Today we share a review from a member of our parent panel Kyleigh Gregson, due to sleep deprivation Kyleighs health suffered and work suffered and she reached breaking point. Kyleigh shares her honest review on The Sleep Sanctuary, her journey with Rachael Taylor from start to finish and the outcome and how it has changed her life.
My Sleep Consulant Review and Journey
So this is a very personal review and one that has affected and changed my family’s lives. I am the proudest mum to two incredible little girls my eldest who is 4.5 and my youngest who is 2.5 years old. Ever since the day my youngest was born she made her presence in our household known, she suffered greatly with colic and lactose intolerance and so the first few months of her life were difficult and filled with tears from her and me.
Struggle with Sleep Deprivation
I think it was from those very early days that we struggled with her sleep, she was a classic day time ‘cat napper’ only having 20 minutes here and there. When it came to the night time we struggled to have any sort of routine. We tried in vain to put her down with her sister at 6.45-7pm but found it so difficult and stressful, and so while she was young she was often up with us until 10-11pm with small sleeps during that time. When we would go to bed we would put her down to sleep in her room which could take us anywhere between 30 minutes -2 hours to actually get her to go to sleep, she would then wake up to seven times and night, and boy could she scream!
This carried on well into her toddler years though we insisted she went to bed with her sister at 7pm she was never asleep before 9pm and either myself or my partner would stay with her the entire time until she dropped off to sleep then commando crawl out of the room like you see of those funny viral videos. Again she always woke up to seven times a night, and we made some mistakes (I will talk more about ‘mistakes’ later) by putting her in our bed, sleeping next to her bed, or giving up and taking her downstairs to play or watch tele at all hours of the morning.
Snappy and Irritable
I don’t think I can express to you how tired we actually were. It was full on sleep deprived exhaustion. We were miserable, her behaviour in the day was poor she would have tantrums often and for long periods of time and her nursery had made us aware she could be difficult and stubborn. Looking back our whole daily lives were affected and revolved around her tantrums and sleep patterns. My partner and I argued daily, I cried all the tears, I was snappy and irritable with both of my children and my work and health were affected.
It’s funny because in my line of work I often talk to new parents about sleep deprivation and how it all gets easier and they grow out of it (which a lot of the time they do) when in my own mind I was thinking when will my little one ‘grow out of it’?, when will we get even 5 hours of sleep?
We had reached utter breaking point we had tried the ‘let her scream it out’ or ‘that child just has to learn to self soothe’ methods that so many had passed opinions on. But they were not at our house at 3 am when the neighbours had passed comments about her keeping them awake; when we were that tired we couldn’t even see straight. We really couldn’t just let her scream you could hear her in Australia her scream was that loud! We just did anything we could to get by.
That’s when I found Rachael a Sleep Specialist from The Sleep Sanctuary, that’s when she and her methods changed our lives!!
So firstly, she too was a sleep deprived mother of two small children and knew exactly how it felt to live with extreme tiredness every day.
Having desperately wanted to change her child’s sleep habits but not knowing where to turn, she herself consulted with a sleep coach. That’s where she developed her passion and wanted to share that passion with other sleep deprived parents.
When you work with Rachael at The Sleep Sanctuary, you work in partnership to uncover your parenting style, your child’s temperament, and your shared sleep goals. Together you look at the whole picture and unpick where the challenges are really coming from.
A Bespoke Sleep Programme
From there Rachael creates a bespoke sleep programme for your child, and selects the techniques and solutions that will work best for your family. She then supports and guides you through the programme to make positive changes and keep progressing. The programme she makes always has your family’s best interests at heart with an end goal in sight. She never promises that it will be easy, and she is realistic that it can take weeks even months to see real changes (that sort of honesty is something that really appealed to me) she only promises that you will work at your child’s pace and do what is best and appropriate for them and you together.
So What is Sleep Consultant and How can it Help?
The day Rachael called me for my initial free 15 minute consultation (that I think I cried all the way through) we talked through roughly what was happening and what I really wanted from the plan. She listened and let me cry the whole time reassuring me that she knew how I felt and that she had been there.
The Mistakes We Made
So here’s the bit where I talk about the ‘mistakes’ we made, like putting her in our bed and taking her down stairs when it all got too much. When I told Rachael about these ‘mistakes’ and that people had told me that we had made a rod for our own backs, she listened and then the most amazing thing happened. She told me that we had never made any mistakes and that at the time when we were in that vicious cycle of sleep deprivation you do what you have to do to make it through the night. This made me cry the most because in a way we had felt like we had failed! Why wouldn’t our child sleep when others would? (not sure about the last bit as it sounds as though I made you cry by telling you that you had failed! Eeek!)
Our In Depth Chat about Our Childs Sleep
After this initial call we had a very in-depth 1 hour conversation where Rachael goes through all of your child’s sleep history and analyses the areas that need improvement to ensure that your child gets the right plan for them. She breaks everything down and explains all about the importance of getting enough sleep and how the brain is a funny old thing and can cause not only unwanted challenging behaviour, but if it doesn’t get enough sleep it can actually cause the reverse of being tired and make a person to struggle to get to sleep and cause more night waking. She explains that it really is true sleep really does induce sleep. She explained that our little girl’s brain was stopping her from getting enough sleep, and the only way to improve that was to get her more sleep. She explained that her challenging behaviour was due to her being too tired to regulate her emotions (I knew exactly how that felt!!)
I genuinely thought though there was just no way that I could break the cycle we were in.
