We know we’re not alone in wondering why on earth are we all so tired? We all live busy lives – in fact, we’re busier than ever before – but surely we should have more energy than this?
Hand’s up if you feel that afternoon slump? It’s probably around the time you reach for sugar. Or wake up after a full night’s sleep and still feel knackered? For women with young children, the reality is that most nights come with a few tiny – albeit cute – interruptions. So how to we make the most of the sleep we can get? It’s these questions which inspired Australian mothers and entrepreneurs, Shea Morrison and Danielle Knight, to start their business The Goodnight Co. back in 2015. A year later, they partnered with Arianna Huffington on her Sleep Revolution book tour. They were then selected as one of two Australian brands to be involved in her Thrive Global pop up in SoHo, New York.
The brand launched with luxurious silk pillowcases and silk sleep masks and the offering has since expanded into mists, oils, earplugs and even crystals. Basically, as the name suggests, if you want a good night’s sleep, you go to The Goodnight Co.
Earlier this year, they also expanded into Sleep Retreats and Sleep Workshops – their next four-day retreat will be held at Springfield Farm in the Southern Highlands of Bowral on September 5th for three nights. “The Retreat and Workshops provide personalised help for those struggling with disrupted sleep patterns and provide a mixture of education and relaxation, science and deep sleep, meditation and mindfulness,” explains Shea.
“Ultimately, our guests are invited to discover how to improve their sleep and build their own individual sleep rituals. The Retreat is very intimate, allowing us to really hone in on individual sleep disruptions and how guests can overcome them. The Retreat is fully inclusive with workshops facilitated by experts, nutritious food, mindfulness practices, yoga and meditation, and incredible accommodation. By the end of the four days, the guests will feel relaxed, rejuvenated, and on the journey to improving their overall health and wellbeing.”
We caught up with the dynamic – and rested – duo to really dive into the topic of sleep, and how we can all get more of it.
For more information on the upcoming Sleep Retreat in Bowral on September 5th-8th, NSW, go to www.retreat.thegoodnightco.com.au
The Goodnight Co. founders Shea Morrison and Danielle Knight
Why are we all so tired?
Danielle: A few things that trigger poor quality sleep which results in us feeling so tired are:
-We are too plugged into our devices. Research has proven over and over that screen time directly impacts next-morning alertness.
-You are adrenally or nutritionally depleted. Adrenal fatigue and nutritional depletion commonly cause fatigue.
-Stress and anxiety. Poor mental wellbeing can directly affect your sleep and cause you to wake often throughout the night.
Talk us through what happens to us when we’re not getting enough quality sleep?
Danielle: Recent research has shown fatigue can lead to poor judgement, lack of self-control, lack of concentration and impaired creativity. Long term impacts can be even more detrimental with research showing poor sleep can lead to a weakened immune system, weight gain and serious medical conditions.
What role can magnesium play in our sleep?
Danielle: Magnesium is required for over 300 processes in the body, including many that affect sleep and is a crucial balance mineral – particularly for the nervous system and metabolism. It’s also one of the most common deficiencies in our stressed-out modern world, so may help restore equilibrium and encourage less night time waking. It can relax tense muscles, aid with symptoms of anxiety and depression, and support the body during times of stress. Research also suggests that magnesium supplementation can aid poor sleep by improving sleep quality.
What about meditation?
Danielle: We know that poor mental wellbeing like stress and anxiety have a direct link to poor sleep. Meditation is a wonderful practice to help reduce our stress and anxiety and calm the mind. It is also a wonderful way to relax and unwind before bed.
What if we’re addicted to our phone – how can we kick start better habits such as getting off our phone before bed?
Danielle: We recommend not using your phone in the hours before bed, and leaving all technology outside your bedroom. The big issue with using your phone before going to bed is the exposure to blue light emitted by our phones disrupts our circadian rhythm. Whilst there are apps and settings on your phone that can help you limit your screen time, and even reduce the blue light, using technology in bed still sends messages to your brain that it’s not time for bed.
Studies show the journaling before bed improves sleep – what are your thoughts on this?
