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

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    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Graduate

    I have tried loads of different things for my wind down which include reading, colouring, looking at photos, PR, doing crossword puzzles etc. I bought a couple of CD's which were meant to help with sleep but they ended up in the charity shop, didn't work for me. But the best thing I have found is to sit and do nothing, for me it was as simple as that, but it took me a long time to find it!

    Ve

  • Sleepio Member

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    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Graduate

    Hi Chickatee.
    Like Ve I've tried several different ways of winding down. What works best for me and makes me really sleepy tired every time, is watching gentle programmes on TV. I know it's not stricly speaking allowed, but it works for me. I watch-- usually the “Yesterday” channel – - from about 10 pm to 10- 45, then switch off the light and sit in the dark for about 15mins. ( which is something I copied fro Ve.)
    Then straight to bed to listen to the Prof's PR and I'm then mostly asleep before he finishes. I sleep until 5am with 2-3 wake ups for the loo.
    BUT, if I have something to disrupt my routine, however small, it will take me ages -- and several lots of QHR-- before I can sleep. It is so frustrating! My husband falls asleep immediately his head hits the pillow -- then wakes about 8am --GRR
    I think many of us are adversely affected by disruption of our routines. I'm hoping that in time I will become more resilient. However I'm happy the improvement in my sleep so far.
    Megwich
    X

  • Sleepio Member

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    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Graduate

    My hubby goes straight to sleep Megwich, but he isn't sleeping as well as he used to. I have told him to do sleepio but he says he will be OK. I will let him sort himself out, he knows what he has to do.

    Sleep is amazing and a real blessing, I didn't used to think anything about sleep until I couldn't sleep. That was really scary. I used to go to bed at 10 pm and sleep right through the night. Don't go until 11.30 now but I feel great when I get up in the morning because anyone who gets through this sleep programme is strong willed and focused on the result that we want. So well done all sleepios who manage to learn to sleep again.

    Hope you are OK?

    Ve

  • Sleepio Member

    • 54 comments
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    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Graduate

    Hi Megwich & Ve-- Thanks for your input. I agree that sitting quietly in the dark for a short while can be all that's necessary for a wind down. I sometimes do that too.
    It seems to me, depending on how active or emotionally taxing one's day or evening has been, on days when there has been a lot of stuff going on, a longer wind down may work better for someone at times. Processing the events of a day and creating a distance between the main elements of it away from the bed may take a bit longer than we're prone to do before going to sleep.

    In my case, learning to not process my thoughts while lying in bed trying to sleep has been a huge hurdle that Sleepio's techniques have helped me get over. I think much of my sleep difficulty began years ago when our five children were young and my life had a lot more responsibilities and activities going on. I would go and go all day long, get into bed at night thinking I should just drop off to sleep with fatigue, but found myself winding down in bed when I should have been falling asleep. It became hours just to fall asleep. I didn't know the importance of stopping all work and stimulating activities for a period of time before going to bed. It evolved into a vicious pattern and I didn't know how to get out of it. That's partly how Sleepio has been so helpful for me.

    I think it's great when sitting quietly in the dark, out of bed, is all that it takes to get into the mode for falling straightaway to sleep. That's definitely something to shoot for. Frankly, more often now, my wind down time since starting Sleepio has become shorter and a little more “informal”-- not locked into a set routine of 'wind down activities'. When a blip of more than a few days occurs, it's the first area where I refocus my attention.

    Even with a few tweaks to Sleepio's 'rules', I'm happy to report I am currently in a prolonged spell of very good sleep. What a joy! Ve, I may one day be in the ranks with you of consistently good sleepers!

  • Sleepio Member

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    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Graduate

    Hi Chickatee, I am sure you will sleep everynight as time goes by. It took a lot of hard work for me to get where I am, but I still stick to the rules because if I don't I will be back at square one. I still get the odd blip though but nothing major and it is easily fixed by getting up for a short time.

    Glad you are doing well Chickatee, it feels great doesn't it. Well done…....and keep posting, you are a great help to other sleepios.

    Ve

  • Sleepio Member

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    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Graduate

    Hello Chickatee,

    I'm just delighted to hear that you're in a prolonged spell of good sleep….it warms my heart. You've had such struggles, and have overcome/continue to overcome them.

