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
  • 80 comments
  • 12 helped

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  • Sleepio Member

    • 2 comments
    • 0 helped
    Session 5

    Hi. I'm interested in any research on the relationship between whiplash injury and insomnia.
    Thank you.

  • Sleepio Member

    • 3 comments
    • 0 helped
    Graduate

    I've recorded 5 weeks of sleep and listened to 6 presentations. At some point does this program address sleeping meds? I've been to 5 board certified sleep specialists and all 5 have told me my insomnia is genetic. They also tell me that my body clears drugs, toxins, etc very quickly (spit test). I take meds 3-4 times a night to get one night's sleep… and I take 6 different prescriptions. I'd really like to get off or reduce this stuff, but I've been taking meds for 15+ years now.

  • Sleepio Member

    • 1 comments
    • 0 helped
    Graduate

    Since the latest update, my app crashes and won't open again unless I delete, then reinstall. Then I happens again. Anybody else having this problem? Thanks

  • Sleepio Member

    • 49 comments
    • 2 helped
    Graduate

    Hi I could really do with some advice. Im about the start week 5, but Ihave hit a few problems.
    At the start of week 4, for the first few days I was on such a role, doing really well. I hadn't found week 3 too bad and my SE was high.
    But then I started to get a few doubts about getting off to sleep. That evening a family member woke me as they coulnt get into the house. They have woken me before , and once when I was on a +9timechange..This family member is lovely and kind and normally so thoughtful. But the next morning had a go at me about a few domectic issues. Im now feeling so let down and angry, which is unusual for me. I cant switch off at all. I will have a rational conversation with her. But I now feel so out ouf control with my sleep I took a sleeping tablet pill which I hate doing. Im due to see the prof today to start week 5, but might delay it. Any advice would be really nice. Thank you so much.

    Reply

  • Sleepio Member

    • 118 comments
    • 41 helped
    Graduate

    I've just realised that this (Ask the sleep expert) is a very old topic that has somehow opened again recently so I'm not sure that any of the more recent posts will be seen by an expert. I think it has been replaced by the weekly sessions – but I may well be wrong.

  • Sleepio Member

    • 5 comments
    • 2 helped
    Graduate

    I have been struggling with insomnia for the last 8 months and have been with sleepio for the last 4 months. My issue seems to be that no matter how little sleep I get I'm not sleepy, exhausted but not sleepy. I have to work very hard to get sleepy in the evening so that I can fall asleep. Why is this happening and does anyone else have this issue?

  • Sleepio Member

    • 49 comments
    • 2 helped
    In reply to a deleted comment
    Graduate

    Thank CJ. I think youre right. Im normally a positive person, I guess. Im just desparate for this towork. My apologise Im using my daughters old computer which keep jumping and is very old tech. I really appreciate your advice.

  • Sleepio Member

    • 153 comments
    • 62 helped
    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Graduate

    Hello Weathers Good advice from CJ. We have all gone through ups and downs with Sleepio. Elation when you get a decent sleep only to be dashed down again by a early awakenings or not sleeping till dawn the next night. Try not to dwell on the bad nights. Put them out of your mind and move one. TAke one day at a time. Think of any night when the programme did seem to be working for you, tell yourself 'I know I can do it' because it worked then and try to build on that.

    We are all desperate for Sleepio to work. It is the ' last chance saloon' for many of us so you are not alone in your spells of despaeration amd despair. Remember, though, that many others who have been in the same bad place have managed to achieve improved sleep. Maybe not the 8 hours unbroken sleep as soon as our head hits the pillow that most of us yearn for, but better than we were getting before. So you will get there in the end if you persevere.

  • Sleepio Member

    • 2 comments
    • 0 helped
    Graduate

    Hello, I am on my first week of the sleep diary. My dr recommended that I take melatonin at night for sleep. Is it correct that I should continue using the melatonin while keeping a sleep diary or should I stop to get a more accurate record?

  • Sleepio Member

    • 49 comments
    • 2 helped
    Graduate

    I still feel anxious about falling alseep. I mediate before going to bed, but as soon as Im in bed, my heart races. I do breathing techniques , which help….any other advice from anyone who has conquered this please.

  • Sleepio Member

    • 105 comments
    • 28 helped
    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Graduate

    Hi Weathers – it is so annoying isn't it, the thumping heart?! At present mine has been behaving itself – the meditation is really working for me, and I also do a 'sit' meditation where I am focusing on my breath.

    The only other thing that I can suggest from my own experience is using the Pro-Relax and / or the Paradoxical thinking (trying to stay awake!). Both of these have helped me up to a point. I did/do eventually manage to calm down, but it can be a struggle!

  • Sleepio Member

    • 49 comments
    • 2 helped
    Graduate

    Cheers again, it's great getting tips from fellow Sleepios. Will be more vigilant with the meditation and remember the paradoxical thinking, as that did help. I guess St about lining all your sleepy ducks before you fall int bed! Thank you

  • Sleepio Member

    • 2 comments
    • 0 helped
    Session 3

    I wonder if anyone has hit on the topic of blue light and how it can cause your brain to be stimulated? My research shows that the light emitted from a cell phone, tablet, TV or computer monitor contains the spectrum of light including blue light.

    Each colour has a different wavelength with red being a long wave of light and blue light being a very short wave of light. Because it is a shorter wave, it causes the brain to be stimulated and can be counterproductive when one is trying to sleep. People who are on their phones or tablets with them in their bedroom can be self-sabotaging. Those 22 games of solitaire you just played in order to relax are doing just the opposite. Just as you're trying to unwind and relax, you're staring into a device which is throwing stimulating waves of light into your eye, causing you to not relax.

