The Co-Founder of The Goodnight Co Shea Morrison On The Importance Of Sleep
Back in 2015, Australian mothers and entrepreneurs Shea Morrison and Danielle Knight started their business The Goodnight Co. A year later, they partnered with Arianna Huffington on her Sleep Revolution book tour, before being selected as one of two Australian brands to be involved in her Thrive Global pop up in SoHo, New York.
Six years on, we’re all still in need of more sleep. And lucky for us, they’re here to help. 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 - simple!
We caught up with Shea to really dive into the topic of sleep, and how we can all get more of it.
Can you talk to us about the value of sleep? Many of us are aware of just how awful life is without it, but what about some of the science behind it?
Sleep is the third pillar of health – just behind nutrition and exercise and a lot of people don’t even know this.
The Australian Government commissioned a National Sleep Enquiry last year and is now looking to implement changes in all States and Territories about how to raise the profile of the benefits of sleep, and as a nation how we can all benefit from this. The hope is that the report will help bring attention to the central function of sleep to overall health and wellbeing and increase the focus placed on sleep among policymakers and in the broader community.
Four in every ten Australians are not getting the sleep they need. The direct financial cost of this inadequate sleep is currently estimated to be $26.2 billion.
Wanting to get a full night’s sleep and the reality of achieving it are often two different things. How do you actually make time for it in light of business and children?
In the early days, I wasn’t very good with boundaries around work and home life, I can say that it is a work in progress and I am much better these days. I try to not work at home at night, and you will mostly find me either in the bath or in bed reading not long after I have put the kids to bed!
If I’m struggling to fall asleep, or get woken up by a little person having a bad dream, I use our Deep Sleep Drops to get to sleep. Our Morning Drops for those nights that you just don’t get a good sleep and need a natural pick me up in the morning!
You have three businesses and two children, yet maintain a beautiful sleep schedule. Are there certain things you deprioritise or say 'no' to as a general rule to maintain your sanity?
I have very good boundaries these days – not working at nighttime, I watch very little if any TV and I deprioritise mid-week social events and really focus on my sleep. I have a very consistent sleep routine.
What do your sleep schedules look like?
Consistency is key – I have found it is really important to be doing the same routine every night. My routine is fairly simple and takes less than 10 minutes – read a chapter of a real book, spray my room with Sleep Mist and use some of our Deep Sleep Drops.
If time permits, some nights it includes a bath and I pop a few Goodnight Essential Oil drops in there. Sometimes if I am struggling to fall asleep I’ll also use and Sleep Mask.
Do you nap?
I love a nap, some people have different views on naps – that they can interfere with your sleep and circadian rhythm. I think it is such an individual thing – whatever works for you!
How many hours do you aim for each night?
8 hours is a good number for me.
Do you ever wake up in the middle of the night? (Not just because of your children, but because of worries/anxieties?) If so, how do you go about getting back to sleep?
Sometimes, it is pretty unusual these days, I have put in place some very good daily practices that allow me to stay grounded and as stress-free as possible – this is always a work in progress.
However, if it does happen I have a notebook beside my bed so I’ll write down anything that’s bothering me and take some Deep Sleep Drops.
Image credit: The Goodnight Co
What about sleep routines for your children?
I feel that consistency is key when it comes to children’s bedtime routine (which I would say is the same for adults). After dinner, I like to start dimming the lights (this helps with melatonin release), warm showers, toilet and teeth are great cues – our mind and body respond so well to consistent cues.
Some nights, I’ll use our Mind Time Kit for Kids which includes some short guided meditations to calm the mind or just read to them. This is especially useful if they’ve had a big day at school or with after school or weekend activities.
What’s your biggest tip for women who are struggling with sleep?
Firstly, I think it is good to recognise it, track it for a while and see if there are any recurring patterns. Then work out a simple routine that makes you feel good (it should never be a chore) – starting with 3 things is often good.
For example, reading, having a warm shower, a short guided meditation, using aromatherapy, things that help calm the mind. Sticking to a routine is very important and trying to stick to a consistent bedtime and wake time (even on the weekends) – try this for at least 10 days.
Avoiding screens (all devices, including TV, at LEAST an hour before bed will make a big difference – no scrolling!).
Ora tip: Try Ora Profound Sleep, a powerful combination of Magnesium glycinate with multi-tradition herbs to calm the mind, helping you fall asleep easily, stay asleep for longer and wake up feeling refreshed!