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

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

    Hang in there featherly. Like you said, you had insomnia for a long time so it will probably take longer to reset.

  • Sleepio Member

    • 261 comments
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    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Graduate

    Hi Ve, nice to hear from you! I’m doing well overall, but still struggle in hotels, or if I have any wine, or a late night, etc. Like you, I have to be consistent with the rules in order to have a good night. So I balance “the rules” with having fun, and can live with one or 2 “not great” nights a week.

  • Sleepio Member

    • 43 comments
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    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Graduate

    Thanks much for the encouragement Steve10! We all need a dose of that now and again.

  • Sleepio Member

    • 620 comments
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    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Graduate

    Hi AHh, I can go a few weeks sleeping well every night and then I have a bit of a blip, but I soon get over it. Holidays and wine are always a challenge for me too, but it would be a dull world if we didn't go anywhere or not have a drop of wine occasionally. I too have to stick to some rules but I am so grateful for being told about sleepio by a neighbour who is a sleep doctor.

    Ve

  • Sleepio Member

    • 43 comments
    • 12 helped
    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Graduate

    Thanks Ve! I really need your post today. I'm getting weary of the fight. I'm learning that I need to look more long term to get the improvement I'm expecting and inpatient for. I know all of our situations are different, but I feel like I'm lagging in the improvement department. It's such a slow go and I'm really tired of being tired. So thanks hugely to the grads that check back in with us struggling Sleepios, to tell us how this looks a year or more out. Blessings

  • Sleepio Member

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    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Graduate

    Hi feathearly, I see you started in January this year and was probably hoping that by now all would be well. Some are lucky and get over insomnia quickly, but others, like me, (just my luck), have to work hard at it but the good news is that it does get better so long as you follow Prof's rules. I still do a wind down before bed, only about 10 minutes and do this in the dark because it works for me. I am always last to go to bed and first up, but I am glad that I get some good sleep. I still get some blips now and then but manage them better these days. Last night I thought I hadn't slept, but my husband says I was snoring my head off!!!!.....charming.

    Anyway, just keep going and try and make every night the same routine to make your brain realise it's bedtime.

    Ve

  • Sleepio Member

    • 2002 comments
    • 483 helped
    Graduate

    My Sleepio friends, please wise up and realise there is no quick fix, we all enrolled here because we suffered a very difficult sleep problem, this program is not a magic solution, for some fortunate members the discipline has a speedy effect but for some of us it takes longer. We are all at different stages on the program, in the early stages we don't think it's working and it's hard, later if the result is not so good it's frustrating that all the effort hasn't resulted in 6/8 sleep in 1 block.
    But try, always think back to when you joined!
    desperate! last resort! and now you are working in a program that works, for some fortunately speedily for some like me slowly but has given me the tools to help deal with a lifetime sleep issue. I don't dread going to bed and not sleeping, a bad night is annoying but not a desaster, I now feel I can deal and control my problem but getting here has not been easy.
    If you need specific advice I'll try to help just give me the problem, but in general I would suggest just be patient, tenacious, don't take short cuts.

    This program works please believe me,

    Holiday.

  • Sleepio Member

    • 24 comments
    • 2 helped
    Session 4

    I have read where CBT-i does not help 30% of the people that take it. I wonder if that's accurate? I only ask because I am betting there are a lot of people who only follow some of the rules or don't follow all of the rules all of the time and then quit and say it didn't help them. Anyone have any thoughts on that?

  • Sleepio Member

    • 620 comments
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    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Graduate

    Hi Steve10, yes in the four years I have been on here I have seen a lot of people come and go and the ones who are consistent in working at Prof's suggestions on overcoming insomnia do the best. Unfortunately there are no short cuts, insomnia is a stubborn condition and CBT is definitely the way to treat it.

  • Sleepio Member

    • 43 comments
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    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Graduate

    I am grateful to get your response, peacock52! You've been with this since 2015 and we are extremely fortunate to get the benefit from all that experience and wisdom :) I could be more consistent with my evening routine and will work on that. It's been a long and difficult challenge for me. I seem to have nights that are up and down, but as of late they are more consistent- still with a SE lingering in the upper 70's. It seems to take forever to see improvement. It would be a celebration to get 15 min on my SW. In a couple of weeks I'll be at 4 months of SR and I know I shouldn't expect a big change ~~ it will set me up for disappointment, but I need something to hold onto. Was it this way for you? I wish I could see in the future to know where I'll be in say 6 months.

  • Sleepio Member

    • 620 comments
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    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Graduate

    I used to wonder where I would be in 6 months in my early days, and I have to say that I wasn't that settled. I had achieved a few 90%s so Prof gave me some more time in bed. But I had a lot of 'blips' that would make any confidence I had built up do a nosedive. Looking back now I think I put too much work into it. My wind down was far too long and I worried every night if I would sleep or not. One thing I did was that if my routine wasn't working, then I did something different. Sleepios often find lots of different things to do before going to bed to pass the time away. I used to read, listen to Profs progressive relaxation, listen to sleep music, crossword puzzles etc., but the thing I found that worked most was get ready for bed, then go back downstairs and chat with hubby and then when he had gone to bed I might read for a bit but then I turn the lights out and do nothing, just sit and stare into the darkness for about 10 minutes and then go to bed, calling into the loo on my way. But always keep it dark, don't put the lights on again. This routine takes about half an hour or so from getting ready for bed. And should I have to get up in the night if I can't sleep which thankfully doesn't happen too much now, I only stay up for about 10 minutes, whereas in my early days I stayed up for 1 to 2 hours which was far too long and really wasn't needed. But they said not to go to bed before you feel tired but I never felt tired at night so for me that didn't work.

