How an Australian Parent's Nightmare Helped Create a Dream Business Aimed to Help All Struggling Parents
A restless child that can't sleep, long nights spent soothing them to rest, frustration that nothing works, these are all situations every parent can relate to. However, when this routine and sleep deprivation is consistent, it can become alarmingly dangerous. When Cara Benau's step daughter developed a sleep disorder, its effects soon enveloped not only the young eight year old but the whole family. Motivated through love to find a solution, Cara and her husband Aloni created Glow Dreaming - the world's most advanced sleep aid which is now helping struggling families all over the world.
It all began in 2014 when a close friend of the Benau's suddenly died. Eight year old Nevoh Benau developed anxiety which was heightened at night and impacted her ability to sleep. Nevoh, who had once been a happy, positive child, now had stopped sleeping all together, began losing weight, lost her happy attitude and fell behind at school. Despite multiple psychologist and doctor appointments prescribing her various medications, Cara was not interested in putting her child through a zombie-like state and fought to find a natural solution.
"It was horrible to see the child you love disappear and slowly erode through a disorder like this. For over 12 months we tried everything to no avail, nothing worked," says Cara. Her and her husband began to get desperate and spent countless hours researching various remedies for sleep disorders. They began reading about red-light therapy, humidifiers, aroma therapies and white noise. When she tried each of these therapies separately on her step daughter, she began to notice positive changes. When she combined them all, she found success and it only took a week for Nevoh to sleep through the night.
"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 one machine. Individually it would cost people in excess of $200 and we wanted to make it as affordable as possible. It is too often those who can't afford it that need it most. We were determined to help as many families as we could overcome the difficulties of their children's sleep disorders," says Cara.
Glow Dreaming is backed by scientific research using the latest patented sleep technology combining the key features of sleep therapy:
Aromatherapy using essential oils is designed to calm children's mind and relax the muscles.
The Humidifier cool mist technology helps ease breathing, prevent snoring, stop airborne viruses and maintain a regular room temperature.
Pink noise enhances brain activity associated with deep phases of sleep and improves memory retention and focus.
Red LED Light therapy stimulates the bodies melatonin production which tells us when it's time to sleep.
It is also supported by the world's leading experts including:
Dr Stephane Pigeon: world leading sound specialist who has created a unique frequency profile for Glow Dreaming
Dr Bo Hendgen: one of the world's leading naturopaths with over 20 years of experience in aromatic medicine, osteopathy and naturopathy
When Cara launched Glow Dreaming in 2016 she was overwhelmed by the success of the product. Mothers and fathers all over Australia related to the problem Cara's step daughter had and were also in need of a solution. It seemed Glow Dreaming was the answer to all of their dreams. The product sold out within months of first launching and has since helped over 50,000 families find sleep.
"I think the most rewarding thing about Glow Dreaming is seeing the impact it has on all the families using the device. I try and take a very personal interest in every customer and I converse regularly with as many as possible. 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 three years, how can you not become emotionally involved? I'm pleased to say that their three year old went from waking up on average six times a night to just once in only four days. It's such a big win and a great feeling. This product is all about self-care, happy parent = happy child," says Cara.
Glow Dreaming's success has been attributed to word-of-mouth reviews which has spread their message across the globe. Requests and orders from the UK, India and the US have pushed Glow Dreaming past the national border and with a projected turnover of approx. $4million they will soon be expanding internationally, set to hit the US in September.
Glow Dreaming is only available online at www.glowdreaming.com. RRP $130.
Interview with Cara Benau
Question: What is Glow Dreaming? Cara Benau
: Glow Dreaming started off as a standalone sleep product but is now an all-encompassing online service that works hand in hand with the customer to achieve their sleep goals. Because Glow Dreaming is based on science and human physiology it works from birth right through all ages of adulthood. Question:
What remedies are combined to create the Glow Dreaming product? Cara Benau
: The Glow Dreaming product utilizes various sleep technology and brings them into a singular unit. The functions include:
Red LED light technology (the same technology used on the international space station to help stimulate melatonin production. This is the body's natural sleep hormone.
Pink noise which sounds similar to white noise but there are distinct sound frequency differences. Pink noise also blocks out background noise but also helps users fall into a deeper better sleep.
Medicinal grade essential oil. Essential oils, in particular lavender have been proven to help with calming the body and helping with sleep. We've worked with Dr Bo Hendgen to create a unique essential oil especially suitable for use with younger children and babies. Dr Bo is a global leader in the essential oil space and has won numerous awards for her work.
Cool mist humidifier. This is especially important as it never gets hot ensuring there are no risk of burning associated with traditional humidifiers. Humidifiers not only help with breathing but the moisture in the air helps stop the spread of germs and illness spreading through the air.
