My son James is now almost 14. He has suffered from problems getting to sleep since he was around the age of seven. Once he is asleep he sleeps soundly, but the problem definitely seems to be switching off in the first place. For many years this caused many problems. We found that it changed him from a perfectly reasonable average seven-year-old into a defiant, rude boy which of course rolled on into his school life and meant that he often got into trouble.
Like any mother I tried to help. I tried many bedtime routines, not allowing him food or TV after 6pm, giving him warm drinks, bedtime stories but none of it seemed to make any difference. I began looking for something that I could give to him to aid relaxation. We looked into various teas but like a lot of children he didn’t like the taste. We looked into drugs that could help like those given for travel sickness that make you sleepy but most had side effects and again we were dealing with a boy of seven then eight so it was very difficult to wrestle with my conscience as to what was right.
For many years we struggled.
When he started year six it became apparent to his teachers how different James became when he was sleeping properly. We spoke to school health visitors but again all they advised me to do was set a good bedtime routine, which I already had for many years. We have two other children so our bedtimes are kept the same as one affects another.
In 2018 James was at secondary school and had won a part in the school production. We knew this could present a challenge as it would mean long school days and late nights, meaning that it would be even more difficult for James to switch off to go to sleep because of the obvious nerves, anxiety and excitement caused by the performance. We also knew it was important for him to sleep to maintain a good attitude at school during the day, so my search for solutions began again.
Being now age eleven, I wondered if there was a better chance of finding something to suit. I got into the habit of checking the internet periodically to see if any new revelations became available that could help James. That’s when in January 2018 I came across Sleep Well. I thought it was almost too good to be true – something natural that had no side effects and was suitable for James’s age (which many of the things I looked at were not). From the start I was impressed. Of course, I had questions. What was it like? Should it be served hot or cold? Does it actually work? I soon got in touch with Sleep Well to ask these things and I was surprised but delighted to receive not only an informative, friendly and honest response but from Allan Watts the man who actually runs the company. This immediately gave me faith in the product and inspired me to order a small pack for James to try. From the start Allan warned me that it wasn’t something that would actively send James to sleep, but instead, help him relax.
When I told James, we were going to try it he was agreeable and quite happy when we received the packs in the post. We waited for the first night of his performance to give it a try, it was a big ask we knew that!
James decided that he would try the milk warm as this seems to be better for before bedtime. He was instantly taken with the sweetness and nice taste of the milk and within half an hour of having the milk we could see that he was a lot calmer and relaxed ready to go to sleep. We repeated that after each performance and found that it worked the same each night. James says he feels much better for finding the milk and not only does it help him get to sleep but he feels more refreshed like he has slept better when he wakes up in the morning.
We find it really important to stick to a routine of no food after 6pm and no technology an hour before bed. We have also noticed that we have to keep to a constant routine of what time he goes to bed as this can affect him greatly.
I cannot credit the team at Sleep Well enough. They have helped me so many times over the last few years; answering questions, giving advice on Sleep Well and generally staying in touch to ask about James’ progress. We now buy Sleep Well whenever James is struggling or when we know he needs help maintaining a good sleep routine, or has extra stresses in life such as exams and performances. We will soon be thinking about placing an order for his mock GCSE exams.