    It's only your mind that stops you from sleeping, so work on that. Have you tried breathing exercises? Have you tried Mindfulness? I did the course but didn't like it but I did pick up on the breathing, and thinking of breathing to help anxiety, so even now after 4 years, I still think of my breathing once I am in bed. You can start it by lying on your back and hands on tummy and feel your tummy going up and down. Concentrate on that. Then turn to your favourite side and still thinking of your breathing can help you go to sleep. The reason for this is that I don't think about going to sleep, I don't try, but just by thinking of my breathing I fall asleep, it can take a couple of minutes or it can take longer. When I first started doing that it used to make me hyperventilate sometimes, but with a bit of practice that doesn't happen now.

    Are you still on the same bedtime that you were given 4 months ago? If so I would change it, maybe go 15 minutes earlier if you feel you are going too late, or go 15 minutes later if you have an earlier bedtime. Experiment, try different regimes, if it works one night then do it again the next, if it doesn't work then try another different regime, anything that relaxes you, but don't go on the computer or other gadgets and keep the lights down low later in the evening.

    Keep in touch and let us know how you are getting on.

    Ve

  • Sleepio Member

    • 24 comments
    • 2 helped
    Session 4

    Hi Ve. Thanks for the tips. I do the breathing exercises myself and I count up with each breath. If I find my mind has wandered so that I stopped counting, I start over from one. Most of the time that does put me to sleep but last night was a devastating disappointment. (You can read about it on my profile.) Anyway, thanks for the tips.

  • Sleepio Member

    • 620 comments
    • 267 helped
    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Graduate

    It doesn't always work Steve, and last night it didn't work for me either, at least not until I got up for a total of 3 minutes!!!!.....shhhh don't tell anyone, but I went back to bed and tried again and went to sleep and had a good night.

    Good luck tonight Steve

    Ve

  • Sleepio Member

    • 8 comments
    • 2 helped
    Graduate

    Hi,since I have been on sleep restriction my total number of hours asleep seems to have decreased. I am going to bed at midnight with a 6 hour sleep window but am waking around 4 to 4.30 a.m, and not getting back to sleep at all.. If I get up I never feel sleepy enough to go back to bed so sometimes I just stay up. And if I do go back to bed I just lie there take getting frustrated until it is time to get up. Does anyone have any advice?The cumulative effect of this is to make me feel really awful, with terrible headaches. I usually try without a sleeping aid because I know that’s not the answer, but am feeling like just going back to them on a nightly basis.

  • Sleepio Member

    • 8 comments
    • 2 helped
    Graduate

    Hi,since I have been on sleep restriction my total number of hours asleep seems to have decreased. I am going to bed at midnight with a 6 hour sleep window but am waking around 4 to 4.30 a.m, and not getting back to sleep at all.. If I get up I never feel sleepy enough to go back to bed so sometimes I just stay up. And if I do go back to bed I just lie there take getting frustrated until it is time to get up. Does anyone have any advice?The cumulative effect of this is to make me feel really awful, with terrible headaches. I usually try without a sleeping aid because I know that’s not the answer, but am feeling like just going back to them on a nightly basis.

  • Sleepio Member

    • 620 comments
    • 267 helped
    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Graduate

    Hi Cleocat, I see you joined a couple of months ago so you are still in the early days of sleepio.

    I have been in this situation myself, not so much now though. If I have woken around 4 and couldnt get back to sleep I got up around 5 am, and if it happened the next morning I did the same. It is also worth going to bed 15 minutes later to see if it helps. It's almost as if you have to play insomnia at its own game. Usually it comes right and you start to sleep a bit longer but you do have to work at it.

    Experiment. I see you have a six hour window, maybe try reducing it to 5 hours and then gradually stretch it out when you start to sleep until a better time.

    Ve

  • Sleepio Member

    • 2002 comments
    • 483 helped
    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Graduate

    6 hours is a guide for your sleep window Cleocat you don't have to take it all, if you only sleep 4 to 41/2 hours shorten your window as laying in bed not sleeping but trying to is very stressful, if your not careful your actual sleep time may get worse. Put pressure on your need to sleep by going to bed 1/2 later and when you wake up get up, it will take a while but eventually you will find your actual sleeping time improves maybe only a few minutes but over time it adds up. It's not easy to put this advice into practice Cleocat but if you work at it you will see the result and you can then extend your sleep window.

    Wish it was easy!

    Holiday.

  • Sleepio Member

    • 8 comments
    • 2 helped
    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Graduate

    Thanks Ve, I hadn’t thought of reducing my sleep window as I’m finding it hard enough with the one I have. But I can see how sensible it sounds and it would definitely be worth trying. I just hope It doesn’t make me feel even more like sleeping during the day!

  • Sleepio Member

    • 8 comments
    • 2 helped
    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Graduate

    Thank you Holiday. What you say seems to make sense. I didn’t realise the 6 hours I was given is only a guide, but thought I had to stick to it religiously. Sometimes I feel I’ve been on Sleepio for ever and getting nowhere, but then I realise it’s only been a couple of months, and I must persevere. It helps so much getting in touch with people like you, so thank you.

  • Sleepio Member

    • 2002 comments
    • 483 helped
    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Graduate

    Do your best to avoid sleeping or napping during the day Cleocat, it has a very negative effect on sleep time and quality at night, I realise it's difficult when you are tired but when you feel tiredness effecting you during the day or evening stand up and move around find a little job to do it will really help you with this program.

    Holiday.

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