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
  • 1842 comments
  • 419 helped

Comments

Show older comments
  • Sleepio Member

    • 10 comments
    • 2 helped
    Session 3

    Has anyone got any ideas how I can stay awake til midnight?I've just started my 3rd week, and got my sleep restriction timetable from The Prof, and am quite panicky about this.
    Not stressed at all at having to get up at 5am though; it's just the first bit.
    Thanks in advance.
    Eternal Optimist

  • Sleepio Member

    • 250 comments
    • 76 helped
    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Graduate

    When I had to stay up EO I tried adult colouring to start off with. I also tried crossword puzzles, reading etc but I didn't enjoy any of it because all I wanted to do was go to bed and sleep, but I couldn't sleep back then so it wouldn't have done any good. As I progressed I started listening to Prof's progressive relaxation, I preferred that to anything else. There is also music or plenty of relaxation methods on the Internet.

    Mindfulness has helped me too, concentrating on my breathing when I get into bed stops my mind from racing and I still use that now 17 months after joining sleepio. The community has been a great help to me as well because someone would always come up with help and encouragement while I was waiting for sleepio to start working on me. I think in week 4 I started to get some sleep, but it wasn't every night. But as I carried on with Prof's teachings I started to sleep more and more. I sleep every night now but get the odd blip if something is worrying me.

    So potter about if you feel you may fall asleep before your bed time and slowly and gradually you will see the benefits of sleep restriction working.

    Best wishes

    Ve

  • Sleepio Member

    • 10 comments
    • 2 helped
    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Session 3

    Thanks for your reply Peacock52; I've got a colouring book on my shopping list this week, and have some crosswords and photo albums to hand. Last night was not good. I was so desperate to go to bed about 1030/11pm I could have cried. When I did go up at my specified time, I could not get to sleep at all. I tried the 15 minute rule, but creeping around so as not to wake my partner was easier said than done. When I did go back to bed I resorted back to my sleep music on my MP3 player. My alarm didn't go off in the morning, not sure why, so I overshot my waking time by an hour, and have felt like a zombie all day.
    Hoping for better results tonight.
    EO

  • Sleepio Member

    • 250 comments
    • 76 helped
    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Graduate

    I know exactly how you feel EO, it is so unpleasant when you first start SR. I went through all of that night after night, but can you try and think of it as physiotherapy for your body clock? Take for instance if you tear a muscle, you have to do physio to make it better but initially it will hurt more when you try to exercise it. So in the same sort of way you are trying to force your body clock to reset itself by Sleep restriction and QHR, and to start off with the body clock is playing up because it doesn't like you trying to get it so that you sleep at night.

    I think the 3rd week was the worst week for me, I was up and down the stairs every night but I persevered mainly because of the community encouraging me. But I remember I started to get some really good sleep in week 4, not every night but the signs were encouraging.

    I hated getting up and I really didn't enjoy colouring or crosswords because I was so tired, but I made myself do it. After a few weeks I stopped doing all that sort of stuff and I had a blanket and listened to PR which Prof puts into your download in week 3. My son put it on an MP3 player for me so I just curled up in my chair and listened to that. I found that easier to do. As time went by I got up and just made a warm drink and went back to bed again and that worked a treat. I sometimes wonder if I had done that in the first place I wouldn't have needed to go through all that colouring and other so called relaxing things.

    Take each day/night as it comes, keep doing what Prof asks of you. Don't watch the clock for QHR, just get up when you know you are not going to sleep, like maybe 25 minutes or so. Listen to PR (I didn't do the exercises, I just listened). Sometimes I listened downstairs and then again in bed. I did mindfulness before sleepio and I found concentrating on my breathing when I went to bed stopped my mind from racing.

    Sleep will come EO, it is agonising initially. But focus on the end result of sleeping every night, and just work towards it. We all take different amounts of time before we start to see results, it took me some time to get over my anxiety but here I am 17 months later and sleep every night. I still get the odd night when I struggle to sleep but I drop off eventually and it isn't such a trial anymore.

    There are no short cuts with this programme, so do what Prof tells you and the results will come quicker, hopefully. Believe it will work for you. Do you have a spare room that you could move into while you do weeks 3, 4 and maybe week 5? It would save disturbing your partner because you will probably have to get up quite a bit until sleep starts to come.

    Try and get up when you should, it is a shame if the alarm goes off and you are fast asleep, but it is all part of the therapy. Potter around to keep you awake while you are waiting to go to bed.

