Ask the Grads

Whether you're in need of some friendly advice and encouragement from people who have been through the course or you'd simply like another perspective on implementing a new technique, you can pose your questions about the Sleepio course directly to the Graduates here!

Posted 29 Apr 2012 at 8:06 PM
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  • Sleepio Member

    • 17 comments
    • 3 helped
    Session 4

    Hi, I don't know if others experience this – I feel more tired today than Ive ever felt, could barely function at my class this a.m., came straight home lunchtime, all I want to do is go back to bed. But it's almost 10 hours till I'm allowed to go. Feel 'jet lagged' – before I took half a sleeper when I felt I needed a full nights sleep, maybe once or twice a week. I shouldn't do that, right? How to get through the day when you feel so rotten? Is it OK to sit and listen to radio with eyes closed?

  • Sleepio Member

    • 5 comments
    • 1 helped
    Graduate

    I have been on zopiclone for 5-6 years. I have quit taking zopiclone and feel I may be having withdrawl symptoms. If someone has been on zopiclone and has quit using it . Would like to know the steps taken and if you felt any withdrawl symptoms. thank you Charlie1

  • Sleepio Member

    • 431 comments
    • 145 helped
    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Graduate

    These early days in the sleepio programme are really tough sunnynorth, and I have to say that sometimes you have to give in and take something so that you get a really good sleep sometimes. It isn't right to do it, but maybe for the sake of safety and if you are really tired but not sleeping when you need to then it is a way through. I took Diazapam about every fourth night when I started because I wasn't sleeping at all, but it did get me through a tough time. However, the community told me that if I continued to take them then I wouldn't build up the confidence to sleep without them, so I did stop taking them and it was the right thing to do because I sleep every night now and I am so glad that I listened to what they said.

    As for listening to the radio with your eyes closed, I think you know the answer to that, if you are very tired it is going to make you drop off to sleep, or are you talking about listening at bed time? Soft music at bed time is relaxing and I see nothing wrong with that.

    Basically sunnynorth, you need to work hard at what Prof asks you to do. It is hard, but the more you practice with his rules, the quicker you will start to see some success. It takes time, it takes perseverance and I personally think it takes guts to get through the early days of sleepio but as you progress and you start to get a good nights sleep then it becomes easier to do. You will get good nights and bad nights and gradually the bad nights become less. Be repetative with your wind down, take note of what works for you and try it again the next night. If a routine doesn't work then change it, just small little changes by tweeking it here and there. Dim the lights as you start going through the evening, switch of electrical gadgets including your mobile phone and computer etc. Get ready for bed and start your wind down. For me now, all I do is sit in the dark for 15 minutes before bed, I have a dim torch light to find my way to the bathroom and my bed (I try not to wake hubby so I mustn't stub my toe on anything!!!!!...) once in bed I lay on my back for a few minutes and think of my breathing then I turn to my favourite position and continue thinking of my breathing and before I know it, it is morning and time to get up.

    You will find your own routine as you go through this programme. Be confident that Sleepio works, it has a high success rate and in the two years or so that I have been on here I have seen many sleepios come and go, and many have succeeded in learning to sleep again, even people who have had insomnia for many years have benefitted from sleepio. Some people can sleep when they join but they wake up in the night and sometimes cannot get back to sleep and this programme helps them too.

    It works sunnynorth and you will see some results soon as long as you follow Prof's rules.

    Ve

  • Sleepio Member

    • 17 comments
    • 3 helped
    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Session 4

    Hi Ve, thank you so much for taking the time to send me your kind message, it was very encouraging. Yes, I'll stick with it, esp knowing how others, like you, have been helped. It's good to know that if I feel really desperate before an important day I can still take half a zolpidem. I haven't since the first couple of weeks, before I started on the Sleep Restriction and QHR.
    Many thanks for staying on here as a 'Grad' to support people like me. best wishes, Mandy

  • Sleepio Member

    • 17 comments
    • 3 helped
    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Session 4

    ps you were right about the radio! I lay on the floor with the radio on after posting testerday, and sure enough dozed off!! But only for 20 minutes! One night I listened to a Yoga Nidra tape during the wind-down time before bed, but I fell asleep in the chair, woke with a start when it finished, but then couldn't get to sleep once in bed, so won't be using that again last thing at night.

  • Sleepio Member

    • 431 comments
    • 145 helped
    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Graduate

    I fell asleep sometimes when I was doing my wind down, I used to sit and listen to Prof's PR, over and over again, I probably bored myself to sleep but it happens sometimes when you lack sleep. When you wake up after nodding off downstairs, if you cannot sleep once getting into bed make sure you get up for 10 minutes and keep it dark then you have more chance of getting to sleep.

