better during the day, and so you perform better.? Don Olsen attended one of the studio?s introductory classes and said he immediately noticed an ability to sleep better at night. ?Usually I?ll go to bed and I?ll sleep pretty good, but I wake up around 3 or 4 o?clock in the morning and I start thinking about everything,? Olsen said. ?That night, I slept all the way through and I felt great in the morning. I was just really surprised.? People who feel they might benefit from the program can sign up for one month of classes, which are held twice each week. The program is based on four different levels of instruction, each one building on more advanced techniques than the previous. Amer Khan said clients can stop the training at any point, repeat levels or continue on to the next level until they feel confident they have learned everything there is to learn from the program and can do it on their own. ?What we expect you to do is not be dependant on us forever to do this,? he said. ?I want you to learn to do it yourself, and that?s what our focus is on.? Toby Lewis can be reached at Follow him on Twitter @TobyLewis_RsvPT.