Let me be honest, it wasn’t always this way! I was a severely sleep deprived mum for two and a half years. Yes, two and a half years. That’s nearly 1,000 days without a good night’s sleep! And, it felt longer. My memories of that time is being utterly exhausted, often very emotional and sometimes pretty irrational. I couldn’t think straight, couldn’t see straight and it got to the point where I just couldn’t take it anymore.
My sleep deprivation was not a badge of honor.
It wasn’t any kind of parenting goal. It didn’t help me bond with my son. It wasn’t just a phase. My mental health suffered. I will openly admit that I had some very dark moments whilst I was sleep deprived. This was all on top of the fact that when was son was around 11 months old I was diagnosed with PTSD as a result of an extremely unpleasant birth experience. Sleep deprivation exacerbated everything. I felt at my wits’ end.
After much soul searching. And what at first felt like an omission of defeat in my treasured role as a loving mum to my beautiful boy. I finally realized we needed professional help. My son, myself and my husband needed sleep. We needed to rest, and we deserved to rest. Such a simple concept, yet I felt like I had no idea how we could achieve it.
They say the power of hindsight is a wonderful thing.
It’s also bittersweet as I’m sure many of you might agree. The fact is I regret not addressing our lack of sleep sooner. My sleep deprivation is a large contributing factor as to why I only have one child. On reflection, knowing this now makes me feel so regretful that I didn’t resolve our situation sooner. I regret that I didn’t speak about it more and reach out for help earlier. Regret over the time it took to seek help with our sleep is something I often hear often from the mums I help.
All this said, a much happier fact is how proud I now am to be able to help so many other families achieve a peaceful night’s rest. Putting my personal experience to great use, and constantly developing my professional experience working with so many different families. Also, to spend time getting to know them and understand their lifestyles. Along with the challenges they have in establishing and maintaining simple but effective sleep routines for them. And then empowering them to successfully and gently sleep train their little ones so the whole family gets a full night’s sleep. To date, I’ve helped nearly 200 families, and I am so delighted when I receive the call or WhatsApp the morning after each of their first peaceful nights! It’s simply magic for us all.
So, why me, Sleep Consultant Claudine Gillard?
What really inspired me to become a pediatric sleep specialist? How did I train? Where? By now you’ve likely guessed I turned to a sleep consultant, researching on the internet in the middle of the night. All-consumed by the dark, the loneliness and my sheer desperation to regain some control of our lives and our wellbeing. It was life changing and very empowering! The sleep consultant we hired was based in Dubai and at the time we lived in Abu Dhabi. Within a few weeks of working with her and achieving the ‘miracle’ of a regular, undisturbed night’s sleep. I knew I wanted to bring this gift to others. I had to bring this gift to others. To help other mums who were just like me. There was no sleep consultant in Abu Dhabi at the time and I knew a lot of families were struggling with their little ones’ sleep just like us. Those familial looks shared between other tired mums over coffee, at playdates, in the supermarket, the mall and at day care.
It quickly became clear to me that the opportunity to help others in the way I had been helped could not be turned down. It transformed my family’s life, my life. You could even say I began to feel it was my calling – that those nearly 1,000 restless nights had not been in complete vain! On 10th April 2017 I flew from Abu Dhabi to Florida to enter the Sleep SenseÔ Consultant training programme. This was an intensive, residential course run by the creator of the Sleep SenseÔ programme, Dana Obelman. Dana’s own gentle method of sleep training children has helped thousands of families achieve their sleeping goals. It was the method we had used so successfully. I was personally trained and mentored by Dana until I achieved my certification. Since April 2017 I have worked with nearly 200 families and am now the most sought after and experienced Sleep SenseÔ consultant in the Middle East.
I am dedicated to and passionate about helping those who are suffering.
Parenting can be overwhelming when we are at our best, add in not being well-rested and it’s an even bigger challenge. I can clearly recall how difficult it was to function well and therefore be the best mum I could be for my son when I was sleep deprived. Most days I was just getting by. Going through the motions, operating on autopilot. Simply doing enough to keep us both upright, all the while doubting my abilities, it knocked my confidence. My son’s longest stretch of sleep in the first two and a half years of his life was FIVE hours. To say we were tired is an understatement. We were running on empty, both utterly exhausted. I was also breastfeeding which is a special kind of tired, coupled with hunger and periods of low blood sugar. The day I weaned my son was the day I got on a plane to Florida to become a sleep consultant! When I say I’ve been there, I truly have! I really know what some of the extremes look like and I can be there for you whilst you navigate yourself and a family to a better place for you all.
Now, I am available to families in both Dubai and Abu Dhabi.
I bring not only my personal and professional experience to your situation. But also a sympathetic and understanding approach to helping you guide your little ones to sleep. My service is of the highest quality. Bespoke to the needs of you and your family and using my understanding and knowledge. I can assist you to navigate the challenges you may face along the way.
Thank you for taking the time to read this. I hope you feel you know me a little better and from where my passion comes from. I am here to help you. If you have a question, are looking for advice or just want to know a little more, please reach out to me. You will find regular posts, articles and advice on my Facebook page, Instagram and website so please join me there. Follow and add a comment at any time to start a conversation. If you would like some reassurance or to understand some of the different challenges I’ve helped many families overcome and achieve the gift of sleep, then I invite you to read some of the many reviews and testimonials from my previous clients on Facebook or my website.