    Ve

  • Sleepio Member

    • 71 comments
    • 26 helped
    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Graduate

    Hi charlie, there have been many discussions from time to time about weaning off of sleep meds. There is a thread of posts on the Discussion pages titled “Using Medication while doing the Sleepio course”. Check out the conversations there and you may get some helpful input. About a third of the way down the page there was a discussion from doreenb (Oct 18, 2016) about tapering off zopiclone specifically.
    If you post a question on that discussion page, the topic will then be placed at the top of the list on main Community page since it will become a recent post for that discussion.
    One thing I've gathered from people tapering off meds is to do it very slowly to avoid withdrawal symptoms and rebound insomnia. Many have been very successful in getting off meds of various kinds.

  • Sleepio Member

    • 1 comments
    • 0 helped
    Session 3

    Hello.
    I am on the 3rd week of sleepio program. I started 3 nights ago the sleep restriction program, targeting to sleep 5.5h over the 11pm-4:30am time window. The first 2 nights I slept, in total, 4h and 2.5h respectively. On the 3rd night I just crashed, as I was not fully functioning in the evening. Went to sleep at 10pm and slept 6h in a row. I suspect that one of the reasons to have totally failed the first 2 nights was the time that I was supposed to go to bed (~11pm), which is too late. I usually fall asleep ~10pm (latest 10.30pm) and if I miss that time I start to feel awake (maybe that's all about my circadian rhythm?). On the other hand If I schedule to go to bed at 10pm I have to wake up at 3.30am.
    Is there anybody that had the same kind of issues? If so, how did you overcome them?
    Thank you very much.

  • Sleepio Member

    • 71 comments
    • 26 helped
    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Graduate

    Hi Xtina, it sounds like it's working just the way it should. The third week is wretched because it makes you so extremely tired that sooner or later you do crash and get some coveted, highly needed sleep. It's okay that the third night you went to sleep at 10. Just try your best to keep it at 11 the other nights. It shouldn't take long before your sleep window is extended by 15 minutes. When I was at this week I had no idea how long it would be before things would change and was pleasantly surprised how quickly my sleep hours began to increase.
    Pushing to stay up and wake past the time you're sleepy-tired is rough, to be sure. Keep in mind this is a temporary situation. Walk around, get some fresh air, do something simple enough to keep occupied but non-stimulating. Your brain is in a phase of retraining for better sleep patterns, and this part of the course is crucial to “reset the system”. Building up the sleep pressure is key to this process.
    I gather that getting to sleep is not your primary difficulty, but perhap staying asleep all night or waking up too early is more the situation you're dealing with?

  • Sleepio Member

    • 126 comments
    • 5 helped
    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Administrator

    Hi zander1983,

    I’m very sorry to hear you are having a hard time just now. It sounds incredibly challenging.

    While we're unable to provide direct medical advice since Sleepio is a self-help program, we do want to ensure everyone gets the help and support that they need. I'm glad to see that you've gotten wonderful support from your fellow Sleepio members, but still wanted to mention that when people feel it is too challenging to cope on their own, we recommend they talk to their doctor or someone they trust.

    You can certainly share your Sleepio data with your doctor through the Sleepio Clinic at any time if that helps. Your doctor can sign up for a free Clinic account at http://sleepio.com/clinic to track your progress and advise you as you make your way through the program!

    Please don't hesitate to send us an email at hello@sleepio.com if we can help with the program, and I do hope that you'll continue to use the community as a source of support. I also hope that the information about the clinic is helpful – we definitely want to be sure that you receive the safest and best guidance possible. :)

    All the best,

    Shanna
    +++
    Sleepio Team
    hello@sleepio.com

  • Sleepio Member

    • 117 comments
    • 24 helped
    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Graduate

    Hello Tina.
    Just to add a little support, Chickatee has advised you well.
    Your sleep window is similar to the one I was given a year ago when I started Sleepio. I still go to bed 11 pm as it seems to suit me, but my waking is about 6am. That seeems to be the right ammount of sleep for me.
    These first weeks are really hard, but if you stick to the prof’s schedule you will find that you will gradually improve. I know it really tough to make yourself stay awake!
    This is the time when your brain is being trained to accept that bed is for sleep. Your brain will rebel, but as Chickatee says it’s a temporary situation, and will gradually adjust to your new routine, if you keep at it.
    It’s all about repetition and routine.
    It’s good that you’re posting, come back and tell us how you are doing
    Megwich

  • Sleepio Member

    • 17 comments
    • 0 helped
    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Session 2

    Thanks Shanna. On day 26 now and still sleeping about 3 hours per night – always got to sleep quickly but awake hour and half later, get up, go back and sleep only to awake hour and a half later. I then get up. So still no progress but I've no choice but to continue.

    By the way, I have teeth braces. Since getting them 5 months ago I haven't had a good nights sleep. They are not at all uncomfortable. But I wonder do moving teeth affect the production of melatonin in some way….

