We are Calm & Bright. We believe in empowering parents to enable their family with solid sleep. We are a team of 10 women. Among us there are three paediatric nurses, a midwife, a senior NHS clinical psychologist and an integrative therapist.
Eve: Founder, Sleep Supporter and Mum of Four
People sometimes think the reason I can help families with solid sleep is because my four children are perfect sleepers, but it’s quite the opposite. While 12 solid hours a night is now our norm, it is only because I was once where you might be now (wracked with crippling exhaustion) that I can empower families like yours.
Twelve years ago, I was a first-time mum to a 10-month-old baby who I was determined to raise with the highest level of love and attachment possible. I vowed I would see to her every need, night and day. I would never let her cry and I would never let her struggle.
But just like my vision of a perfect, pain-relief free water birth and blissful breastfeeding experience (I had a traumatic emergency c-section and struggled to breastfeed at first) the reality of motherhood was brutally different.
My breastfeeding journey eventually got off the ground, but I quickly found myself rushing in and shoving my boob in my baby’s mouth any time she cried (it seemed to work, and frankly I didn’t know what else to do). It wasn’t until she was 10 months old that I realised she was waking every two hours out of habit, and that these regular feeds were a want not a need. By this time I was experiencing the full toxicity of sleep deprivation, and was desperate to put an end to this soul-destroying pattern.
Knowing that any kind of sleep teaching would cause some level of distress, I carried on as I was, frozen into inaction by both fear and exhaustion. I was overwhelmed by even the simplest of tasks, and as run down as I’ve ever been. My body was begging me to make a change: I felt physically sick, my eyes were sore and red, and my head was clouded by a constant fog of poor memory, confusion and clumsiness.
But to me, crying equated to abandonment, so I was staunchly against controlled crying. My role as a parent was to protect and nourish my children both physically and emotionally, and I believed back then that any kind of sleep training would compromise this psychological security I’d worked so hard to build.
So I ignored my body’s plea to change the narrative of night after night, week after week, month after month of broken sleep. I’d spent hours online, reading the terrifying threats disguised as supportive poems or memes that warned, “they’re little for so little time!” And “don’t begrudge their calls for you night and day – they’ll soon be older and you won’t be needed”. These sentiments plagued me with guilt, froze me into inaction, and propelled me further into frenzied despair with nowhere to turn.
Despite being okay with putting my body and mind at the back of the list, an increasingly powerful sense of unease was urging me to make a change to life as it was. I knew deep down that I wasn’t enjoying the precious ‘golden years’ we’re told are so fleeting. I wasn’t being the mother I knew I could be, because I was too emotionally drained. It felt like such a waste of life.
I wanted to be the best mother I could be, but sleep deprivation was preventing it. I didn’t know where to turn, who to trust or how even to begin to break the pattern we found ourselves in as a family. I was exhausted, desperate and hopeless.
Fate had a way of taking the decision out of my hands. One sunny day in March, I was driving with my 10-month-old baby in the back of the car when life threw a little car crash at me. We were both unharmed physically, but I knew my exhaustion had caused the crash, and how lucky we were to be safe. It was the wake-up call I needed.
I talked to my own mother, who told me I couldn’t fall asleep independently until I was six years old without her stroking my hair. She confessed that she wished she’d enabled me with the confidence to do it myself sooner. Our conversation and the car crash felt like the permission I had been waiting for, and right there and then I decided to make up my own method of sleep teaching. Uncomfortable with the rigidity and harshness of the mainstream methods, I created my own simple, sensible, responsive and loving way to free myself from the shackles of the sleep associations I’d created. Little did I know I would go on to free thousands of other families across the globe, too!
My decision paid off. Just two days later (with more tears from my baby and I before the sleep teaching than during it) the baby who had woken every one to two hours was sleeping soundly and peacefully for 12 hours at night and 4.5 hours in the day. She woke from sleep happy and refreshed, healthier, calmer and with eyes that sparkled, ready for the day ahead. Seeing the change in my baby brought about changes in me. I began to feel contented, happy, focused and energetic. I wished I had acted sooner!
Having experienced such quick and dramatic change, and with such little difficulty, I felt compelled to help others. I realised the magic wasn’t in the method – however good it was. It was in the support and empowerment my mum gave me.
I spent the next five years volunteering my time to help families in need in my local area (as well as having another three of my own babies.) I would drive to strangers’ houses, help them through the night, and drive home at the crack of dawn to breastfeed my own little people. Every time I helped another mother, I felt as if I was reaching a hand down to the old me – the one weeping on the dirty kitchen floor – and pulling her up to standing. It was an incredible feeling. I felt super-charged. Like I’d been put on this earth to help other women like me.
