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
  • 2149 comments
  • 486 helped

Comments

Show older comments
  • Sleepio Member

    • 44 comments
    • 2 helped
    Session 5

    To all Grads: I am nearly at the end of the program, but, I feel despondent to say the least. I go to sleep without a problem, BUT, wake 2-4 times in the night with a sleep window of 6 hours.

    These wakings have not improved at all, but the Prof says my SE has; I cannot see this as it varies between 70% approx. and approx. 80%. The program concentrates on getting to sleep not particularly staying asleep. When I wake, I can usually go back to sleep quick enough, so dealing with negative thoughts is not the issue. Did any of you Grads have my problem? And if so, how and when did you manage to deal with it? I have a horrible feeling this program cannot help the likes of me. NB, my bedroom is like the black hole of Calcutta (as an example) and I have followed sleep hygiene and all the advice to the letter. Please help.

  • Sleepio Member

    • 48 comments
    • 6 helped
    Graduate

    Hi Helli. I'm sorry you feel despondent. I am on week 9 and still have about 4-6 awakenings each night but, like you get back to sleep quickly. I asked about this on a live session with the expert and was told that these awakenings take longer to get rid of. I suppose also it depends what you wanted from this course. I wanted to be able to get to sleep and this has worked. My sleep window is now 8.30 hrs and my SE is 85%-92% and not improving because of the awakenings. However I don't feel despondent as I feel ok during the day and am getting enough sleep although would like to stop waking so frequently. I am hopeful that this will happen eventually though. I think that you are still early days at week 5 and although you are nearly at the end of the sessions where you are given tools to help this is really just the start of your progress. If you continue with all you have learned you should benefit I'm sure. Keep going, don't give up now. Give it a chance.

  • Sleepio Member

    • 39 comments
    • 10 helped
    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Graduate

    I had this problem and often still do. I'm at 7 months on here, and gradually the wakings have reduced to one or two, usually closer to my wake up time rather than early on or midway through the night. Another sleepio user who recently left the program with success, said what helped her with these frequent wakings was to get up for QHR, hard as it is to do so, sit in the dark away from bed for 15 min. and then go back to bed. She did this a few times and gradually began to sleep through the night, though perhaps still waking a little early on occasion. I tried her suggestion and have been finding it helpful. My wakings are later in the night and usually brief. The 'experts' say this is normal, even for good sleepers. In the past week I actually had two nights that I didn't wake up even once!
    The new sleep habits you've begun have not become ingrained yet. It's kind of like pouring concrete-- it's still wet and hasn't set all the way through. Some 'older' Sleepios have said that it can take 6 – 9 months to get stable results, though you should begin to see some hopeful signs long before that! Keep up what you're doing. Sometimes it seems like our minds are very stubborn when trying to overcome improper habits and establish better ones. There is a breakthrough coming for you soon. Don't give up!

  • Sleepio Member

    • 44 comments
    • 2 helped
    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Session 5

    Thank you ever so much. I needed that.

  • Sleepio Member

    • 48 comments
    • 6 helped
    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Graduate

    Hello Camino. It's good that you are still positive but 5 hours of Sleep Window on graduation seems quite low to me. You don't say how long ago you graduated nor how much progress you have made. Is your SE low because you can't get to sleep, awakenings or waking too early? Are you doing a really good wind down? I feel this is so important and when I have slackened a bit over this my sleep has suffered. If you are doing all the things you have learned to help you sleep better maybe you should put a question to the Dr on the live sessions on a Wednesday. Hopefully someone else more experienced that me (I graduated 3 weeks ago so am still learning) will be able to help you more. Best of luck.

  • Sleepio Member

    • 91 comments
    • 34 helped
    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Graduate

    Help, the issue of frequent awakenings comes up time and time again on the boards here and in the live sessions with the experts. All that is ever said is that it improves with time and , at least, you have the consolation of knowing that scores if not hundreds of graduates have the same problem. My pattern ( I am about a month behind her) is almost identical to Chickatee's
    All we can say is stick at it and don't worry too much about the awakenings. Our great enemy is sleep anxiety so try to accept that awakenings may happen .Since you can get back to sleep afterwards you have made progress so take consolation from that.

