real life

'Our child's grief-stricken nights inspired us to make what sleep-deprived families need.'

Just over two years ago, Cara Benau’s eight-year-old step-daughter Nevoh couldn’t sleep.

“My step-daughter lost somebody who was very close to her and it really, really affected her,” Cara tells Mamamia. “She struggled with sleep a lot.”

At the time, Cara had only been with her husband for 12 months, but the couple knew they needed to do something and do something fast.

“I said to my husband, we really need to do something about this. We tried sleep schools, melatonin drops, changing up her diet and exercise and we went to the doctor.”

Nothing worked.

At just eight years old, Nevoh was navigating the depths of her grief and her sleep was suffering because of it.

Image: Supplied.

"It was absolutely heartbreaking to see any child go through that kind of pain. You would do absolutely anything to try and help them," Cara tells Mamamia.

After all, the couple agree, a struggle with sleep can be "debilitating and heartbreaking and total torture" for the child, the baby and the parents.

And so, after months of trying and failing, the couple turned to natural products. They tried some night lights with some essential oils. Slowly, Nevoh started sleeping again.

"When we tried a heap of natural products together and they worked, we thought, 'Okay, if these worked, who else can we help?'

"A few weeks later - my husband is quite entrepreneurial - he said, why don't we put all of these things together and try our hand at it? And that's how it all started. We took these amazing elements and put them together."

Glow Dreaming was officially born with a single, important aim: To rid people and children of the unique torture that is broken sleep.

The product combines four different elements: Red LED light (in fact, the same technology NASA uses at their space station to induce the body's natural melatonin) , a humidifier, a special sound frequency based on pink noise and organic essential oils.


"I'm one of the people, if I can afford or get the best for my kids, I will," Cara tells Mamamia, detailing the depths the couple went to find an organic essential oil that was the very best for children.

From having the concept to launching a business, it took the duo "about three or four months" of working "day and night" to get it off the ground.

"It was insane. We threw a little website together ourselves, started our social media and did a little bit of advertising with Facebook. From the first month onwards, it was amazing. It was working. It was helping. It grew very organically."

Before long, both Cara and Aloni were "blown away" by the success stories. It had worked for Nevoh, and now it was working for so many others.

"People were getting this product and then messaging us via Facebook, saying their child hadn't slept for 12 months and now they were sleeping through. So many kids with so many different issues are now sleeping, from kids with ADHD to some with autism.

"We have created the most amazing community through Facebook. It's funny actually, now our long-term customers jump onto the page and answer other customers' questions and tell their stories," Cara says.

Listen: How to get your child to sleep. (Post continues...)

At just 16 or 17 months in, not only is the couple realising the viable nature of their product, but also how many families are being held together by the simple act of sleep.


Just three months ago, they hit a million-dollars in revenue - no small feat considering, only four per cent of small businesses will achieve more than $1 million in revenue per year.

"Once word of mouth got out there it just worked. People are quite passionate about sleep," Aloni told Mamamia.

A quick glimpse of product's success stories on their website says as much. When it works, people rave. And the couple believe the product has a 98 per cent success rate from their clients, ranging in age from under one to 73 years old.

Next year, they are hoping to launch their product in the US.

"It's one of those things, we started out so small, we just wanted to help a few people," Cara says. "I would have been totally wrapped just with that, so the success has been very much surprised me. But then again, at the same time, the product does work. And so if something works, I guess it was always going to be successful."

It's perhaps the earnest intentions like those that shed light on why exactly parents are flocking to Glow Dreaming: It's about helping families, first and foremost.

And if a successful, financially viable start-up is the by-product of that, then Aloni and Cara Benau certainly aren't complaining.