Meet Sleepeeps, the 5th team in our student-led collaborative project series

David and Joana the founders of  Sleepeeps

David and Joana the founders of Sleepeeps

Our 3rd years are leading original collaborative projects

This term, our third-year students are hard at work with a range of collaborative projects, including The Pompeii Project, The Wandering Heath, Re: Collective and For Book’s Sake. These student-led projects are part of a new module where they consider the writer’s role as part of a creative eco-system, and literature’s role in the creative economy through working on a collaborative project.

On our fifth interview, we talked to the Sleepeeps about their experience so far.

Define Sleepeeps…

What happens when you combine someone that can’t sleep with someone that sleeps too much? The answer is: Sleepeeps

Created as a third-year collaborative project at Falmouth University by Dave and Joana, from the Business Entrepreneurship and English with Creative Writing courses respectively, Sleepeeps is, (or will be one day), a platform to raise awareness of the importance of sleep, as well as a safe, non-judgemental space for everyone suffering from sleep issues.

We believe that different methods may work for different people, so we will aim to share every possible solution with everyone, and maybe even put people in touch with each other to talk about whatever tips and tricks might have worked for them.

That's why 'Beating Sleep Issues Together' is our motto. Because we are all Sleepeeps!

Why did you decide to get involved in a project about sleep issues? 

Joana Shortly after I came to Falmouth, I began to notice that I couldn’t walk very far without getting extremely tired. The worst I went through was August last year, when I was bedridden with back pain for two days, but doctors kept giving me a “one-size-fits-all” verdict insisting I was depressed.  Turns out I had Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.  I have days that I am so exhausted, I end up sleeping for fourteen hours! No one could explain what was wrong with me for so long, that I really did get depressed due to the lack of empathy from my work colleagues, university peers, even friends and family. With this project, I hope to at least raise some awareness to the importance of sleep and rest, not just for health reasons, but because we all need it. 

Dave When it comes to sleep issues I've been through the works! As early as ten I started having trouble nodding off. Over last winter, my sleep was worse than ever, where I'd be waking up nearly every night and not getting back to sleep, sometimes even still being awake to see the sun rise. This soon became hell on earth, sometimes being uncertain whether I was even awake or still asleep. I had great difficulty reaching out to people to help me with this issue; first I went online to see what could help me out and most of what I found either didn't work or just didn't make sense. I then tried joining communities, and although that did make me feel a lot better, I didn't get any sense of hope that things were going to get better. People who had sleep issues all said the same thing 'I've Tried Everything!!'. But I don’t agree with that statement, which is why I wanted to create Sleepeeps.

Why do you feel that sleep is a subject that needs attention? 

Joana Unfortunately, expressions like ‘stay up late’, or ‘work extra hours’ are pretty much part of the everyday life of a typical adult person nowadays. I think that, as a society, we demand too much of each other! Juggling work with studies, plus social and personal life - amidst all of that, when are we ever allowed to just… stop? So, on a small scale, I think that raising awareness to sleep issues with Sleepeeps is the same thing as raising awareness to the fact that we must allow ourselves to step back, breathe and have fun from time to time! The whole world is suffering from insomnia because we are so depressed, anxious, and thinking about money all the time. Tolkien wrote one of my favourite quotes: “If more of us valued food and cheer and song above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world.” Add ‘sleep’ to that, and it might just be everyone’s favourite quote too.

Why did you decide to do this for your collaborative project? 

Joana Above all, perfect timing. In my first-year, I was absolutely sure I would be picking the Children’s Literature module for third-year, because I’ve written a few comic books. But then, I found myself waffling a bit through different areas, and I ended up ticking the box for Lifestyle Writing! It was precisely around that time that Dave approached me to help him create some content for Sleepeeps. And it was great because, coincidentally, Sleepeeps also happened to be the project Dave’s working on in his Business Entrepreneurship course. So… I suppose this could serve as advice for future third-years? Never be afraid of not knowing what you want to do, because life always ends up taking you where you’re supposed to be! It sounds awfully patronising, but it was exactly what happened to me.

What are you most excited about?

Joana I’m looking forward to all the knowledge I’ll be gaining from this experience, from learning how to manage all sorts of social media, to researching and creating content to a deadline. But what I’m really happy about is the possibility to make a difference in someone’s life, to create something that they can rely on for support and comfort, after having had to struggle with that myself.

Dave I’m really excited about the possibility of helping people with their sleep. If with this project I can help at least one person sleep better and not go through what I did last Winter, I would be very happy.

What's next?

Dave As the focus of my Business Entrepreneurship course is more about selling than creating content, next we are hoping to have some products for sale on our website, like sleepy balms, blue light filtering glasses, essentially things that can make you feel relaxed and ready for bedtime. We are also considering creating some e-courses to help people be more knowledgeable about sleep. We recently did a podcast about Yoga Nidra, Kundalini Yoga and Reiki (which you can listen to HERE), so another thing that we personally would like to happen is having a go at studying some alternative therapies. 

Joana I have a Reiki Level 1 degree, and I kind of came up with a sleep-specific Reiki therapy.I’m hoping that the opportunity to do a Master Level degree will come soon, so we can perhaps offer people some Reiki sessions through Sleepeeps.  I would also really love to do an Herbalism course and produce our sleepy balms myself. I blame my internship at the Museum of Witchcraft and Magic for getting me into herbal medicine!

Are you interested in Sleepeeps?

You can find out more about this project by getting in touch with the team on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram.

 by the Falwriting team