Danielle: Journaling is a wonderful practice to include in your nighttime ritual. It can help you clear your mind before bed so that you don’t wake during the night with any worrying thoughts. It is also lovely to express gratitude for all the things we are grateful for, which helps improve our mental wellbeing.
What is the best position to sleep in?
Danielle: It’s a personal preference, but research shows that sleeping on your back is the healthiest option. According to sleep.org, sleeping on your back allows your head, neck and spine to rest in a neutral position.
Springfield Farm. For more information on the upcoming Sleep Retreat in Bowral on September 5th-8th, NSW, go to www.retreat.thegoodnightco.com.au
Talk us through where your passion for helping people to understand and get more sleep came from?
Danielle: When we started The Goodnight Co. as sleep-deprived mothers, we knew there were many people out there are also struggling to get good quality sleep. We know that sleep is the pillar of good health, and want to help as many people as possible to sleep well and feel better.
Take us back to the days with newborns – it’s hard to get more than a couple of hours some nights with a new baby. How did you handle this challenging period?
Danielle: We followed a sleep routine for our babies. We knew how important it was to instil a good sleep routine for both our babies and ourselves! Following a routine meant we were able to get more consistent sleep for ourselves around their routine.
How can all mothers prioritise sleep?
Danielle: As mothers, we juggle a lot of responsibilities, and if you don’t sleep well, you don’t function well. So as important as it is for a baby to have good sleep, it is just as important for mothers to get good sleep too. A little known fact is lack of sleep can affect nursing mother’s milk production! If you’re looking to prioritise sleep, it’s really important to build a sleep routine – a few habits you get into before heading to bed. It could be as simple as, after your baby is asleep, turning off more lights in the house, making a warm herbal tea and reading a few pages of a book as you get into bed. Consistently doing the same routine before bed will help your mind and body learn that these signals mean it’s time to wind down and fall asleep.
What are your thoughts on napping?
Danielle: My guilty pleasure is to have a nap on the weekend to recharge after a busy week! A recent study from the Journal of Sleep Research found the power of a nap can have any large number of benefits, including things like improvement in reaction time and decreased fatigue. However, it is important not to nap too closely to your bedtime. If possible, the best time is after lunch, between 2-3pm. It’s also important to note how long you nap for or you could wake feeling more groggy. A good amount of time for a refreshing nap is either 20 minutes or 90-120 minutes if you have the time (that’s usually the length of one full sleep cycle).
Tell us how your business has evolved?
Danielle: We started our business five years ago with a small range of products including silk eye masks and pillowcases. We were sleep-deprived mums looking for a way to get a better night’s sleep naturally. The product range grew really organically, branching into other well-researched products to naturally help improve sleep and the range now includes aromatherapy, supplements and a range of bath and body offerings. We’ve also been really focused on sharing quality, informative content to help our audience understand their sleep struggles and possible solutions. To extend on this educational avenue, we have also began hosting Sleep Retreats & Sleep Workshops to provide more individual support.
The interiors of Springfield Farm. For more information on the upcoming Sleep Retreat in Bowral on September 5th-8th, NSW, go to www.retreat.thegoodnightco.com.au
What are some of your favourite products?
Danielle: My favourite products are the Deep Sleep Tincture and Silk Sleep Mask. I am generally a good sleeper, but on the odd occasion I wake during the night and have trouble going to sleep, I have the tincture and I fall back into a very deep and restful sleep. As for the silk sleep mask, when I put it on it’s the signal to my body that it’s time for sleep. It’s also perfect for when I have a nap during the day, helping block out any light.
Shea: I can’t go past our Bath Bomb and Magnesium Oral Spray – I certainly feel impacted by a lack of magnesium and find such relief in these products really helping me achieve a deeper sleep.
How importance is silence when you sleep?
Danielle: For a lot of people, it is not so much the constant silence the whole night but more that loud noises can wake you from a deep sleep finding it difficult to return to back to sleep. Earplugs are really the only way to block out sounds while they sleep, for example, a snoring partner or noisy traffic. If you’re struggling with noise investigate the use of earplugs, they are also great to pack when you are travelling and sleeping in places that are unfamiliar to you.
What about silk eye masks and pillowcases- how do they aid/enhance sleep?
