When Teo was really interested in something, he could focus and get lost in it for hours. That’s why his parents, Carter and Karen, were surprised when his second-grade teacher brought to their attention that he was struggling to focus in the classroom. When the teacher suggested he be assessed for ADHD, Carter and Karen immediately thought that wasn’t necessary as he was far from hyperactive. ADD, on the other hand, has symptoms such as inattentiveness, which was starting to sound a lot like Teo. So Karen and Carter had him assessed, and the results were even more surprising than they expected: Teo was struggling with a trifecta of obstacles, including dyslexia, dysgraphia and ADD. Teo’s aversion to reading finally made sense - his dyslexia made it really difficult, and his ADD made it easy to tune out in those times of difficulty. Armed with all of this information, Karen and Carter immediately got to work to help Teo develop the tools he needed to succeed.
It was the process of finding the right medication for Teo’s ADD that led Carter and Karen to really pay attention to his sleep. Teo had always had issues sleeping, mostly caused by his unusually high anxiety for his age, which both kept him from falling asleep easily and gave him nightmares once he was finally able to achieve dreamland status. But once he started taking the very first ADD medication they tried, it got significantly worse. Getting to sleep was even more of a nightly battle, and when he would wake up during the night, it was almost impossible for him to fall back asleep. Teo realized that the medication disturbed his sleep, so he became very resistant to taking it. Karen and Carter also had to rely on him to self-report what had happened during the night, which is rarely accurate due to a common experience called sleep state misperception. So without staying awake all night to watch him, how could Carter and Karen know what was happening during Teo’s sleep?
As his sleep quality decreased, Karen and Carter began making significant changes to his sleep routine, hygiene and patterns. They began to keep Teo’s bedtime consistent on weekends and weekdays, with an extended bedtime routine of massage, cuddling and other comforting exercises. They started using a white noise machine, and giving him 10mg of melatonin every night. These steps helped to a degree, but his sleep was still very troubled, so they decided that the first medication just wasn’t the right one for Teo.
Before Teo started the new ADD medication, Carter and Karen heard about Knit Health. Knit uses camera-vision technology to provide in-home sleep assessments that don’t require wearables and can truly assess the sleep metrics that matter in a person’s home environment (instead of an in-lab sleep study). Carter and Karen wanted to make sure that not only were the hygiene and routine changes they made helping Teo, but they wanted to get real visibility into the quality of his sleep, without pulling any all-nighters to observe him.
“The insights into his sleep patterns were massively helpful in the process of finding the right medication. I feel like we’ve won the lottery.” - Carter, Teo’s mom
Karen and Carter anticipated one small obstacle to arise when they first received the camera to set up though - Teo. Being a fairly self-conscious kid, they were worried that he wouldn’t be comfortable with a camera above his bed. So they had a talk about how Knit was just another thing to help him with his sleep, which he knew was not restorative because of how tired he felt everyday, and went forward. After a few nights, Teo was completely comfortable with the camera, and Karen and Carter felt like they were getting crucial information about his sleep on a daily basis.
Their first step with Knit and Teo was to establish his baseline without any medication, so they had his assessment done while he was in between medications. The comprehensive sleep report they received from Knit then served as their quantitative baseline going forward. It provided insights about each of the important cornerstones of Teo’s sleep: quantity, routine, quality and breathing. With the report as their touchstone, they were ready to test new medications.
Once they started the new medication, Knit was a huge part of how Karen and Carter worked with their pediatrician to determine if it was working or having problematic side effects, which is a very, very stressful process for a parent. Together, they were testing not only the new medication itself, but also the dosages and their timing on his sleep. With Knit, Karen and Carter were able to see exactly how many times and for what duration he was waking up at night, and his total actual sleep time, not just time in bed, on a daily and weekly basis, allowing them to share a summary with their doctor and make adjustments quickly.
“We were making game-time decisions, and the data Knit analyzed and provided on a daily and weekly basis let us know if we were going in the right direction. It allowed us to optimize and give Teo the best options available.” - Carter, Teo’s mom
With Knit as a guide, Karen and Carter feel confident that they found a good medication for Teo. He’s almost back to pre-Adderall sleep patterns, dropping many of the bedtime rituals. He’s made incredible progress with his daytime attention as well.
“The day he sat down to read of his own volition, I cried. Then I wrote down the date. It was a really special day.” - Carter, Teo’s mom
With a family history of sleep apnea, as well as some jaw alignment issues, early intervention for Teo could be very impactful. That’s why Carter and Karen have had Teo fitted for a mouthpiece, in anticipation of combatting the apnea as well as helping him with the speech issues he’s experiencing. In fact, getting assessed for an oral appliance was one of the recommendations in Teo’s sleep report from Knit, confirming to Carter and Karen that they were going in the right direction and validating the rest of the content of the report. Another insight they pulled from the Knit sleep report was that nighttime allergies could be just as intense as daytime. Teo has dust mite allergies, so the report reminded Karen and Carter that they needed to wash his sheets more frequently. This wasn’t new information, but it was a great reminder of the things they knew they should be doing for Teo’s sleep.
“Knit provides parents with a tremendous amount of support, from user-friendly data in the app, to in-depth but digestible insights in the report, to the helpful human sleep guide who ensures a positive progression through the experience.” - Carter, Teo’s mom
After their experience, Carter wouldn’t hesitate to recommend Knit Health to other parents. With a report that can be both educational and reassuring that your sleep hygiene is on track, there’s never a downside.
“There’s only upside to getting more information about your child's health, and sleep is an essential element of the complete picture.” - Carter, Teo’s mom