  • Sleepio Member

    • 12 comments
    • 3 helped
    Graduate

    Hi Mark,
    Just a quick message of support as it sounds like your nights are still very challenging. I thought I'd offer a couple of ideas which I've tried in case it helps. Like you, I generally have a tendency to get to sleep reasonably easily but have trouble maintaining sleep. If I wake during the night I try to keep my thinking very simple. I tell myself that everyone wakes through the night and it is okay that I have woken. I then tell myself I am having daytime thoughts but now is the time for sleeping. I give myself a time of 5 pm the next day to think about whatever thoughts I'm thinking. I never seem to actually use that time for those particular thoughts! I then do a form of concentration meditation focusing my thoughts on counting from 1 to 10 and keep repeating. I visualize the numbers in my head sometimes. If my thoughts wander while counting I start back at one again. I found I can often slip back into sleep doing this. I do try in keep in mind that it is counterproductive to 'try' too hard to sleep and if I still feel sleep isn't coming anytime soon I'll get up and then go back to bed when sleepy.
    I wouldn't be concerned at all about the braces and the production of melatonin.
    There's lots of good information and ideas in the discussions so hopefully you'll find something that works for you.

  • Sleepio Member

    • 17 comments
    • 0 helped
    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Session 2

    Thanks, I will try the concentration meditation. I seem to have this strange problem where getting to sleep isn't the problem, it's when I'm asleep that's the problem. I get a very light and disturbed sleep. 2 hours of this feels like 2 hours awake, the nights are very long. I'll keep going but Im utterly drained, i have slept 3.5 hours per night on average for 26 days now. I had one night where i got 5 hours, but that was on day 11. I thought then i was improving then but unfortunately not.

  • Sleepio Member

    • 17 comments
    • 0 helped
    Session 2

    Actually I'm really doubting SRT will work for me. 26 days in and absolutely no improvement. I feel worse today than I've ever felt. Complete and utter exhaustion like I've never felt before. I've even had moments where I've stumbled and almost fallen due to the insane lack of sleep. I've had to turn down job opportunities as there's no way I can work in my current state.

    If SRT isn't for me, what else can I try?

  • Sleepio Member

    • 117 comments
    • 24 helped
    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Graduate

    Hello Zander
    I’m really sorry that you are having such a rough time.
    I hope that you won’t gve up on Sleepio just yet.
    You are coming up to week 3 when the Prof will give you what he thinks your sleep window should be, based on your sleep diary entries over the past 2 weeks. Sleepio is about so much mor than sleep restriction. Over the next few weeks the Prof will give you tools to help you. If you follow the rules he lays out for you no matter how hard it seems, you will perhaps begin to see a little improvement. You have nothing to lose, Zander so do give Sleepio a chance to help you.
    Just try to hold on for a few more weeks. It will be tough, but I hope you will stay here.
    Thinking of you and hoping that things will soon get a little better.
    Please keep posting we are all here for you
    Megwich
    X

  • Sleepio Member

    • 17 comments
    • 0 helped
    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Session 2

    I started SRT before Sleepio. Im doing everything sleepio is saying. Im on day 27 and I've never had 27 nights of 3.5 hours sleep in a row in my life (and a few nights of 1 hour). It's utterly insane. I would have expected to see some improvement by now. Im wondering do I have brain damage that's preventing me from getting a deep sleep. Or is my body producing loads of cortisol. Something is going seriously wrong

  • Sleepio Member

    • 71 comments
    • 26 helped
    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Graduate

    Hello Zander, you said you used to sleep fine before you got braces and that they are not uncomfortable. I wonder what material your braces are made of? One of my children had standard stainless steel braces a few years ago, and through a series of “coincidences” discovered the material was causing a reaction in her body creating a rash on her hands. She convinced her orthodontist to change the braces to another material (titanium) and lo and behold, the rash went away. So, to me, the idea that your braces could possibly be having an unsuspecting effect on your sleep is not an outlandish one, especially since your sleep troubles began only after getting them. Metal in our mouths via fillings & braces may sometimes affect people in ways not readily understood nor appreciated by the dental community. I know this topic could be controversial but is offered only as something to consider.

    I'm sorry you're having such a desperate time. I do hope something changes for you very soon.

  • Sleepio Member

    • 17 comments
    • 0 helped
    Session 2

    Hi, no I wasn't sleeping fine before the braces – I've had chronic insomnia for 11 years. But after getting them I feel like I'm sleeing even worse. I think possibly the teeth moving around has caused some sort of imbalance. Im coming up to week 5 of SRT and have shown zero improvement, so im trying to figure out what else could be going on

  • Sleepio Member

    • 17 comments
    • 0 helped
    Session 2

    Btw, do many people do SRT during work? I have to go back to work in 2 weeks. Im a software engineer so having a clear head is extremely important. I'll have to just fight through it. It may be for the best anyway while doing SRT – less time to think and mope

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