    You give us all great encouragement,

    Thank you

    Doodle.

  • Sleepio Member

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    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Graduate

    Good morning Chickatee. It's so good to hear that you are sleeping so well! It gives us all hope.
    I have so much faith in the programme!
    Hope your sleep keeps improving
    Megwich
    X

  • Sleepio Member

    • 30 comments
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    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Graduate

    I too am so thrilled to hear of your excellent sleep results lately, Chickatee! That must feel just wonderful. And reading about it gives new hope to some of us who have recently been struggling to sleep or who are struggling night to night now. Actually, things are looking up on my own sleep front as well, but I'm not nearly back to where I was (the longed for 7 hour nights are still in the future)--but I'm getting enough sleep to stay very positive and hopeful and have a modicum of energy during the day. And to avoid the anxiety beast at night. For now, that is enough. But things are looking up, huzzah! I will use your excellent example to plan for a future of expert sleeping… Pleasant dreams, my friend!

  • Sleepio Member

    • 54 comments
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    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Graduate

    Lisa, thanks for your note (and also Ve, Megwich, & Doodle for yours)--
    Yes, huzzah! I'm glad you're seeing inklings of improvement in your sleep recently. Am wondering, are you using the lavender oil every night? As with many plants and herbs, they don't always show their effects until they've been used over a course of days or weeks, so this may be true of lavender oil too.

    After reading an article a few months ago on various natural supplements for enhancing sleep, one that caught my attention is called ashwagandha, and it is touted as being beneficial for helping one to stay asleep during the night. Like you, most herbal remedies for sleep have typically had no apparent effect on me, but I thought perhaps this ashwagandha would be worth trying. As you know, so many Sleepios have this exact problem of waking up during the night. I decided to buy a couple of versions of it, one being straight Ashwagandha, and the other a special formulation of it by Swanson Vitamins that they call “Sensoril”. I've been taking the “Sensoril” version for about 12 weeks now, starting when I was in the midst of a prolonged “blip”. Whether it is a factor in helping me get out of that blip or not, I must say, those middle of the night wake-ups have diminished significantly to maybe one short-lived wake-up. I still tend to wake up before the SW ends, though, by about 1 – 1 1/2 hrs. Even so, it is very heartening for some stability to finally be taking place in the nightly pattern of things!

    I trust the same will gradually happen for you too-- and for our other friends on the journey with us!

  • Sleepio Member

    • 30 comments
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    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Graduate

    Yes! I do know ashwaganda! It was recommended to me by a friend a couple of summers ago. I was dealing with a not so pronounced insomnia period at the time, and the ashwaganda worked somewhat, in that slow way herbs tend to do (which is actually a better way to go by far than the wallop of pharmaceutical drugs). But for this round, the ashwaganda wasn't getting it at all, nor was the valerian or the melatonin. So then I decided to just cut out any supplementation and go hard at the tools, plus added some daytime vagus nerve exercises that Doodle mentioned to me, which, knock wood, seem to be doing the trick. But I do use the lavender every night and while I'm not sure it's helping me to sleep, it's such a lovely addictive smelling essential oil that I love using it even so. I will probably go back and try ashwaganda in the future for less powerful bouts of blippage, though, and I really appreciate the reminder.

  • Sleepio Member

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    Session 4

    Has anybody a clue as to how this Community works? All I see, if looking at a particular topic, is a disjointed single message referring to an inaccessible discussion which seems to be floating in an ethereal nebula. It might be a good idea if there was a reasoned linked discussion ie statements or questions with linked responses?
    Help! Peter Woodward

  • Sleepio Member

    • 108 comments
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    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Graduate

    Hello Chickatee
    I have been using lavender for about 2 weeks, like LaDill I'm not sure if it is working-- yet--. The fragrance is very relaxing. I take warfarin so can't try most herbal remedies.
    Sweet dreams
    Megwich

  • Sleepio Member

    • 108 comments
    • 20 helped
    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Graduate