Word quickly spread about my 100% success rate. Almost 12 years later, Calm & Bright supports families across the globe to discover the transformative power of solid sleep.
Every time a family tells me how sleep has saved them, I feel complete peace in my heart. For me this is not a job. This is what I was put on this planet to do.
Gemma: Founder, Sleep Supporter and Mum of Three
When my sister started Calm & Bright she had a vision. She wanted to provide the kind of ‘rescue’ that she herself had been so desperate for. She wanted to help, support and encourage exhausted, sleep-deprived families like her own because she had been on her knees and had guided her own way out of it. Eve has been like this since she was a little girl – always seeing how she can make others feel better.
After witnessing my big sister struggle through years of sleep deprivation, watching her come out the other side was incredible. She was a different person. When I went on to have my own children and suffer my own sleepless nights, Eve was not only there to love me as a sister – she was able to guide me through some of the darkest, toughest moments of my life, because she knew another way.Read More
When my second son, Louis, turned six months old, I was set to return to my job as a paediatric nurse in a hospital in Devon where we live. It was then that I got a call from Eve saying she needed more hands on deck at Calm & Bright. She had been offering her time for free, to help other families, but as word spread and the demand increased, she knew she needed to adapt and change the way she worked.
Just a few months later I joined Calm & Bright as a sleep supporter. I loved the idea of helping others with sleep and working with Eve but I didn’t think for a moment that the gratification I got from my job saving lives as a paediatric nurse would compare. How could it? But completing my first support call opened my eyes. As I put the phone down to this exhausted mother I found myself in floods of tears and had to call Eve to share. You see, I had realised that I was still saving lives – just in a different capacity.
Fast forward six years and I’m now Calm & Bright’s director, alongside my job as a paediatric nurse, a position I’ve held for 14 years. I’m also wife to my dishy husband James, and mum to three boys, Toby, Louis and Kit.
My second son Louis was born when Calm & Bright was born as a business. He is the best sleeper of my three boys, which is a wonderful reminder of the changes C&B brings to people’s lives. I feel like the luckiest person in the world to have this job alongside my sister and my best friend.
This website contains our vision but it is your space – a space where we aim to support you and to lift you up. We welcome you with open arms, and four ears to listen. We want you to know that you’re always welcome here. Come as you are.
Lucy: paediatric nurse, Sleep Supporter and Mum of Three
Hi I’m Lucy, senior sleep supporter and paediatric nurse from Devon. Gem and I work at the same hospital in Devon. We have even worked on the same team together. I’m an IVF mummy of 3 – two of them twins. Guilty pleasures include online shopping (I love it, my bank account and husband not so much.) I find great pleasure in all things cake-related.
When Eve & Gem found me, they said they were looking for someone with the same philosophy and passion as them. I feel so thankful that they saw in me what they were looking for. The work we do is so rewarding. It feels a genuine privilege to be part of people’s lives as I support them on their individual journey to solid sleep. I can’t imagine a time where I won’t feel grateful this job and being part of this incredible team of women who I get to call my friends.
- Level 5 OCN Accredited Sleep Training. Highly comprehensive training available in the UK with a focus on a strong and healthy parent-child attachment
- Dip HE Children’s Nursing (NICU Queen Charlottes, Doncaster Women’s, Jessops)
- Bsc HONs Health & Social Care Management
- Neonatal Studies Dip HE
- UNICEF Breastfeeding Initiative Course
- Understanding Children & Young People’s Mental Health – Level 2
- Emotional Literacy Trainer
- Safeguarding Children – Level 3
- STORM (suicide prevention training)
- Counselling skills – Level 3
- Childhood Allergy Course
- Asthma Study
- Understanding Autism Level 3 Certificate
- Public Health Paediatrics
- AVCE in Health & Social Care
- Dip HE in Child Health – Kings College London
- Registered Children’s Nurse – Kings College London, Evelina Children’s Hospital
- Paediatric Intensive Care course
- Paediatric Palliative Care Nursing
- Paediatric Nurse Counselling
- Childhood Asthma Course
- Gastroenterology Course (GORF specialism)
- Mentorship Course
- Safeguarding Children Level 3
- CAMHS Course
- General Paediatrics
- Public Health in Children
- 31 collective years of Paediatric Nursing