Danielle: Not only can silk sleep masks help you fall asleep, but they can also help you stay asleep by minimising the nightly disruptions caused by light. Bedding items, like pillowcases, are an attractive home to allergens, and they can often contain harsh chemicals and artificial materials. Silk, on the other hand, is naturally pure and repels live allergens (such as dust mites). This is why silk is naturally hypoallergenic and great for those whose breathing and skin are irritated by these common allergies. It is also great for regulating temperature and allowing your skin and hair to retain moisture whilst you sleep.
Tell us about the tea you made – what are the ingredients and how are they beneficial to sleep?
Danielle: We worked with a medical herbalist to blend the ultimate Good Morning, Calm and Goodnight tea. The Good Morning blend includes roasted dandelion to aid digestion and detoxify, star anise to lift the morning mood, and cinnamon & ginger to help regulate energy and reduce bloating. The Calm blend includes chamomile to calm the nerves, lemon verbena to soothe stress in the body, lemon myrtle to lift the mood and give a sweet citrus aroma, and melissa (lemon balm) to relieve stress and anxiety. Finally, the Goodnight blend includes chamomile to encourage a calm restful sleep, fennel to melt away the stress, liquorice to restore energy and settle the nerves, and ginger for an overall warming effect for the mind and body. Incorporating herbal tea into your bedtime ritual can really soothe the mind and calm the body and prepare you for a restful sleep.
What about your sleep powder?
Danielle: Our natural amino sleep complex has been specifically formulated to aid uninterrupted sleep and build regular sleep patterns. We use pharmaceutical grade ingredients and importantly it is made in Australia. This combination of nutrients is scientifically recognised to support sleep and relaxation, making it perfect for those experiencing sleep difficulties due to stress, anxiety and lifestyle influences.
GABA (Gamma Aminobutyric Acid) is an amino acid produced naturally in the brain. GABA’s primary role is to reduce the activity of neurons in the brain and central nervous system, which can lead to increased relaxation, reduced stress, a more calm mood and a boost to sleep.
Glycine has been shown to improve sleep quality. L-theanine can enhance feelings of relaxation and improve quality of sleep. 5-HTP and tryptophan are needed to produce melatonin, the body’s main sleep chemical. Vitamins B2 and B3 are precursors required for the neurotransmitters that induce calmness and relaxation, while inositol can support their production. This makes for a powerful combination of ingredients to support restful sleep.
What are your time management tips?
Shea: Plan, plan, plan! I love a routine, work, play, sleep… Of course, our biggest advice is to get a great night’s sleep so that you feel refreshed and ready to start any day. Time blocking is also a great way to manage time and find this is crucial to running two businesses and to balancing work and family.
Finally, can you tell us about your sleep retreat – what inspired you to launch it, what can women expect to get out of it and what does the retreat entail?
Shea: Our goal has always been to help people sleep better and prioritise meaningful rest. Over the last five years, we have researched and surveyed hundreds of people about their sleep problems, gradually developing more products to help customers build sleep rituals to solve these problems. With sleep problems still on the rise, we were constantly being asked for more information on how to help people re-discover quality sleep. As a result, we launched our first Sleep Retreats and Sleep Workshops earlier this year. The Retreat and Workshops provide personalised help for those struggling with disrupted sleep patterns and provide a mixture of education and relaxation, science and deep sleep, meditation and mindfulness.
You can really expect to get a lot out of a Retreat with us! It all started with finding the perfect location at Springfield Farm in the Southern Highlands of Bowral. It is a beautiful location with lots of space to connect with nature, fresh air, and nourishing food. We then found the perfect team of sleep experts to join us, including our expert resident Naturopath, Jen Cox. Ultimately, our guests are invited to discover how to improve their sleep and build their own individual sleep rituals. The Retreat is very intimate, allowing us to really hone in on individual sleep disruptions and how guests can overcome them. The Retreat is fully inclusive with workshops facilitated by experts, nutritious food, mindfulness practices, yoga and meditation, and incredible accommodation. By the end of the four days, the guests will feel relaxed, rejuvenated, and on the journey to improving their overall health and wellbeing.