However when she reassured me that whilst I may not get to my end goal very quickly anytime soon, I would certainly see results in a few days if I was 100% committed and completely stuck to the plan. See a good sleep consultant doesn’t just throw a plan at you and say ‘see you later get on with it’ no, she took it in stages, explaining to me at each stage what to do and how to stick to it. It really is about consistency.
Now she warned me there would be times I would want to give up and that there may be tears but in her words “I never, ever advocate ‘Cry it Out’ solutions and would only ask you to introduce something that I would also be happy to use with my own children.” From there she sent over all of the resources such a star charts and handouts that I would need with support calls planned for when I needed them.
Working through the first stage was hard I won’t lie, there was a lot of sleepless nights (but we were used to every night being that way anyway) however I was consistent and stuck to plan and I noticed an improvement within 4 days, and at the first support call I was thrilled. She even sent star charts for my eldest daughter to make her feel included. Each stage gets a little easier and the more results you see the more you are spurred on.
We have had some rocky roads since beginning the plan, with illnesses setting us back a little, but throughout it all Rachael was at the other end of the phone. It has probably taken us a little longer than expected because of that but I can hand on heart say that having Rachael as our sleep consultant and her advice has changed our lives! We know have a (still slightly devilish) 2.5 year, who no longer has whopping tantrums in the day, who’s behaviour has improved at nursery, who goes to bed with reasonably little fuss and sleeps a good 11 hours with minimal wake ups. For us that is a miracle and something we can very much live with. We are happier, our toddler is happier and that is what matters most. I always have the advice now and feel confident that any further sleep hurdles we face, we can overcome.
I cannot thank Rachael enough.
So all hail the Sleep Consultant, and all hail Rachael and The Sleep Sanctuary.
So what did other independent reviewers think, had The Sleep Sanctuary helped with their child’s sleep?
You really can’t just take my word for it, here is what others thought of Rachael’s services.
“Me and my wife started working with Rachael in Jan 2018 to help us with our 2-and-a-half-year-old twins. They never slept through the night and were both ending up in our bed every night. It was exhausting. Rachael was so helpful; we had a 1 hr consultation online where we explained our routines and our children’s personalities etc. We were then offered advice that was specific to our needs. Rachael was very clear to point out the do’s and don’ts and also warned the first few nights wouldn’t be easy… she wasn’t wrong. However, within 1 week there were huge advancements in our twin’s sleep and within 3 weeks they were going to sleep on their own and sleeping through 8 out of 10 nights. Even when they do wake, they settle back to sleep within 10 mins. If you follow Rachael’s advice, commit yourselves 100% you will see results. We only wish we had started the program much, much sooner. Our lives are honestly so much better now that we are ALL getting more sleep. Rachael has also given us some advice for our 11-month-old daughter and it’s the same story, she sleeps almost all night every night now after only 2 weeks of her sleep training proving it’s never too early to start. Thank you, Rachael.”
“Rachael recently helped me and my two-year-old daughter through a long period of sleep disruption. She is a great listener, easy to talk to and has a huge depth of knowledge – both personal and professional. I’d thoroughly recommend Rachael’s sleep consultancy services.”
“It’s amazing what the advice from Rachael the Sleep Consultant has done to the Twins’ sleep patterns! I can honestly say I never could have believed such a good result – our 7-month-old twins now sleep 12 hours straight through with not a peep from them! And they’ve been napping for two nearly 2 hour stretches every day. I never thought we’d sleep again when they were younger, but what a turnaround! Rachael gave us clear advice with a personalised plan tailored to our family, and our preferences. She backed her video-call advice up by emailing us resources that we could read in our own time. There has also been regular contact and phone calls with Rachael as we’ve progressed through each stage. Her support has been fantastic! I have to say I bombarded her once the babies started sleeping… I was in shock that the advice was working so well! We feel we could rule the world now we’ve slept. Thank you, Rachael.”
Is the Sleep Sanctuary and it’s sleep programmes value for money?
Although not completely in-expensive I can absolutely say YES!!!
Why did I wait so long? Why didn’t I know about this sooner? Rachael and The Sleep Sanctuary andcan help with sleep advice from birth to 6 years. The Sleep Sanctuary offers a variety of packages with a range of price range all over £100, however she does offer a free introductory 15 minute call, which if she can help in that time she will.
From there you work together and choose the best package to suit your needs. For me and my slightly devilish baby it was the Lunar package at £245.00 and it in my opinion it is worth every single penny. It lasted months for us and she went above and beyond, answering messages when I needed advice and offering support and tips for my eldest daughter, sending resources and star charts for her so she didn’t feel left out. I truly felt 100% supported.
If you are in any doubt at all visit her website, book that phone call, because if you are in the horrible world of sleep deprivation and exhaustion, I have been there and I promise with the right quality help it can all be changed.
Due to the proven benefits and high quality of the service coupled with the feedback from our followers and the reviews we have awarded The Sleep Sanctuary the recommended on MyBump2Baby badge.
Carla is the founder of MyBump2Baby. Carla has a huge passion for linking together small businesses and growing families. Carla’s humorous, non-filtered honesty has won the hearts of thousands of parents throughout the UK.
She has previously written for the Metro and made appearances on BBC News, BBC 5 live, LBC etc. Carla is a finalist for Blogger of the Year award with Simply Ladies inc. Carla is also the host of the popular Fifty Shades of Motherhood podcast and The MyBump2Baby Expert podcast.