Ask the sleep expert

Hi everyone!

We're launching something new and we'd love you all to join in.

Each fortnight we'll be opening Sleepio's doors and inviting not only the whole Community but the outside world as well to challenge the Sleepio experts to answer your burning sleep questions! Anyone and everyone can pose a question about any area of sleep (from long-term problems to getting the most out of sleep) and one of our resident sleep experts will answer a selection on video, based on the latest research.

Prof Espie has added a video on our Youtube channel explaining further which you can see here:
http://www.youtube.com/user/SleepioTV

We'd really appreciate the Community's input and any help you could give us in getting this new idea off the ground! So, to take part, you'll need to post your questions on our YouTube channel , on the Sleepio Facebook page or tweet @Sleepio, including the hashtag #sleepexpert in your question.
e.g. “Is there any evidence for the clock change having a negative impact on sleep? #sleepexpert”

Thank you in advance and we very much look forward to trying to answer your questions!

Posted 19 Mar 2012 at 12:19 PM
  • 46 comments
  • 6 helped

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  • Sleepio Member

    • 4 comments
    • 1 helped
    Graduate

    How can I stop taking sleeping pills….? Can anyone in this community help….? Thank you.

  • Sleepio Member

    • 184 comments
    • 89 helped
    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Graduate

    Hi Talatt -- This was a thread from 2014. The thread for this week's expert session is called “Live discussion with Dr Simon Kyle – 6th May.”

    You'll find a good thread about sleep medication on “Using medication while doing the Sleepio course” and also “Sleeping pill dependence – How to wean off them?” Hope this is helpful. I know it can be confusing sometimes to navigate the community discussions.

  • Sleepio Member

    • 6 comments
    • 0 helped
    Graduate

    Hi, i've just started the second week. my problem is perhaps a little unusual. my worst nights sleep are Monday, Wednesday and Friday as I am on kidney dialysis on those evenings and I come home with my brain whizzing along, maybe because it's getting clean blood for a change! My GP has given me Zopiclone to take on these nights only, but they often don't work and I end up in the lounge until 4 or even 5 in the morning. I don't stay in bed for more than an hour if awake as I start getting very worked up and have even planned to kill myself in despair – I'm manic depressive. There doesn't seem to be any way to tell the Prof I'm on dialysis. Can anyone help?

  • Sleepio Member

    • 219 comments
    • 36 helped
    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Graduate

    Hi Hilfra, you do have a complex situation to deal with that isn't just about sleep medication, so I should get directly in touch with Sleepio by emailing at the address you get when you click on 'Contact us' in the list at the bottom of the home page (it might br something like <hello@sleepio.com> but please check). They won't be able to comment on your dialysis, the experts at Sleepio are Psychologists, but an administrator will get advice from them for you. Or you can post a question on the weekly Expert session yourself. The present question may not be in the best place for you to get the help you need soonest, and your level of anxiety sounds very high – no wonder being alone and awake in the middle of the night feels desperate sometimes. I would hope your GP or consultant, who know you, might offer some help to put together what you need, but sometimes it can feel like medics each deal with separate parts, not a whole person. Please do make requests for help from some of these people direct, it may be the right people are not aware of how bad you are feeling, and would help whenever they do. I personally will not have computer access for the next month so will not see or be able to reply to you, if you reply to me, but please make sure someone who can respond is aware of how you feel. I am going to flag your message because I am so concerned about you (this alerts Sleepio that a member is in distress.) Take care and good luck Hilfra, anyone would be tested to the limit dealing with what you are, do get some of the right help. I feel sure other members will respond to your message who see it, but i am afraid not many will – I only did because I follow this discussion and get an alert whenever tere is a new comment. Hold on there, best wishes, Kate

  • Sleepio Member

    • 6 comments
    • 0 helped
    Graduate

    Thank you Kate. You are right the Consultant and GP don't seem to know what to do about the sleep problem which is why I joined sleepio. I've got physical problems as well, and I feel hopeless at times, but it is hard to say that to anyone. I will follow your suggestions, thank you for your reply.

  • Sleepio Member

    • 7 comments
    • 0 helped
    Graduate

    I have a question about Sleep Restriction. If my sleep restriction is 7 hours and I've selected those hours to be from 10 pm to 5 am, how do I handle early morning wake ups. LIke if I wake up at 3:30 AM, get out of bed at 3:45 and then go do other things until I feel sleepy. What if I feel sleepy at like 4:45? My alarm is now set to go off at 5 am and it doesn't seem worth it to try to fall asleep for 15 min. Can I add the 1 hour and 15 min on to the 5 am wake up time or is that set in stone?
    Thanks

  • Sleepio Member

    • 435 comments
    • 248 helped
    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Graduate

    Sorry to say, but definitely you can't add on the time you've been awake to the 5am wake up time as that would undermine the SR.

  • Sleepio Member

    • 3 comments
    • 1 helped
    Graduate

    Hi there,
    I am nearing the end of week three on the program and tomorrow will be one week of SR. I'm afraid I'm ready to throw in the towel on SR, as both the number of hours and my sleep efficiency have declined considerably since starting…and now I'm having a hard time keeping going. I understood that my sleep efficiency should improve a bit from SR. Can you please advise on my situation -- am I an exception or do most people decline this dramatically (ie my average was 5 hours of sleep over the first two weeks …but now I am consistently sleeping 2 to 3.5 hours with 37 to 61 % SE, except for one night where I slept 5 hours. Thanks so much.

  • Sleepio Member

    • 1692 comments
    • 339 helped
    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Graduate

    Hi Sleepless Cook,

    I am a Sleepio member. The experts don't seem to follow this thread now as there is a live expert session on Wednesdays. You'll find the link across the middle of the community page. Today's session is likely over now so I'll attempt to answer your question.