    Hello Peter.
    That's really strange! It sounds as if there is a technical fault going on here. Sorry I can't help, but I'm sure there will soon be help from other fellow Sleepios. You could try emailing Sleepio at hellosleepio.com.
    Hope you are getting on OK with the programme. It's tough at the stage you are at and it takes time to begin to see improvement. But if you persevere and stick to the Prof's rules it does work!
    Megwich

  • Sleepio Member

    • 86 comments
    • 19 helped
    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Graduate

    Hello Peter. As Megwich suggests I think you should email Sleepio. I think there may be a problem with your user name as I can't connect to it, it doesn't seem to exist. This does happen occasionally and maybe the first time it comes to notice is when you first post. Since it may be that you can't even get these responses I have taken the liberty of asking admin to check your user name. Hope this is helpful. Lindsay

  • Sleepio Member

    • 141 comments
    • 53 helped
    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Graduate

    Hello Peter

    As the others have said there seems to be a problem with the system recognising your username and that may be the cause of the problem.

    This does happen from time to time. I am a greeter and in a couple of occasions have been given new members to contact whose usernames are not recognised by the system,.

    Let's hope the help desk sort our the problem and do come back then and tell us how you are getting on

  • Sleepio Member

    • 6 comments
    • 0 helped
    Session 5

    I have a question: last night I COULDN'T stay awake beyond 11.30 pm. My Sleepio going to bed time is now 12.00. I slept till 5.30, the longest sleep I've had in weeks and weeks. So my question is, what time should I go to bed tonight?. (Other info: my problem has been waking up early not not going to sleep. My desired wake up time is 6.00 and this week my SE is 91% and SQ is 7)

  • Sleepio Member

    • 417 comments
    • 140 helped
    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Graduate

    You should go to bed when Prof says you should go Declan. There are times when it goes wrong, like you went earlier last night and by the sounds of it you had a fantastic sleep. But alas Prof knows what he is talking about and so that you get a really good outcome from this programme it is best to follow the rules.

    However some people like to change their going to bed time which in turn changes their getting up time. So if you want to change the time then e-mail sleepio and they will put the new time in for you. You can do it yourself but I have forgotten how to do it because I finished the programme 18 months ago but I come on here to help a few people on their journey to good sleep.

    I believe CBT covers all sleep problems, so if you fall to sleep easily but wake up in the night then the same rules apply as to someone who cannot get to sleep in the first place (that was me!). If you feel sleepy it's a good idea to get up and potter around, and although it may sound daft to keep yourself awake, it is the way that CBT works because eventually everything starts to settle down and you will start to sleep right through.

    I am so happy to tell you that this programme works Declan, it is hard to do but we have the community to encourage us on our way. There are some lovely people on here who pop in for regular chats, such as having a good nights sleep, having a bad night, not knowing if they have been to sleep etc, and there is always someone around to help and encourage you on your way.

    So whether you stick to Prof's time or whether you change to 11.30 with an earlier getting up time is up to you. But only change it once because Prof is working on your body clock and the last thing he or any of us want is to confuse the body clock any more than it is already. Being able to sleep will help with anxiety, panic attacks, depression and all that goes along with it, so give it your best and keep in touch and let us know how you are getting on.

    Ve

  • Sleepio Member

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    Session 5

    Thank you Ve. What you say makes sense. It's kind of what I suspected. What you're saying is that one bad or one good night doesn't say anything. The important thing is to stick with the programme overall. I understand.

  • Sleepio Member

    • 417 comments
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    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Graduate

    Yes you got the message Declan, did you get any sleep last night? If not, don't worry, you are at a very early stage in the programme yet, but you may get some sleep this week. I hope so, let us know how you get on.

    Ve

  • Sleepio Member

    • 417 comments
    • 140 helped
    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Graduate

    Hi Meg, I don't know what happened just now but I started typing a message to you and I think I hit 2 keys at the same time and the message disappeared and a whole load of 'stuff' came up.

    Anyhow, I was just trying to ask you how you are and have you settled in your new flat. After such a big upheaval from leaving your home that you loved, you must have had a bad time. But hopefully you are beginning to make your flat look like home now and getting used to your new surroundings. I hope so.

    So how is sleep? Are you beginning to settle down yet and feel relaxed before bed?

    I wish you well Meg, and hope that everything is OK.

    Ve

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