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The City Journals

Draper nurse practitioner helping women get a good night’s sleep

Sep 20, 2021 03:15PM ● By Katherine Weinstein

Statistics show that one in four women have trouble falling or remaining asleep. (Photo by Lux Graves on Unsplash)

By Katherine Weinstein | [email protected]

Statistics show that one in four women have trouble falling or remaining asleep. It’s more common in older women than men. Renee Kindler, a family nurse practitioner in Draper, has recently started her own virtual practice, Aonani Wellness, to address women’s sleep problems as well as other issues that affect their overall well-being.

“I partner with women, often moms and grandmas, to help them discover practical solutions to concerns that are impacting their lives, usually around sleep, digestion and energy,” Kindler explained.

The name “Aonani” means bright light in Hawaiian. Kindler aims to use her virtual clinic to help shed light on the underlying problems that can cause women to experience sleeplessness, bloating and low energy.

“I believe people when they say they don’t feel well,” Kindler said. “I’ve been a nurse practitioner for over 20 years. As a nurse I look at things more holistically. It’s what brings you to the profession, wanting to help people.”

When the pandemic began, Kindler had the opportunity to do more training. She took online courses with the Institute for Functional Medicine as well as the School of Applied Functional Medicine. Kindler explained that she recently completed her Level 1 AFMC certification test. She also holds a Master of Science in Nursing from Gonzaga University in Spokane, Washington.

Functional medicine focuses on determining the root causes of symptoms and illnesses and addressing them largely through natural remedies. Rather than giving a patient a prescription sleep aid, for example, a functional medicine practitioner will examine why someone has difficulty sleeping and try to address those underlying issues.

“Traditional medicine can’t be as individualized a lot of the time,” Kindler said. “One size doesn’t fit all.”

She explained that before starting Aonani Wellness, she worked as a nurse in the field of sleep and neurology. When the pandemic hit, “I found how we could successfully work with people through telemedicine,” she said. Kindler consults patients over Zoom or over the phone depending on the patient’s preference and comfort level.

“My business is focused on health consulting,” she said. “I offer one on one health consulting and am starting to offer business workshops around any health topic, but mainly focus on sleep.”

“Sleep is when our bodies repair, restore and rejuvenate,” she said. “It is crucial to our overall health.”

Chronic sleep loss can lead to a weakened immune system, increased risk of accidents, decreased productivity and weight gain. It has many causes which may include stress, blood sugar regulation, digestion and hormonal changes.

“Stress can impact you in all kinds of ways,” Kindler remarked. She recommends managing stress during the day through practices such as mindfulness meditation and walking. She mentioned that there are helpful videos on YouTube which illustrate meditation techniques.

Kindler shared some general tips to help improve sleep hygiene although she recommends working with a trusted health care provider to address concerns.

First, establishing a routine is essential. Kindler advises going to bed and getting up at about the same time each day.

Secondly, all electronic devices should be turned off at least 30 to 60 minutes before bedtime. “Your brain doesn’t turn off the same way when you’re using them,” she said. She suggests creating a bedtime relaxation hour or half hour in which you might take a warm bath, engage in mindfulness meditation or listen to relaxing music.

“Exposing yourself to sunlight in the morning is just as important as darkness at night,” Kindler said. Sunshine regulates circadian rhythms by telling the body when to increase and decrease melatonin levels.

Lastly, Kindler advises people to prepare their sleeping environment to be sleep friendly. She suggests checking for light or noise issues as well as temperature and serenity.

Working with patients to help them create new routines and lifestyle changes that result in better health is gratifying to Kindler. “It is so exciting to see how people transform,” she said.

To get a free sleep guide or to make an appointment with Aonani Wellness, visit www.reneekindler.com.