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

    • 8 comments
    • 1 helped
    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Session 4

    Thanks for your reply and advice. I've had to abandon the course as my time to get up was coming round before I'd actually been to sleep. This made working, driving and just living impossible for me. I felt like I was going to die as my heart was pounding and I was breathless. I've just had to give up.

  • Sleepio Member

    • 60 comments
    • 21 helped
    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Graduate

    Hello Zander, this is really interesting, and I’m so sorry you’re going through this. I wonder if the weekly experts might have some insight. You might want to ask the same question each week, to a different expert, since they all may have different experiences.

  • Sleepio Member

    • 41 comments
    • 2 helped
    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Session 4

    Ok I'll put it to an expert so. I have spent years researching though and have never come across anyone with this problem. Now that it's nearly April, im back down to 4 hours broken sleep, having slept perfectly in january and february as usual. It truly extraordinary.

  • Sleepio Member

    • 14 comments
    • 1 helped
    Graduate

    Hi all,

    I’d had a really good couple of weeks and was feeling really confident about my sleep again but recently have had a bit of a set back and am starting to feel anxious about it once more.

    I think what I’m struggling to keep consistent is the sleep window. Mine is 10-5.30, which is definitely ideal for me and great for weekdays as I’m a teacher. At a weekend though it’s really hard if I want to spend an evening with friends, having to leave at 9 seems anti social especially as people often don’t meet until 8! My partner is also a late night type, so when I spend time with him I seem to end up not going to bed until 11 or so, even on weeknights. I also tend to end up eating much later which throws my schedule all out (like 9pm instead of 6pm)

    Do you guys think it’s best to suck it up and stick to 5.30am wake up regardless? I think moving my sleep window forwards on days like this so I sleep in longer is maybe the cause of the setback.

    It’s hard and one of the reasons I did the course was to stop sleep affecting my social life! I don’t want to never stay out past 10 again or always have to stick to a rigid dinner and wind down schedule but I also don’t want to have to lose sleep as a result of not sticking to this schedule… anyone else struggle with this?

    thanks!
    Amy

  • Sleepio Member

    • 2 comments
    • 0 helped
    Session 5

    Hi, i've been having trouble sleeping for over 5 years now, and currently take an antidepressant at time to help me sleep. I also quit caffeine, do yoga, take mediation classes, workout regularly, and try to have a decent “wind down” routine before bed. I still wake up feeling exhausted and am sleepy, with low energy all day, every day. I've been using a fitbit tracker on sensitive mode, and it looks like I wake up 2 times a night and am restless between 10-20 times a night = 2-4 hours a night. What else can I try to help with my sleep? Is it time to get a sleep study??

  • Sleepio Member

    • 1 comments
    • 0 helped
    Graduate

    Hi,

    I had some issues with insomnia in the past, but had been sleeping well for over two years when all of a sudden I had a thought about not sleeping that terrified me. For the past week, I have been dealing with some nights of little sleep and lot of tossing and turning and thinking the worst. I try to do mindfulness and it seems to work at first and then a surge of anxiety and negative thoughts throw me for a loop. It's really this anxiety and worry that's the killer and not the lack of sleep. I wish I could get myself to know that :(

  • Sleepio Member

    • 511 comments
    • 183 helped
    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Graduate

    Hi Amy, why don't you change your sleep schedule, go to bed later and get up later. When doing sleepio it's best to make sure you end up with a bed time that suits your life. Don't miss out on fun just because it makes you miss your bed time. Make a change and stick to it.
    It will upset the apple cart for a bit but it will settle down again.

    Ve

  • Sleepio Member

    • 2 comments
    • 0 helped
    Session 5

    I just started sleep restriction week (day 5). I am doing okay although I sometimes have a little trouble falling asleep. I am usually in the 85-90% zone. My biggest problem at the moment is that I seem to be woken up in REM sleep which leaves me waking up groggy and tired. The one night I woke up from light sleep was great! I didn’t get any more sleep than usual but the outcome was very different. Does anyone have suggestions?

  • Sleepio Member

    • 14 comments
    • 1 helped
    Graduate

    Thanks ve,

    The issue is though I have to get up at 5.30am during the week for my work. So it’s either change it at weekends only or not at all- the former doesn’t seem to work with the rules.

    What do you guys think? Just keep it the same but just accept I will have less sleep at weekends if I chose to go to bed later?

  • Sleepio Member

    • 511 comments
    • 183 helped
    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Graduate

    10.00 til 5.30 is a lousy time. The idea is to keep to the same bedtime each night so that you get into a good routine. The problem is if you change your bed time every weekend you may find it difficult to make your sleep settle down. How about 11.00 to 5.30 every night, would that work? That's still 6 1/2 hours in bed.

    I have found that my sleep is much deeper now and so I don't need 7 or 8 hours. Experiment and see what works for you.

    Ve

  • Sleepio Member

    • 14 comments
    • 1 helped
    Graduate

    Thanks again ve! The other issue is that I often wake up automatically from 4-5am and can’t grt back to sleep.. even when doing the worst sleep restriction phase of the course when I was absolutely exhausted. So the later I go to bed the more likely that in fact I will only be in bed 5/6 hours and usually Fitbit records me as being awake around 30 mins plus a night even when not aware of it.

    I don’t know – I feel a bit overwhelmed by it and unsure what to do. I can’t seem to pick a window that would work and the prof keeps giving me 15 mins extra every week. He’s icing me a7.5 window at the moment – so 10-5.55. should I send restrict until my efficiency goes up again? It was approaching 90 and is now 83.