    All my devices have some kind of blue light filter which vastly decreases the blue light emitted. One program called F.lux (https://justgetflux.com/) has helped me when on my computer late at night. This program will determine your location on the planet and will calculate when the sun sets and rises. As evening arrives, the program automatically starts to drain the blue light from the monitor until the sun is set and it is dark outside. This will be the maximum removal of blue light. They have a version for both Windows and Mac. As the sun comes up (should you still be awake at this time), it begins to allow more blue light into the monitor.

    There are many products available for Android and I expect Apple. It is a matter of finding the one that works for you and allows you to control the ap.

    I remember a time (ok, I've been around the Sun many times) when we had a pink telephone attached to the wall and when you dialed a number, you literally had to dial the number on a rotary phone. At night, we didn't unplug the phone and plug it into a bedroom plug, it stayed right where it is. If someone called at 2 am, we would hear the phone ring and we would go answer it. I think too many people have too many electronic devices in their places of sleep that can interfere with their sleep.

    I keep my devices out of my bedroom for a reason. It's my place of sleep. I have my phone set to “Do-Not-Disturb” after 10pm and my friends know that. Only those on my Emergency list can get through. In my house, my devices charge in the living room and if there is an emergency, I can hear the ringing from my bedroom. There are no dings when text messages or e-mails come in. I get to them when I am awake in the morning (or afternoon). On a typical night, I get ZERO emergency calls and the texts/emails I receive are of no urgency so I don't have to respond.

    Alarm clocks are quite reasonably priced at the local department store. Some even have dual alarms where two people can set two different times to wake up. I have an alarm clock in my bedroom which I can set to wake me up when I need to get up. It's very reliable.

    We've been conditioned just like Pavlov's Dog to immediately start processing once we hear that “ding” from our phones. “Who is that?” “What do they want?” “I should go look in case it's important.” With the device not making any noise, your brain doesn't come to life and allows you to sleep.

    Sorry for the length of this post but I just wanted to share some topics with you.

  • Sleepio Member

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

    HI, I'd be interested in seeing what responses you got, Meg, somehow I'm seeing a list of comments and queries, but not the replies.
    I too have had a couple of whiplash injuries in the past, also a concussion, and I once read quite by chance in a book by Rudolph Steiner that if there had ever been a loss of consciousness then the person will always be on guard against that happening again, so will never really switch off. (that's a very vague paraphrase!) No-one has ever confirmed this – but certainly my insomnia started around that time. So I'd say a whiplash could have a similar effect – if the neck can't relax – something about the phrenic nerve, if that isn't functioning right – again I'm a bit vague, something from a Yoga workshop years ago, again unconfirmed by anyone in the medical field. I have arthritis in my neck, ALWAYS have neck pain when I'm sitting, driving etc. I have to keep moving my head, it must be so irritating for anyone in a theatre/cinema behind me. If I haven't moved it for a few minutes, I have to move it and get a big 'click'!
    Let me know if this is of any help.

  • Sleepio Member

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

    Hi again Meg, If you get any responses to your question about research into Whiplash and insomnia, I'd be very grateful if you'd pass them on to me. Thanks!

  • Sleepio Member

    • 31 comments
    • 3 helped
    Graduate

    I am usually left with a banging headache when I have not slept or when I only get 3 hours or so. Clearly not sleeping is doing me no good at all. In addition, I'd like to know how other people get on logging time asleep/awake etc in order to complete the sleep diary. Once I check the clock, that's usually the end of any sleep I get. I really don't like having a clock in the bedroom anyway.

  • Sleepio Member

    • 118 comments
    • 41 helped
    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Graduate

    Hello noddy. Tiredness headaches are common and there is an old discussion group on this where, if you scroll through the posts, you may find some suggestions.

    Clock watching is not necessary nor advised for the sleep diary. All you need to do is estimate your time taken to go to sleep and total time awake in the night. You get used to getting a feel for the length of time awake but it really only needs to be an estimate.

    Over the next few weeks prof will give you a variety of tools and techniques to help with aspects of the course and hopefully your sleep will start to improve. Weeks 3 and 4 are tough so try to keep you diary as free as possible but it is in these weeks that your brain is being re-trained to sleep for most of the time you are in bed.

    All the best and stay positive. Lindsay

  • Sleepio Member

    • 31 comments
    • 3 helped
    Graduate

    If I estimate the times I could be giving a totally incorrect picture. Sometimes I think it's about 3am and it's only 12.30am. Can you be more specific as to where or when the post concerning headaches is posted. I know I'm tired and not seeing clearly but I can't find it.

  • Sleepio Member

    • 31 comments
    • 3 helped
    Graduate

    If I estimate the times I could be giving a totally incorrect picture. Sometimes I think it's about 3am and it's only 12.30am. Can you be more specific as to where or when the post concerning headaches is posted. I know I'm tired and not seeing clearly but I can't find it.

  • Sleepio Member

    • 118 comments
    • 41 helped
    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Graduate

    Hi noddy. Other than using a tracker you will have to estimate your times. This is Sleepio's advice on this:

    https://www.sleepio.com/library/article/how-accurate-does-my-sleep-diary-need-to-be/

    This is the old community discussion on tiredness headaches:
    https://www.sleepio.com/community/discussion/dealing-with-tiredness-headaches/

    Bear in mind that if you want to respond to anyone just check the date of their post as they may no longer be active on Sleepio.

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