    First of all, good for you for getting through your first week of SR! It's a tough one. It is very common for one's sleep to take a downturn initially when doing this program and for sure during SR, as you are restricting your time in bed. So whereas before you might have had a greater total number of hours sleep, now that you are restricting the time in bed, it takes a while for you to start sleeping for the duration of your SW. So please don't throw in the towel. Just hang in there. It will get better! For some, they notice improvements within the first few weeks and for others it takes longer. It depends on so many individual factors, such as how long you've had sleep problems for and what led to the sleep problems in the first place. As you continue through the program, you'll find out about a range of strategies to help your sleep to improve, in addition to SR and QHR.

    If you have any more questions, feel free to post them here or on “how did you sleep last night?” as that thread seems to be a popular one and you'll be able to read how others are managing.

    Best of luck!
    anniem

  • Sleepio Member

    • 305 comments
    • 19 helped
    Administrator

    Please note that this discussion is no longer active. You can however still ask one of our experts for advice in the Q&A session which now happens weekly on the Sleepio Community.

    To access the next session, just locate the yellow banner announcing the session on the Community homepage, then click on the 'Vote on topics' button. You'll be taken straight to the discussion where you can add your questions as comments.

    For any further questions about this, do feel free to get in touch with the Sleepio team via email to hello@sleepio.com.

  • Sleepio Member

    • 6 comments
    • 0 helped
    Session 2

    Hi all,
    I never had sleeping problems neither anxiety.
    1 month ago after 2 weeks of bad sleeping due to stomach pain and axiety due to worry to be sick I lost the ability to fall asleep. I mean that I can't sleep day and night. I started to go see neurologist who gave me midazolam and xanax.
    Now I stopped Xanax ( horrible effects) and I continue midazolam that gave me 3-4 h of sleep at night…
    Is my case rare? How to go out of it? Please any advice and similar cases will help…

  • Sleepio Member

    • 5 comments
    • 0 helped
    Graduate

    I hope I am posting this in the right place?

    I did my first night of sleep restriction last night!!! 1am – 6am and I got 2 hours sleep. Obviously feel lousy today. I really want to give this my best shot and for it to work but I am getting into a bit of a panic.

    I seem to have some kind of phobia about getting up at set times or with setting alarms. It really made things worse for me last night. I think the rot set in when I started having sleep problems over 20 years ago and used to clock watch and panic about getting up for work. If I don't have to get up or set an alarm I don't have the anxiety. It sound so stupid and I know it is irrational I don't know how to get rid of this thinking.

    My worry is that in the past when I have gone down to this amount of sleep over a period of time I have ended up having a psychotic episode and it wasn't very pleasant.

    Has anyone else experienced this? How do I overcome this.

    Thank you in advance

  • Sleepio Member

    • 25 comments
    • 4 helped
    Graduate

    i keep waking up with adrenaline after 1.5-2 hours and can't get back to sleep. How long can this go on for until my body lets me sleep more?

  • Sleepio Member

    • 25 comments
    • 4 helped
    Graduate

    Hi again, The professor has given me a window of 6 hours but I only sleep 2-3 this week. My average is 4 over the last few weeks. Shouldn't my windiw be 4 hours? Thanks, Rebecca

  • Sleepio Member

    • 27 comments
    • 2 helped
    Graduate

    My only question is will there be anything in the library about ADHD and poor sleep? I was diagnosed as hyperactive when I was six. And I believe I still have it.

  • Sleepio Member

    • 1 comments
    • 0 helped
    Session 2

    Hello,

    I just wanted to ask – I can sleep through the night maybe wake up once or twice but then can fall back asleep however when I wake up in the morning and throughout the day I feel so tired, I feel constantly drained and no energy to do anything. I sometimes feel that my brain doesn't switch off, I always have werid dreams and always have something on my mind – either work worries or stress.

    I do feel sometimes though that I can sleep for a long time (over weekends no alarm for work and I just naturally wake up) but this sometimes makes me feel worse thorughout the day, still drained, feel tired, sometimes fall asleep on the sofa, don't feel energised or happy – is there such a thing as over sleeping? Should I be setting an alarm to wake me up? Is waking up naturally good? I just want to feel good in the morning and feel like I have got the rest that I needed.

    Please help – any suggestions or comments welcome would love to hear them.

    Thank you,

    Pippa

  • Sleepio Member

    • 2 comments
    • 0 helped
    Graduate

    I am a68 year-old retired teacher who has been battling chronic insomnia for 13 years. I have PTSD and thus was placed on all types of meds, primarily for sleep. Currently on 150 mg. Seroquel, 1100 mg . gabapentin, 10 mg. valium and 15 mg. remeron for sleep, all of which do not help me. I've been on these particular meds for two years. My question is will Sleepio cover a section on how to wean off meds if I succeed on improved sleep with this course? My two docs haven't a clue as to how I'm to wean. Also, is it possible to succeed on this program while still being on these meds? thank you. Mr. Jody Chaney

  • Sleepio Member

    • 2 comments
    • 0 helped
    Graduate

    Also, I sleep 3-4 hours, five days a week and 6-7 the remaining two due to utter exhaustion.

  • Sleepio Member

    • 1 comments
    • 0 helped
    Session 5

    I have a problem waking up during middle of night, than lots of tossing and turning. No problem going to sleep, it is waking up midnight. Any advise?

  • Sleepio Member

    • 7 comments
    • 0 helped
    Session 4

    Is tea classed as caffeine? I don't drink coffee after 6pm but I do drink tea. I know tea contains some caffeine but should I class it as caffeine for my sleep diary?

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