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People experiencing homelessness battle to get sleep and rest

You know that feeling of waking up after a bad night’s sleep? The foggy head, sore eyes, bad mood that you can’t seem to shake? Yep, that’s because everything from our physical, mental, and emotional states are impacted by the amount and quality of our rest. So imagine how tough it is for those who don’t have a safe bed to settle down in. For the young mum sleeping on some else’s couch with her 3 year old son. For the family crammed into a tent after being pushed out of the rental market. For the older woman waking-up fearful in the night, as she sleeps in her small car. For the middle aged man waking to a rain soaked morning after another night sleeping rough. 

When you’re experiencing homelessness, good sleep is hard to come by. People without a safe place to call home face complex barriers to getting good quality sleep, with detrimental impacts on mood, cognition, and physical health. 

Experiencing Homelessness is traumatic, often filled with uncertainty, insecurity, and fear. Trying to get a good night’s sleep is near impossible for those who are living out of cars, on couches, in tents with families, or on park benches and shop doorways. For those sleeping rough, there are the issues of personal safety, noise pollution, and extreme temperatures to contend with.  

Sleep is inextricably linked to health, safety and hygiene. SleepSafe is a fabulous initiative to provide dignity and rest in the gift of bed linen

Geelong Mums, VIC (Naarm)

Sleep Kits help to give comfort, dignity and a safer night’s rest 

Coming from such extreme stress and chronic uncertainty, the relief, safety and comfort of a safe night’s sleep is restorative. Through our collaborative SleepSafe program with Sheridan, people are met with new, high-quality sheets and a towel of their own as they enter a refuge or crisis accommodation. 

Last month, SleepSafe distributed over 6,400 kits providing clean sheets to sleep between and a soft towel, to those facing homelessness. After sleeping rough, escaping domestic and family violence, couch surfing, unsafe boarding houses, or living in tents, you can imagine the restorative power of settling down into sheets of your own in a safe bed. SleepSafe helps provide high-quality bed linen and towels to restore dignity and give a safer night’s rest to those in crisis.

Now in its 5th year, the program has distributed over 122,000 kits to frontline organisations supporting families, children, young people, women escaping domestic violence, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities,  and others experiencing homelessness.

“SleepSafe kits give people dignity, hope and importantly, they contribute to the health and wellbeing of children, young people and parents in crisis.”

Townsville Aboriginal and Islander Health Service, QLD (Bindal and Wulgurukaba Country)

You just can’t underestimate the benefits of linen and a safe bed to sleep in, especially for people who are experiencing homelessness in shelters and refuges right across Australia.

Campbell Page, NSW (Yuin Country)

Join us in marking World Sleep Day, share this article with your networks or chip in to give an individual or a family a safe night sleep.