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

    • 14 comments
    • 0 helped
    Graduate

    Hi

    I’ve got some jetlag still and have a cold so i’ve extended my sleep window and changed my time to bed and time to get up. My sleep efficiency is still in 90s so i’m Being granted additional 15 minutes by Prof. I’m all out of sync with the registered schedule. What should I do? Put schedule on hold till I finish holiday. Do I email hello@sleepio.co.uk?

  • Sleepio Member

    • 7 comments
    • 3 helped
    Graduate

    I noticed that my sleep test results comment on how “very early” I get out of bed. The only reason I get out of bed at 5 AM during the week is because I have to commute to a new job and want to avoid the heavy traffic. In order to avoid the traffic, I get up at 5 AM and am out the door at about 5:50 AM. If I did not have to commute to work, my normal time to wake up would be around 8 AM.

    I worked from home for many years, and when hundreds of us were laid off, it took me 5 months to find a job. The job I landed just 3 months ago is about 40 minutes from my house, so I had to adjust to getting up early, driving in traffic, and working in a loud, cubical environment. This is when my sleep pattern became erratic and a huge struggle.

    Not that I have not struggled with sleep before, but because I could wake up later since I once worked from home, the problem was not as apparent to me as it is now. I have always stayed awake worrying about things, but as long as I could “sleep in,” I did not notice how this was impacting me.

    I think this is why I am struggling so much with the sleep restriction routine. I am still adjusting to my new work-life schedule – getting up much earlier than I have in years – so going to bed late when I have to get up at 5 AM is extremely hard, especially when I have to drive while it is still dark outside.

    I have found that if I go to bed at 10:30 pm instead of the recommended 11:15 pm, it gives me time to go through the progressive relaxation, breathing, and mantra techniques in order to slow my mind and really be ready for sleep. My husband and I live in a very small, one bedroom home and he works from home – so he likes to stay up later. Our bedroom is the only place that is quiet enough to wind down properly.

    Has anyone else had to 'tweak' the sleep restriction routine? If so, how?

  • Sleepio Member

    • 1959 comments
    • 458 helped
    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Graduate

    You can adjust the start time of your sleep window to fit in with your 5am start just email, hello@sleepio.co, and they will do it for you, don't forget to keep to the time in bed when you are not working.

    Holiday.

  • Sleepio Member

    • 4 comments
    • 0 helped
    Graduate

    I have one question that others have already formulated in different ways: after how many unsuccessful weeks of SR is it safe to accept that it does not work? In my case, SR only seems to forcibly extend the awake time to the detriment of precious sleep time.

  • Sleepio Member

    • 488 comments
    • 176 helped
    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Graduate

    Sleepio does work, I have fantastic sleep now.

    Ask yourself if you are sticking to the rules? I am not suggesting that you are not, but sometimes it takes some time before you start to benefit from the work that you are putting in to it, and you do have to do all the horrible things like getting out of bed for a short while if you cannot sleep etc. It's all so important. So just have a good check to make sure you are doing as Prof has asked.

    It took me weeks before I started to get some sleep and I still had to get up on lots of nights even after graduating, but by persevering I gradually settled into a better sleeping pattern.

    When I go to bed now I don't actually try to go to sleep, I get nice and warm and then turn into my favourite sleeping position and usually start thinking of my breathing and before I know it, it is time to get up. I sleep through most nights, sometimes I have to get up for the bathroom but then I go back to sleep. So a much different picture to when I started with sleepio.

    Being repetative at bedtime is another important factor, doing the same thing every night so that a good pattern develops and sleep starts to become regular and having less bad nights.

    Keep up with it IWW, and give yourself a chance to find success, it will come.

    Happy New Year

    Ve

  • Sleepio Member

    • 4 comments
    • 0 helped
    Graduate

    One thing I really do not understand. It seems that SR and QHR both require a lot of discipline. Why introduce them at the same time? Why not practice QHR for a couple of weeks before attempting SR? It seems this double whammy is unnecessary and counterproductive. My sleep efficiency is suffering as a result.

  • Sleepio Member

    • 488 comments
    • 176 helped
    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Graduate

    The idea is to consolidate your sleep time into the 5 hours given by Prof. QHR (which I extended to 20-25 minutes) is for when you cannot sleep, so you have to get up and preferably away from your bedroom for about 15 minutes and then go back to bed and try again. This action does help you to sleep for the whole five hours if you practice it every night. Prof extends your sleep time by 15 minutes when you reach around 90% SE.

    I will tell you IWW, that it works, I have done it and sleep really well now, often sleeping right through the night. I get about 6 hours sleep now which is great for me.

    Keep trying with it, believe it will work and you might get some good results. It is horrible, nasty, yuk and beastly, but incredible in turning insomnia around.

    Ve

  • Sleepio Member

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

    peacock52. I guess I understood the theory, but I still don't get why introduce both practices (SR and QHR) at the same time (week 4). In any case, thank you for the support; it's nice to hear a success story like yours.

  • Sleepio Member

    • 488 comments
    • 176 helped
    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Graduate

    SR and QHR come as a package IWW. We are given a 5 hour window initially to condence our time in bed. As for QHR laying in bed awake won't help you overcome insomnia, so to teach the body clock to sleep through those five hours you need to get up if you cannot sleep. By getting up it helps to overcome bed anxiety and enable you to get to sleep. This process really works.

    Prof explains all of this to you on the week that he asks you to do QHR. Look up SR/QHR in the library because it will explain it to you better than I can.

