Leo is a sweet kid. He’s active, outgoing, has a really special relationship with his brother. His parents, Matt and Eleese, are proud of the person he’s becoming, even at such a young age. But for a while there, he was having some rough days. He had always been sensitive, but in the last couple of years, he was becoming much more emotional and irritable. Around the same time, Matt and Eleese were finding that bedtime was even more of a struggle than before. They could spend an entire day active at the park trying to wear him out and he was never ready to go to bed, making every excuse under the sun to stay up just a little longer. Leo also didn’t like to stay in bed once they finally wrangled him in there. He’d wake up in the middle of the night, waking his parents up for a drink or to use the bathroom. After a while, the entire family was feeling the effects of sleep deprivation.
Matt was aware of the incredible impact that sleep has on our day: he’s been struggling with sleep issues and focusing on sleep health for years. So when he found out about Knit Health, the in-home, non-wearable sleep assessment program, he jumped at the chance to sign Leo up. Knit tracks pediatric sleep to assess the four cornerstones of healthy sleep: quantity, routine, quality and breathing. Once the data has been gathered, a panel of board-certified sleep experts analyze the information and make recommendations about how parents can help improve their child’s sleep, from a more consistent bedtime to speaking with a sleep specialist about a potential breathing issue. If nothing else, Matt wanted to try Knit to rule out sleep as a potential issue.
“I'm a terrible sleeper, so sleep is one of my biggest personal health issues, so I’ve been thinking about these things on an adult level for quite some time.” - Matt, Dad
When Matt received Leo’s Knit Sleep Report, he used a pretty strong word to describe it: magical. It both confirmed things that Matt and Eleese had worried might be impacting Leo’s sleep as well as shed light on new insights they couldn’t have gotten without Knit. Leo’s grandmother, who is an ENT (Ear, Nose, and Throat doctor), had suggested that Leo might have a breathing issue or allergies, evidenced by his occasional shortness of breath while playing. The analysis provided by Knit reported that Leo was also experiencing a mild number of breathing disturbances at night, not only during the day when Grandma had observed them, which could be due to allergies as well. While this finding confirmed one of their suspicions, Matt and Eleese also found out that Leo experiences a high number of arousals in the second half of the night, making his sleep less restful and explaining why he would often have wake-ups where he refused to go back to bed in the second half of his night.
The Knit report went beyond observations. The panel of experts who review each child’s sleep data also provide actionable recommendations that parents can implement to see if they have a positive impact on their child’s sleep. Matt took the report’s advice and installed a HEPA air purifier in Leo’s bedroom. He also initiated a much more consistent bedtime and bedtime routine (albeit because school was starting up again), which is the foundation of sleep health and must be established when assessing children’s sleep health.
“Almost everything in the report felt actionable to us, without being overly prescriptive.” - Matt, Dad
Matt came in with pretty high expectations for Knit, and he was a little surprised when they were met. Matt laid out the most important elements of what he would expect from a product like Knit (even though there’s nothing else like it on the market):
- Reflect back what I’m observing as a parent, in a quantified way
- Reveal the gaps in our sleep health and strategy, from things we know we should be doing to the latest in sleep science
- Tell me what’s normal and if I should be worried. If my child is outside of the average range for his age, then I also need you to tell me what I can do to help him
- Most importantly, provide actionable recommendations based on analysis of the data that I can implement to improve my child’s sleep
After making the changes recommended in the Knit Sleep Report, Matt and Eleese saw a noticeable improvement in Leo’s daytime behavior. He was finally having fewer meltdowns and emotional outbursts. They attribute the positive change to both improved sleep and to him getting a little older, as children develop and change over time. Knit recommends treating sleep as part of your child’s yearly annual check-up, to make sure their sleep hygiene is in sync with their changing sleep needs.
“Now we feel informed as parents, and we can look into sleep and overall health issues. That was the best part of the report for us.” - Matt, Dad
What struck Matt the most as he was going through the assessment process with Knit is how little benchmarking data there is out in the world that will tell you if your child’s sleep is normal. Parents just don’t know what they should be looking for or what changes to make to help their child get the healthy sleep they need. Knit Health provided not only the context about how Leo’s sleep compares to other kids his age, but also gave customized, actionable recommendations on how to help us improve his sleep. As a parent, that kind of information is invaluable, and they’re looking forward to continuing to make changes to get Leo the best night sleep possible.