A parent’s nightmare – how a sleep disorder impacts the whole family

Every parent simply wants the best for their child. To be happy, be successful and feel loved. That’s why when my daughter developed her sleep disorder my world flipped on its head. I’m not sure if people actually realise just how debilitating a sleep disorder can be, not just to the child but to the whole household.

During the month of Feb 2014, someone very close to me and my children very suddenly passed away. To say this had a profound impact on all of us is an understatement but it would lead to my daughter developing a very deep fear of dying in her sleep. She was only 8 at the time and over a period of 6-8 months her fear developed and got progressively worse. It got to the stage where she couldn’t sleep in my home anymore. As a divorced dad who had always had 50/50 shared care this was devastating to me. I had always had such a close and deep bond with both my children but now I was losing my little girl.

We started seeing psychologists as well as working closely with the school psychologist. We performed a sleep study (that’s the photo above) and saw doctors who were quite happy to prescribe various medications but even though I was losing my daughter I didn’t want a medicated zombie in her place.

This had now been going on for nearly 12 months with the last 3 months seeing my daughter stop sleeping over all together. I would still see her twice a week and enjoy her company during the day but as night fell her fears would escalate and she would go home to her mums. At her mums house although slightly better she still struggled to get the required sleep her developing mind and body needed. She started losing weight, stopped being the happy smiley little girl she used to be and her schooling started to suffer. She’d always been such a hardworking and successful student but her mind just couldn’t stay focused without the sleep she needed.

The whole family were struggling under the pressure and it was impacting all of us in various ways. I was considering moving house to try and fix the problem and as an interim step we redecorated her whole room. It helped but she was only staying over once a week and waking up numerous times during the night.

I was getting desperate by this stage and doing hours and hours of research on potential solutions. I was reading up about red-light therapy, humidifiers, aroma therapies and white noise. I was consuming copious amounts of research trying to discover a solution. I decided to start with a humidifier and found the best possible organic essential oil I could find. This helped relax my daughter, calm her mind and breathe easier while she slept but she still wasn’t sleeping continuously through the night. I then invested in a red LED nightlight hoping it would help reset her internal clock and make her feel more tired. When she did wake up during the night it helped ease her fears. I was also using my phone to download white noise and playing it the background while she slept.

It wasn’t immediate but after a about a week we had our first big win, she slept through the night! We were all ready to celebrate. It was such a victory not just for me but for my little girl. This was the turning point and before long my daughter was back home spending half her time with her dad again.

I started to think about others who might be going through the same or similar situation as myself and that’s how the idea of Glow Dreaming was born. We started investigating suppliers who could build our sleep aid unit for us. We wanted to combine all these features into the one machine. Individually it would cost people in excess of $200 and I wanted to make it as affordable as I possibly could. It is too often those who can’t afford it that need it most. I was determined to help as many families as I could overcome the difficulties of their children’s sleep disorders.

We recently launched Glow Dreaming and the number of visitors we’ve had to our Facebook and website has blown us away. We never imagined so many people were struggling with this problem. Glow Dreaming’s were literally flying out the door. We try and take a very personal interest in every customer and we converse regularly with a number of them via messenger. This does mean chatting with them at all hours of the day or night. When you hear about a mum that hasn’t slept the whole night through in 3 years, how can you not become emotionally involved. I’m pleased to say that that 3 year old went from waking up on average 6 times a night to just once in only 4 days. It’s such a big win and a great feeling.

Another family had had their child on melatonin drops for over a year and getting him to sleep was still a nightmare. After a week with Glow Dreaming he was off the melatonin and falling asleep on his own. The fights before bed had stopped and he was a totally different child through the day as well.

We’ve helped so many people find peace and happiness. A child getting sleep makes for a happier more balanced child. It impacts not just their sleep but how they feel during the day and their whole lives. Glow Dreaming is growing and we will continue to grow so that we can help as many families as we can.