A close friend died suddenly, leaving Nevoh with significant anxiety.
The formerly bubbly child couldn’t eat and began losing weight, becoming increasingly withdrawn and quiet — and worst of all, she struggled with severe insomnia.
“It was so sad, she was a beautiful girl filled with life and spirit, but it rocked her hard,” dad Aloni Benau told news.com.au of the ”nightmare” that began in 2014.
“To see someone so amazing whittle away and become unrecognisable was heartbreaking.”
Step-mum Cara Benau said the little girl struggled to eat, was walking around “like a zombie” and had a “grey look” with dark circles under her eyes as her sleep deprivation intensified.
“It took an enormous toll on her, and it definitely affected everybody,” she said.
Nevoh split her time between her mother, and her father and step-mum — but soon, the problem got so bad she refused to stay with her father, as she associated his home with memories of her friend.
“She refused to come to my house because she couldn’t sleep there at all — it was born out of desperation that she would die,” Mr. Benau said.
“I felt like I was losing my little girl, and I needed to find a solution, but I was failing miserably.”
The Benau's tried everything to help Nevoh, from serotonin supplements, sleep specialists and even redecorating her entire room in an attempt to forget the painful memories.
But nothing worked, and the problem continued for months on end.
Eventually, Mr. Benau began researching how light therapy, humidifiers, aromatherapies and white noise can aid sleep, and Nevoh noticed a slight improvement when using each option separately.
When the family combined all four therapies at the same time, the result was incredible — and within a week, Nevoh was able to sleep through the night.
Two years later in 2016, Mrs. Benau was considering a career change when the couple came up with a business idea — helping other families battling sleep deprivation using the same methods that had helped their daughter.
The result was Glow Dreaming, a humidifier, red light therapy, pink noise and aromatherapy device all rolled into one.
The natural sleep aid, which was designed by sleep experts and plugs into the wall, is sold online only for $130.
The company also offers a sleep specialist service for no extra charge, allowing customers to speak with an expert for added support.
Within months the product had sold out, and three years on, it has been snapped up by more than 50,000 families in Australia and across the world.
Today, the company has a projected turnover of around $4 million and will launch in the US market within months.
The couple said they were “overwhelmed” by the success of the company and had quickly learnt just how many Australian families struggled to get a good night’s sleep.
“The immediate success we had early on made it apparent (sleep deprivation) was a much bigger issue, but nobody was focusing on it,” Mrs. Benau said.
Mr. Benau said the government’s recent inquiry report into sleep health awareness in Australia revealed the serious effects of sleep deprivation — but while the report focused on shift workers, he said parents were largely “ignored” by the research.
“Sleep deprivation is banned by the UN as a form of torture, yet we accept it as a normal stage of parenthood,” he said.
“The study identified sleep was the cornerstone of mental health and that nearly everyone who suffers from a mental health disorder is sleep-deprived — there’s a very strong correlation.”
The couple said their device was suitable for adults as well as kids and that it had become a surprise hit with FIFO workers and even high-profile footballers.
Credit to new.com.au