    Ve

  • Sleepio Member

    • 1 comments
    • 0 helped
    Graduate

    Managed to break my shoulder before Christmas and have since been on painkillers during the day and at night. Initial painkiller regime included Codeine and then Co-Codamol, but pleased to say that I'm off the opiates and just taking NSAIDS every 3 to 4 hours.

    I'm also having to sleep sitting up which is very unnatural for me. Likely to be in a sling for three more weeks. My sleep efficiency has deteriorated, but not disastrously. I've taken to herbal sleep aid tablets which include Valerian, this seems to help.

    'This too will pass' but any experience of of pain affecting sleep would be gratefully received.

  • Sleepio Member

    • 1 comments
    • 0 helped
    Session 1

    A long time ago for valid reasons, I had what I classify as insomnia – I just couldn't sleep. As a result and for a long time now I have anxiety of the same thing happening, this has changed my whole attitude to sleep. I go to bed earlier than I think I need to, to give myself enough time to settle or have a panic episode (!) so I know I'll get to sleep at a 'reasonable' time. This means I don't sit with my husband in the evening and watch something before bed as I go too early. I really want to change this and go to bed because I'm tired rather than it being a trial. Is this insomnia, sleep disorder, anxiety disorder or something else? I took a beta blocker for the first time yesterday as I'm suffering from extreme anxiety and for the first time I felt as if I could stay up late and go to bed at a 'normal' time with my husband! Am I in the right place to resolve this?

  • Sleepio Member

    • 1 comments
    • 0 helped
    Graduate

    Hi everyone, I’ve been battling insomnia for a year now and started Sleepio last year. I got halfway through and my use of it tailed off and I got to a point where I was sleeping better on my own so foolishly left it. Back to work 2 weeks ago and have been suffering a relapse. Not sure why as originally it all started due to stress at work and I’m no longer stressed. Perhaps because it’s the anniversary of when it all began last January. I’ve since stated back up where I left off and have been restricting my sleep window with mixed results. Have been better during the week but oddly having a bad night on the weekends. Has anyone else experienced a relapse and if so how long did it go on for and how did you deal with it? Thanks xx

  • Sleepio Member

    • 34 comments
    • 2 helped
    Session 4

    It's been a while since I've commented here. I did about 5 months of SRT before I started to improve. Just as I was giving up hope, I started to have a few nights of 5 hours sleep. For the past month, I've been sleeping well with close to 6 hours per night. Whilst I still don't feel that's quite enough, I'm very happy with it and the impact on my life has been enormous. My sleep window is 6.5 hours which I intend to keep.

    In my experience, the most important aspect of CBT has been the QHR. I switched to a 6.5 hour window from 5.5 hour out of pure exhaustion – with the 5.5 hour window and having to get up during the night (I was having to get up for about 30 mins every night) I was feeling dreadful and almost had a car accident. With a 6.5 hour window, even when having to get up, i was just about getting enough sleep. After a while, the frequency with which I was getting up during the night went down (though I still get up during the night at least twice a week).

    I will stick to a 6.5 hour window, the QHR and other aspects of Sleepio for a long time to come, probably even for good. To anyone struggling, just have a look through my posts. It can take a long time to improve (i had roughly 4 months of 3.5 hours sleep), but it will eventually.

  • Sleepio Member

    • 488 comments
    • 176 helped
    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Graduate

    Yes you are right Zander, my sleep has continued to improve the longer I have been doing sleepio, and I will continue doing it forever too, because I don't want to go back to bad nights. I did start to sleep long before you did but I still had a good deal of anxiety which gave me bad nights but that has evened out now and sleep is good.

    So keep doing sleepio Zander and you will improve even more, not necessarily in the length of time you sleep but in the quality.

    Ve

  • Sleepio Member

    • 15 comments
    • 3 helped
    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Graduate

    It's good to hear about your progress and I'm really glad to hear you've been getting some more sleep. I followed a similar path to yourself,expanding the sleep window a little in response to concerns about safety and health but continued with the QHR. This worked for me over a period of time but like you it took a while to take effect.
    Jane

  • Sleepio Member

    • 1959 comments
    • 458 helped
    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Graduate

    You are a real success story peacock and you deserve it because you put a lot of effort in, I know it wasn't easy for you when you joined up, some very difficult moments but you had great courage and was determined and it paid off. I really believe that struggling sleepios need to realise doing the basic course is not a cure for insomnia, it's how you interpret the advice and have the disapline to continue for as long as it takes, you have to make some difficult choices like getting out of bed when you can't sleep, not easy on a cold dark night but all the parts of the programme have a place and eventually they all gel and make a difference.

    Don't they!

    Holiday.

  • Sleepio Member

    • 488 comments
    • 176 helped
    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Graduate

    How right you are holiday and you were my mentor and helped me through. You knew it would work because you had been an insomniac for 20 years or more and you struggled your way through sleepio with sheer determination and reached your reward too.

    What a great guy, you have helped 459 people through sleepio, no mollycoddling, just get on with it, and it so worked.

    Ve

  • Sleepio Member

    • 6 comments
    • 0 helped
    Graduate

    Does anyone here have a SleepNumber bed? Thoughts?

  • Sleepio Member

    • 2 comments
    • 0 helped
    Session 3

    6 weeks after coming off mirtazapine (on it for 12 weeks) there are many nights with no sleep at all, or very little at the beginning of the night. Anyone else had this experience and have hints how to overcome it?

  • Sleepio Member

    • 1 comments
    • 0 helped
    Session 1

    Wondering if anyone has any experince with weighted blankets? Im thinking of purchasing The Gravity Blanket.

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