  • Sleepio Member

    • 91 comments
    • 34 helped
    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Graduate

    Sorry, that should read Helli' at the start of the previous post

  • Sleepio Member

    • 385 comments
    • 133 helped
    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Graduate

    Hi Camino, I read your message, it depends a lot on age as to how much sleep you get or need. I have been with sleepio for 2 years and I get about 5.5 hours sleep every night. I know as we get older we don't sleep so much as we did when we were younger. I regularly had 8 hours sleep until I had a sudden onset of insomnia. I have worked hard at the sleepio programme and still stick to the rules now. I have got used to 5.5 hours, I manage on it and don't feel like I need more, although it would be nice.

    Make sure you stick with the rules, do a good wind down, getting ready for bed and sitting in the dark before bed works for me. If you cannot sleep get up sooner rather than later to avoid the agony of not sleeping. 15 minutes in a dark room away from your bedroom maybe all it needs to be able to sleep. You don't really need to be up for long.

    Keep to the rules and you will find what works for you personally, so that you can get to the maximum amount of hours sleep that you need. You may be already there but time will tell.

    Ve

  • Sleepio Member

    • 44 comments
    • 2 helped
    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Session 5

    Many thanks for your most encouraging response. I won't give up.

  • Sleepio Member

    • 44 comments
    • 2 helped
    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Session 5

    Could you reduce your sleep window to maybe 8 hrs? Could that help? But I bet you've tried everything. I keep thinking that research on waking too much but being able to return to sleep quite easily must have been done. I feel like it is being kept a secret. So far, apart from these Q and A forums, and the 'ask the expert' sessions, information is not forthcoming on this issue. I wonder if anxiety that I don't know I am experiencing in the night is making me wake up. But I'm only guessing. Surely there must be theories on this, but I can't find them. Good luck. Ps, maybe I'll ask the experts for this info next session.

  • Sleepio Member

    • 24 comments
    • 0 helped
    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Session 5

    thank you, I got but hav yet to sort it?! been a mad few days…...Huge thanks though xx

  • Sleepio Member

    • 48 comments
    • 6 helped
    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Graduate

    Hi Helli. I asked this question on expert live session 12th July and also asked if I should reduce my sleep window to try and get rid of awakenings. Have as look back at the response. She said awakenings can take some time to resolve. I can't say the answer helped me really but she did say as long as I got back to sleep quickly she wouldn't suggest I reduce my sleep window! To be honest I'm now used to them and because I know I won't stay awake I'm not stressed or anxious when I wake and because I sleep about 7hours I feel OK. Must say though , I'd like 8 hours but then I'm greedy. I can't remember only getting 5 hours but I was when I started!

  • Sleepio Member

    • 4 comments
    • 0 helped
    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Graduate

    Thank you. I have no problem getting to sleep but do wake during the night and then after about 4 am that seems to be it. I just feel very sleep deprived most days but accept it and do things I can get absorbed in. It seems to be any stress exaserpates things. I have stuck to the rules and an hour or so more sleep would make me very happy.

  • Sleepio Member

    • 4 comments
    • 0 helped
    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Graduate

    Thank you. I have been doing the programme for three months and still feel hopeful. I have no trouble getting to sleep but wake several times during the night and after about 4 am that seems to be it. I do try things to get back to sleep and stick to the rules. I accept it and try to not make it a problem and do things I can get absorbed in. Most days I feel very sleep depri and I know stress exaserpates this. I also think I have had poor sleep for such a long time it is not something that is going to be remedied easily.

