About San Diego Sleep Training Expert Jen Varela
San Diego sleep training expert Jen Varela has helped more than 3,750 sleep-deprived families have sweet sleep since 2010. These families have benefited from her expertise at workshops and on phone consultations — and 700+ have partnered with Jen as private coaching clients. She focuses on the achievement of each family’s sleep goals whether in co-sleeping environments, room sharing or separate rooms. Jen’s experience ranges from helping families with infants in sleep shaping skills to families with toddlers and/or kindergartners who are transitioning them to their own room for the first time.
Jen Varela is a mother of two children. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Human Services with an emphasis in Counseling from California State University Fullerton, California. She is a member of the International Association of Child Sleep Consultants and a Certified Gentle Sleep Coach® trained by Kim West, The Sleep Lady® and received training from Infant Mental Health Community Training Program–Hospital for Sick Kids. Jen Varela has co-authored a book with Andrea Strang titled “Loved to Sleep.” Another passion of Jen’s is supporting families who are struggling with postpartum mood and anxiety disorders. She is currently on the 2019 Postpartum Health Alliance Board of Directors as President.
In 2003, Jen Varela’s very alert baby boy was born. She entered “the toughest graduate program” of her life. Jen’s son came into this world with an I don’t want to miss a thing temperament. Helping him learn how to self-sooth to sleep became a noteworthy achievement for Jen and a welcome respite to her own tired sleep schedule.
At the time, the cry-it-out method was prevalent – even among her community of mothers. Jen knew she wanted to do it differently. Before her son turned one, Jen was pregnant with her daughter. Good sleep habits became essential, especially since her son and daughter would be sharing a room. But, her children were very different sleepers. Jen had to really “study her children” to learn how to help them develop good sleep habits individually. This on-the-job training is the foundation of how Jen approaches her sleep consulting.
When Jen saw one of her neighbor friends – the mother of a toddler – sleep deprived and struggling with postpartum depression, she immediately empathized and offered to help. She stayed overnight with her friend and taught her how to get her 15-month-old to sleep… and stay asleep. That friend told another friend, who told another friend and so on and so on…
Fast forward to today and Sugar Night Night. Jen Varela has discovered her passion. She’s been helping families have sweet sleep as a sleep coach. She walks in the trenches with parents who are sleep deprived, giving them hope and the skills they need to bring sleep back into their lives. Just like her neighbor friend from years ago, she works alongside parents – with experience, encouragement, and specific sleep knowledge and techniques.
What could be better than empowering parents and giving them their life back? Trained in the Gentle Sleep Coach® philosophy since 2011, Jen helps working parents balance the priority of having time with their baby and creating healthy sleep habits. In her own words, “We all know that when you are sleep deprived, life is not ‘living’ but ‘sheer survival.’”