    Best wishes

    Ve

  • Sleepio Member

    • 10 comments
    • 2 helped
    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Session 3

    Hi Peacock52, I can't thank you enough for that message yesterday, it was really encouraging. Bless you. The bit about looking at it like physio for my body clock made total sense, and also that you've kind of tweaked things to suit you personally.
    I wasn't happy with my SR window times that I'd set originally, so I brought the bedtime forward. It meant I'd have to get up at stupid o'clock, but that never bothers me, and it will suit my partner better. We've no spare room, so I have to consider him too, as he's a very light sleeper. Might give him some of my ear plugs so he won't hear me getting up.
    I also put the PR track on my MP3, along with my alphamusic, and other relaxation/sleep tracks.
    I'm a huge Mindfulness fan too, and have found it very powerful in the past, as long as you keep it up and make it a habit.
    I have just completed my 2nd night on week 3, and have slept….wait for it…..5 hours!!
    I realise that an element of that might have been because I was so exhausted after the previous disastrous night, but i am massively encouraged.
    Once again, thanks you for your support.
    EO

  • Sleepio Member

    • 250 comments
    • 76 helped
    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Graduate

    5 hours is excellent EO. So now you will be able to see that SR works. Don't be discouraged if you don't sleep tonight, it is a bumpy road to recovery.

    Try and get plenty of fresh air, walking is great. If you work then a gentle stroll in the evening after dinner will help.

    Keep it up, that is brilliant news EO.

    Ve

  • Sleepio Member

    • 4 comments
    • 1 helped
    Session 2

    Hi
    I've just started Sleepio and have installed a sleep tracking device on my phone to try to eliminate the need for writing everything down on paper which I've been finding very distracting
    As it was the first night l also wrote down when I woke through the night , how long for etc so I could compare my written record to the sleep app results
    The problem is the app only recorded how long I was in bed and doesn't list the times I was awake or out of bed to visit the loo, so do I need to go back to paper notes?
    At the moment my husband is sleeping in a spare room to give me space but that will change soon as we have our family coming for Xmas so I don't want to disturb him through the night by writing down
    Any advice please?

  • Sleepio Member

    • 1915 comments
    • 442 helped
    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Graduate

    Hi PC the sleep diary record is not an exact science don't disturb your wake up periods worrying about recording the details just relax and go back to sleep. In the morning you can record the exact time you went to bed and got up the rest of the detail give it your best guess and that will do. After week 2 the details will be analysed and from this the Proffesor will set you off on your program and you will find as time goes by you will start to recall more accurate sleep periods.

    The program is quite tough but works and it's a good idea that you have a separate sleep arrangement for a few weeks and a break at Christmas shouldn't be a problem. Try to use the community as much as possible for help and encouragement, it does help.

    Hope you soon see improvement,

    Holiday.

  • Sleepio Member

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

    Thanks so much for your advice Holiday I feel a lot better knowing I don't have to be so precise and will probably take a break at Xmas while my family are staying as you've suggested
    Feeling very positive about this programme and having the Community to rely on is a real confidence booster Having had sleep problems for most of my life ( I'm in my early 60's) and tried every 'fix' known to man other than pills, I'm very encouraged by the many positive comments expressed by graduates of Sleepio
    I'm really looking forward to seeing some improvement soon

  • Sleepio Member

    • 250 comments
    • 76 helped
    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Graduate

    Hi PC welcome to sleepio. I am one of the grads and I agree with Holiday. My sleep diary certainly wasn't accurate as it was so hard to know if I slept or not so just did my best. It isn't worth messing around with the gadgets, I think they just cause more anxiety.

    Prof will give you your sleep schedule at the beginning of week 3 and that is when you will start working on your body clock and many of us found it took us out of our comfort zone but as you start to sleep it gets easier.

    Sleepio has a high success rate PC for those who stick to the rules and since I joined sleepio 17 months ago I have read many messages from long term and short term insomniacs who have been able to sleep again.

    So good luck and I hope it works for you too.

    Ve

  • Sleepio Member

    • 2 comments
    • 0 helped
    Session 3

    Just had my first night of week 3. I had a RS window of 12.15 to 6.30 which I didn't think would be too difficult to deal with. Unfortunately when I went to bed, even though I felt tired I couldn't get to sleep and had to get up 3 times under the 15 mins rule. Eventually at 2.0 am I fell asleep and had a good sleep until 6.30. My question is should I have changed my rising time last night to correspond to the 2.0 am sleep time or was I correct to leave it at 6.30?
    Week 3 is not easy, but I was warned.