  • Sleepio Member

    • 24 comments
    • 0 helped
    Session 5

    Hi I could really do with some advice. Im about the start week 5, but Ihave hit a few problems.
    At the start of week 4, for the first few days I was on such a role, doing really well. I hadn't found week 3 too bad and my SE was high.
    But then I started to get a few doubts about getting off to sleep. That evening a family member woke me as they coulnt get into the house. They have woken me before , and once when I was on a +9timechange..This family member is lovely and kind and normally so thoughtful. But the next morning had a go at me about a few domectic issues. Im now feeling so let down and angry, which is unusual for me. I cant switch off at all. I will have a rational conversation with her. But I now feel so out ouf control with my sleep I took a sleeping tablet pill which I hate doing. Im due to see the prof today to start week 5, but might delay it. Any advice would be really nice. Thank you so much.

  • Sleepio Member

    • 48 comments
    • 6 helped
    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Graduate

    Hi Camino, This problem of awakenings still seems to be the case with a lot of sleepio graduates and apparently takes a lot longer time to resolve that getting to sleep. I asked about this on one of the live sessions recently (12th July) and this was Dr Creaner's response:- “There are several things that can cause night time wakenings – things in our diet (alcohol, caffeine), anxiety, illness, medications and actually having sleep problems in general can often lead to wakenings in the night – this does often take a while to settle as the body gets used to a more regular routine. It's always worth taking a look at what we're doing during the day that might be impacting at night. It may be something we're consuming, or something we are doing, or how we are feeling that is leading to these wakenings”. There is also an article about this in the 'library'.

    Looking at other sleepio graduate's posts you'll find this comes up again and again and I think the main thing is to keep positive, keep anxiety about this at bay and have a really good wind down. Lots of us listen to meditation tracks just prior to bed, though I think this is more helpful in getting off to sleep than staying asleep. Have a read through old posts, the library and see if there is anything you could change that you may not have thought of or forgotten. I tend to forget things I haven't used for a while like 'thought checker', 'putting the day to rest' etc.

    Insomnia is a lonely business so Keep in touch on here meanwhile as I find this forum is so helpful and supportive.

  • Sleepio Member

    • 24 comments
    • 0 helped
    Session 5

    Hi. I could really do with some advice please. Im about to start week 5, Im scheduled with the Prof today. However Ive hit a few problems. At the start of week four, all was going really well. Then I started to have a few doubts about getting off to sleep even when I was really sleepy tired.Ive had a few othe issues which may have been a factor, but last night was so bad – as was the day, I felt dreadful, that at 0100 I took a prescribed sleeping pill. Ive not started my session with the Prof, and just dont know what to do. any advice would be really nice. Thank you so much

  • Sleepio Member

    • 48 comments
    • 6 helped
    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Graduate

    Hi Weathers. If you have had your session 5 with the prof you will have been given some new tools which may well help with the situation you find yourself in at the moment. I would advise you to try these as would seem to be just what you need. I hope you find one of these will help. Put each day behind you and keep going with all the tools you have by now. Everyone here has a blip now and again sometimes one night, sometimes longer but they will pass and things will get better again. Best of luck.

  • Sleepio Member

    • 91 comments
    • 34 helped
    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Graduate

    Hello Weathers, You seem to have got Into one of those downward spirals that we all hit at times. I agree with lhobby you need to listen to the Prof and try to use the tools he gives you.
    Have you tried slow deep breathing to calm yourself down? If you sit quietly, breathe slowly and try to concentrate on your breathing and nothing else it should help.
    Try not to get into the frame of mind where all you can think is 'This is not going to work' ' I am not going to get to sleep' Easier said than done but the Prof's tools such as challenging your thoughts or the thought blocking repetition of 'the,the, the' or something else meaningless really will work if you give them the chance.
    Good Luck and sweet dreams

  • Sleepio Member

    • 4 comments
    • 0 helped
    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Graduate

    Thank you very much your reply was helpful and has encouraged me to be sure I keep to the programme. i do feel hopeful that I will be able to improve things.

Return to top