Parallel Realities: From Sleep Struggles to Z Lab’s Genesis

Parallel Realities: From Sleep Struggles to Z Lab’s Genesis

A personal blog from Rory Macpherson (Co-Founder)

Being diagnosed with epilepsy in my early 30s was a stark reminder of life’s unpredictability. Suddenly, the quality of sleep wasn’t just about dodging daily fatigue; it was a lifeline in managing my condition. On days blessed with good sleep, I’d feel a sense of empowerment, ready to embrace life’s vibrancy. However, restless nights ushered in a wave of anxiety, making every moment feel like a tightrope walk over a chasm of uncertainties.


For a long time, I felt a sense of loneliness in my sleep struggle. When friends mentioned feeling tired, it seemed to skim the surface of what I was experiencing. However, my perspective shifted upon reading 'The Sleep Revolution' by Arianna Huffington and 'Why We Sleep' by Matthew Walker. Their narratives cast sleep in a light that was both fascinating and serious, illuminating the global implications of sleep deprivation. 


It was around this juncture that I crossed paths with Barney, a fellow sleep geek with his own insomnia struggles and a shared view that sleep was culturally under-appreciated. With a common vision fuelling our venture, we set forth on the Z Lab expedition, united by a resolve to address the sleeplessness epidemic and promote a broader understanding of sleep's pivotal role in our lives.


Looking forward, I’m buoyed by the potential ripple effect of Z Lab’s mission. Every story of rejuvenated sleep through our products hopefully means a better day for someone and those they interact with. As Matthew Walker himself put it, 'sleep is probably the single most effective thing you can do to reset your brain and body health'. If we can help people with this nightly renewal, we're heading in the right direction.


Reflecting on my journey, being seizure-free for four years now - a milestone I hold with immense gratitude - the completion of a triathlon (see photo above) earlier this year was a poignant milestone. It was a far cry from the cautious days post-diagnosis when running, cycling, and especially swimming were deemed perilous. Sleep was the catalyst that transformed caution into courage, restrictions into exhilaration.


We're building Z Lab brick by brick. It began with our Night Visor sleep mask, and now we're launching our sleep supplement, ZL1, with more in the pipeline. As we continue to navigate the uncharted waters of sleep wellness, I’m hopeful for a future where discussions around sleep are as mainstream as those around diet and exercise. Here’s to fostering a global community united by the pursuit of restful nights and fulfilling days.

By Rory Macpherson