Can you count on this sheep to send you to sleep?

As the parent of a one year old daughter who has only slept through the night on a handful of occasions I am particularly susceptible to anything that claims it could help. And I’m certainly not alone. It’s no wonder there’s a huge market out there for techniques, products and even experts who can claim to be able to help parents reclaim a good night’s sleep. Yet, is there actual evidence behind their claims?

Kathryn Wareham decided to Ask for Evidence behind Sweetdreamers’ ‘Ewan the Dream Sheep’, a product which “emits soothing sounds at a low base frequency and a calming pink warm glow, which when combined, help settle babies and toddlers into a peaceful sleep”. My wife and I had bought this ourselves to try and help with our daughter’s restless nights – when you’re desperate anything can sound plausible.

Kathryn received prompt and helpful responses from Sweetdreamers who conceded that the ‘evidence’ behind the effectiveness was not specifically for Ewan the Dream Sheep, but a different product called the Easidream Soothing System, for which the evidence is an unpublished pilot study.

The Managing Director of Sweet Dreamers offered to amend the information on its website, so that it now specifies “Research has not been formally published & is anecdotal”. Well done to Sweetdreamers for making those changes and for being really up front about what evidence there is and isn’t. As it happens Ewan didn’t help our daughter settle into a ‘peaceful sleep’ but it did provide a lovely pink glow to help prevent me tripping over her toys in the middle of the night.

 

 

 This Ask for Evidence story was written by Dr Chris Peters 

 Image by Amanda Slater - (CC BY-SA 2.0)

 

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