Potentially most importantly is the online service provided by our Glow Sleep Specialists. They work hand in hand beyond the Glow Dreaming for every customer that needs it. Glow Dreaming has now helped over 50,000 families get the sleep they need. This has allowed us to develop a detailed database driven by an AI analytics engine to identify trends, correlations and sleep solutions for the most common sleep issues based on statistical analysis. Our algorithms are built using the Health Belief Model and ensure a success rate unseen before in the sleep space. Question:
What inspired the creation of Glow Dreaming? Cara Benau
: Glow Dreaming was born because my step daughter lost someone in the family that was very close to her. She went from this amazing girl full of spirit and life to a little girl that struggled every day as she struggled so badly to sleep. As parents you will literally try everything and anything to help your child sleep. We went to sleep school tried melatonin drops, I changed and redecorated her entire room, and nothing worked. Until my husband who is an avid researcher decided we perhaps needed more than one solution and started bringing together a number of different solutions targeting the different human senses. It is well researched that the best way to teach the body is by targeting as many of the senses as possible. We decided not to target touch as based on our research it had the highest degree of dependency association which was something we really wanted to avoid.
Seeing the impact, it had on our child we thought ourselves there was nothing else quite like this on the market and what if we could help others. We wanted to create something simple to use that helped as many people as possible at an affordable price. So many need help and can't afford to get that help from sleep consultants. As we've grown and developed, we've started using data to more accurately understand the issue and provide the best possible solution all online and at no extra cost. Question:
What research did you conduct to find a solution for this sleep disorder? Cara Benau
: Where do you even start. We worked with the world's leading sound specialist in Belgium Dr Stephene Pigeon to create the pink noise we use. Pink noise generally needs a large subwoofer to achieve the right frequency spectrum. Dr Pigeon specifically adjusted the frequency to ensure our little Glow was able to produce the right sound.
We worked with Dr Bo Hendgen to produce The organic Essential Oil we use. Dr Bo is considered one of the leaders in the pediatric space when it comes to essential oils.
There have been numerous studies around the benefits of Red LED light. NASA have been the leaders in this space.
Nine months ago we hired one of Australia's leading strength and condition coaches to our team as our head sleep specialist. He brought a different way of thinking to the sleep space which centered around the Health Belief Model in order to instigate sustainable behavioral change for both children and parents. This helped us build out our algorithm and thinking which allows us to provide more accurate results orientated advice. Question:
Are you able to share with us, a Glow Dreaming success story? Cara Benau
: Our growth has predominately been based on word of mouth and the success of our amazing customers. We call them Glow Dreamers. When you help a desperate family, particularly mums get some much-needed rest they are the first ones to scream it from the roof tops. We honestly get hundreds a week its so hard to pick just one. Our Instagram
is filled with amazing stories. There is nothing more amazing then helping a tired often stressed family get some desperately needed relief. This is a beautiful one from @lucasgirlslove
via Instagram lucasgirlslove
See that gorgeous smile? That's the smile of a well-rested young lady. Our girl has been struggling with certain aspects of sleep for quite some time. After exhausting all options, Hubby and I felt quite defeated and honestly, a little helpless.
After another evening of worrying, and consulting Google (as all Mums do, daily) I came across rave reviews of the @glowdreaming and thought why not give it a go?
The team at Glow Dreaming are super helpful, passionate, with dedicated sleep experts at the ready, and they sent me one out to try right away/ The Glow Dreaming certainly lives up to the hype. Emme is having a much deeper and more restful sleep than she has in years and I feel like it will only improve from here! Question:
What's a typical day like, for you? Cara Benau
: The last two years have been manic so this year I started to focus more on taking some time out for me. I cannot start the day without a coffee! It's the first thing I do when I wake, I always go down and make a coffee for myself and my husband. Then it's getting the kids ready for school, feeding the fur babies and off to the office. As we have so many changes going on in the business my days consist of reading through the success stories and engaging with customers, working with the team to ensure everything is running smoothly from, stock orders to strategy meetings. We are constantly looking at way to improve and give more back to our amazing Glow community. I have an incredible team of staff who I'm truly blessed to have. They are a huge part of why we are where we are today! Then its picking the kids up making sure they get to all their activities or sports, and somewhere in between trying to organise dinner and then honestly I am in bed by about 9pm! Question:
What's next for you and Glow Dreaming? Cara Benau
: We are constantly evolving and developing. Our focus is on how we can better reach and help more families in a more effective and efficient way. Sleep is the cornerstone of mental health and we are determined to have a positive impact. Sleep has been in the news a lot of late and it has become a global focus not just for us but for western governments around the world. We recently visited Austin Texas as part of a Victorian Government Trade Mission initiative. It was an amazing experience where we got to meet some amazing global healthtec leaders. It opened our eyes to what is truly possible and the impact we can have. Let's just say watch this space. We are determined to create a positive community that supports and inspires people to live better healthier lives both physically and psychologically through services that utilise the latest technology and science. It's all about making it more accessible and affordable for everyone. Trust me when I say this is just the start of our journey.
Interview by Brooke Hunter