  • Sleepio Member

    • 511 comments
    • 183 helped
    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Graduate

    Maybe this is a question for the Wednesday night session? Can't do any harm so give it a go. You don't have to listen in if you don't have time, a message/answer will go into your profile.

    Ve

  • Sleepio Member

    • 41 comments
    • 2 helped
    Session 4

    Im thinking of going down to a 4 hour sleep window. Currently on a 5 hour window and cannot sleep more than 3.5 hours. Anyone go to 4 hours before? Trying SRT since September, no progress

  • Sleepio Member

    • 511 comments
    • 183 helped
    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Graduate

    Hi Zander, you joined in September 2017 but your profile says you are on session 4. Have you restarted the programme again?

    Are you doing everything that Prof has asked you to do? I am sorry to ask this but it's worth just assessing yourself and making sure you are sticking to a bed time, getting up time and getting up for 20 minutes or so if you cannot sleep.

    I don't see that it would hurt to try a 4 hour sleep window. You will need to decide whether to go to bed an hour later or get up an hour earlier. I was on sleeping pills for a while before joining sleepio and I never got more than 4 hours sleep with them, so I know you can function during the day on that amount of sleep.

    Have you put this question to the sleepio doctors, it's really frustrating for you if the programme isnt working or at least not improving your sleep.

    I do know myself that you really have to work hard at the sleepio programme, I am almost 3 years on from joining and I still have a bed time and I still get up if I can't sleep, not that I have to get up very often these days. My getting up time is more relaxed but I don't lay in much because I am so chuffed at sleeping through the night that I want to get up. Sleepio was not a quick fix for me but I persevered through it with the help of a great sleepio mentor who always encouraged me to keep trying. Looking back it was a slow and long recovery from insomnia for me.

    So what I say to you is keep working at the sleepio programme, stick to what Prof asks you to do, it can take months for some people to get a really good sleep night after night. Other sleepios don't take so long.

    One other thing Zander, do you have a lot on your mind when you go to bed? It seems to me that it's what is going on in your mind that determines whether you are going to have a good sleep or not. Have you tried mindfulness, it does help to learn to have some control over your thoughts. From doing a course in mindfulness I learnt that thinking of my breathing when I get into bed helps me sleep, and definitely a few deep breaths once I have got into bed really helps.

    I hope you can get over your sleep problem Zander, be kind to yourself, get plenty of exercise and fresh air. Watch what you eat and drink and try to relax before you go to bed, think good thoughts.

    Best wishes

    Ve

  • Sleepio Member

    • 41 comments
    • 2 helped
    Session 4

    Yes Im doing pretty much everything the prof asks. I have meditated for 10 years now so I dont really have any issues with anxiety. When I get into bed, I sleep very quickly pretty much every night. My main issue is it's an extremely poor quality of sleep where Im half awake and half asleep. This was confirmed in a sleep study which showed i fall asleep quickly, but never reach level 3 or 4 (deep sleep). The most bizarre thing is that every January for 12 years (insomnia started out of the blue 12 years ago) I sleep like a log. January is the darkest month in Ireland. After January, it slowly deteriorates to 1 or 2 hours sleep by august. I've put this to sleep doctors here, sleep doctors in Ireland, and researched all over the internet but haven't come across this phenomenon. It seems to be something with light, but I use bright light in the morning and blue light blocking glasses at night.

    I will move now to a 4 hour window. If still cannot sleep deeply, i'll move to a 3.5 hour window. I came across a girl on Reddit who claimed she had to start with a 2 hour window.

    One issue is that most fridays I go out after work for drinks. On Saturday morning I often stay in bed until 9am (usual get out of bed time is 6am). I wonder could that be an issue…

  • Sleepio Member

    • 511 comments
    • 183 helped
    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Graduate

    You certainly pose a difficult one Zander. Strictly speaking you should get up at your normal time of 6am at weekends too. Is your bedroom completely dark so that it doesn't matter what month of the year it is?

    I have nothing else to offer to help you Zander, but I really hope you can find a way through this so that you can get some decent sleep.

    Best wishes

    Ve

  • Sleepio Member

    • 41 comments
    • 2 helped
    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Session 4

    Yes my room is dark. I will move to a 4.5 hour window and get up early at 6am too and see does that work. Thanks

  • Sleepio Member

    • 511 comments
    • 183 helped
    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Graduate

    I will be interested to see how you get on with your reduced time in bed Zander. I will watch out for your messages. Of course you may have to do this for a while before you get a result.

    Best wishes

    Ve

  • Sleepio Member

    • 14 comments
    • 1 helped
    Graduate

    Hi all,

    Does anyone experience consistently good sleep since doing sleepio? I know I have an overall improvement but I get a week of good sleep followed by a week of awful sleep – no deep sleep, early awakenings or inability to get to sleep. Nothing in my life changes at these times but I do think sleep seems to be strictly tied to my hormonal cycle.

    Its just so frustrating as I feel like I put in all the hard work with this programme and still feel powerless to control the times when its bad and it really does affect my mood and my job.

    Any tips or advice?

    Best,
    Amy

  • Sleepio Member

    • 60 comments
    • 21 helped
    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Graduate

    Hello Amy, I do have a blip now and then, maybe one night every other week, after 6 months on Sleepio. I can’t for the life of me figure out what happened. I’d keep meticulous notes in the sleep diary, and couldn’t find a pattern or cause. I know what you mean, I do all this hard work, so why can’t I sleep? If you are disciplined and committed, I’m sure your sleep will get more consistent over time. Sometimes I just have to accept the bad night and slog through the next day, realizing it was just a blip.

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