  • Sleepio Member

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

    Hi Peacock52
    Thanks very much for your help and encouragement
    I realise it's going to be tough but I'm definitely up for it given that everything else I've ever tried has failed

  • Sleepio Member

    • 1915 comments
    • 442 helped
    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Graduate

    Your Sleep window is 12.15 to bed and get up at 6.30 Stephen so regardless of what time you get to sleep you must keep to this window time scale, so yes you get up at 6.30. It's very distressing going to bed tired but unable to go to sleep but you don't mention how you prepared yourself in the hour or so before going to bed! this is a very important period in the sleepio program.

    The pre bed Windown period is very important like avoiding alcohol, caffeine and sugary drinks, also make sure you turn off TV and computers as the screen light has a detrimental effect on sleep, prepare yourself for bed couple of hours before going to bed like change into what you wear in bed, clean your teeth so at 12.30 it's a visit to the toilet and straight to bed and lights out, there are other things to consider but this is a start.

    When you go to bed the worst thing is getting worked up about 1/4 rule if you lay there timing yourself you will creat anxiety and this won't help, be sensible with this rule just go to bed and relax but if after 20/30 minutes you feel no chance of sleep you should get up. Have you tried the Proffesor's download Progressive Relaxation? when you go to bed this is a great exercise to practice, it helps you relax and keeps your thoughts drifting away from what is keeping you awake. If you click the blue tab above Case File, next scroll down to Downloads click, then click onto Progressive Relaxation, it's a great tool.

    Sleepio will help you deal with your sleep problems and here in the community are others with or had your problem who will try to help so keep in touch on how you progress.

    Holiday.

  • Sleepio Member

    • 2 comments
    • 0 helped
    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Session 3

    Holiday
    Thanks for your comments and support. I was slightly confused about what the Prof said about lowering energy levels during the wind-down period. He said TV and music were passive mental activities whereas reading was an active mental activity. I therefore watched TV until 12.15 and did not read a book, which would have been my choice. I did all of the hygiene things, but will try the relaxation tonight.
    Thanks again

  • Sleepio Member

    • 5 comments
    • 0 helped
    Session 3

    What is the policy on taking sleeping tablets or herbal pills to aid sleep,As I tend to take one or the other nightly should I stop with this new regime of sleep retriction

  • Sleepio Member

    • 5 comments
    • 0 helped
    Session 3

    What is the policy on taking sleeping tablets or herbal pills to aid sleep,As I tend to take one or the other nightly should I stop with this new regime of sleep retriction

  • Sleepio Member

    • 250 comments
    • 76 helped
    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Graduate

    The sleepio programme says you do not need pills or potions for the programme to work. But many new sleepios are already taking sleeping pills or relaxing pills when they start. I was on Diazapam for a while when I started, but only took it about every fourth night if I hadn't slept or my anxiety was sky high. Some people take medication while they do the course, but I was encouraged by the community to try and stop taking it because you don't build up any confidence in getting to sleep without medication. So what I am saying is that if you can try going without medication you will get a better result.

    Ve

  • Sleepio Member

    • 5 comments
    • 0 helped
    Session 3

    Hi again another couple of questions

    1.I have an enlarged prostrate which means I usually need to go to the loo at least twice a night and cannot remember the last time I had five hours solid sleep.Can sleepio really help someone with my condition?
    2.If I adopt a 5 hour sleeping plan as suggested by the “doc” and get up and walk around,how do I keep my partner happy if I am getting up 3 or 4 times a night , disturbing her,and getting up at stupid o clock?

  • Sleepio Member

    • 5 comments
    • 0 helped
    Session 3

    Hi again another couple of questions

    1.I have an enlarged prostrate which means I usually need to go to the loo at least twice a night and cannot remember the last time I had five hours solid sleep.Can sleepio really help someone with my condition?
    2.If I adopt a 5 hour sleeping plan as suggested by the “doc” and get up and walk around,how do I keep my partner happy if I am getting up 3 or 4 times a night , disturbing her,and getting up at stupid o clock?

  • Sleepio Member

    • 5 comments
    • 0 helped
    Session 3

    Hi again another few questions
    1.I have had an enlarged prostate for many years,and normally get up 2 or 3 times a night to go to the loo.I cannot remember the last time I had 3 hours solid sleep,let alone 5 ,so can sleepio help someone in my situation
    2.If I try and adopt the “docs” 5 hour sleep pattern and get up 2 or 3 times if I can't sleep ,as well as getting up or going to bed at stupid o'clock,how is my partner supposed to cope if she is constantly disturbed,and we have not got another bedroom

Return to top