Live Discussion with Dr Audrey Espie - 29th February

Dr Audrey Espie will be hosting a live online discussion here on Wednesday 29th February 7pm-8pm.

She will discuss as many topics as possible in the hour, starting with the most popular questions with answers being given in a way to give the most benefit to the general Community.

To have a say in what questions get answered, either: – post a question or comment ahead of the discussion, by clicking the blue 'Comment' link below this message; or – vote on other people's questions, by clicking the blue 'Yes' button to the right of the relevant comment.

To keep up with new comments as they are posted you will need to 'refresh' this discussion page.

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Posted 24 Feb 2012 at 10:19 AM
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  • Sleepio Member

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    Graduate

    So you think this is perfectly normal at this point in the course?

  • Sleepio Member

    • 95 comments
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    Graduate

    Good Night All….Stick with it…

  • Sleepio Member

    • 47 comments
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    Graduate

    Goodbye Doctor, and thanks.

  • Sleepio Member

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    Graduate

    Thanks tiredeyes, I found your comment very reassuring.

  • Sleepio Member

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    Graduate

    Thanks Dr Espie, and everyone. Sleep well

  • Sleepio Member

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    Graduate

    Sleep tight everyone!

  • Sleepio Member

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    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Graduate

    I don't think there is any such thing as 'normal' when it comes to sleep! If you stick to it, and apply as many of the 'rules' as possible then I am convinced that it will improve for you. :)

  • Sleepio Member

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    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Graduate

    I so hope you're right. I am determined to complete the course the best I can, but as others have said the QHR is very hard to get to grips with, especially with only an hour or so til time to get up. I haven't gone back to bed after getting up after 4am, but I still can't see how being awake in the living room and being awake in my warm cozy bed can make any difference to me.

  • Sleepio Member

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    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Graduate

    Hello Doctor and laureloakwood,

    my experience of working in mental health for five years and helping to support adults suffering from severe mental illness and their families in the community, and through my personal experience with the 'medical model' and it's bias towards the use of prescription medicines over 'talking therapy's,' with which the medical establisment has held a long standing dim view, considering them to be 'merely' a complimentary form of medicine in general, I have found that so called 'sleeping pills' and other psycho-dynamic medicines have been in widespread use, regardless of the intention for them to be to be used only in the short term!
    And even though my GP and other Doctors had stated that this would be the case for me personally to help me to cope with the stress of my insomnia with which I had been suffering for some months back then, what actually happened was ( as I am sure you will be aware, along with your collegues, and our fellow Sleepio members, has all too often been the case for patients in the UK) I ended up becoming physically dependant upon stronger and stronger medicines to treat the symptoms of my problem, rarther than having my actual problem treated! Which was for me a physical one at the time, as I was suffering severe insomnia caused by a Hyatus Hernia giving me very painfull and disturbing acid reflux virtually all day and night, from which I could get no natural rest, and as time went on my body became 'tollerant' of prescribed levels of one medicine or another.
    This was a worrying and very frustrating experience in it self of course, as I wondered what was in store for my future and particularly so as I knew that the cause of my problem was physical and not psychological and not wanting to have any unessessary medicines and their side effects in my system.

    It has only been my willpower and belief in self-determination to not allow myself to be simply 'sedated' with medicines, and not to have my natural need for rest, work, good heath and non-dependancy on psychodynamic medicines discounted, that enabled me to fight with the help of two firms of solicitors in the end, for a period of four years of my life to get the psychological and emotional help in the form of residential psychotherapy (which I found myself!) that I needed by then, firstly, due to the immense stress of my insomnia and life pattern and relationship/ social life hurting physical ill-heath, (I had been told by my GP, who, even though he was very simpathethic and supportive towards my good heath, that I would not be able to get surgury through the NHS, which would have been my only option, as it was such a major operation at that time, that only people who were suffering the risk of actual death through the severity of their symptoms could get symptom relieving surgury, and so I would unfortunatly have to learn to live with it!) that I was able to get this necessary support in place, for myself, and while I was there I was able to begin to 'wean' myself off Olanzapene (prescribed for it's restful properties in my case and not for treating psychosis, I was reassured), Nitrazapam and Zopiclone. Which I did, along with having to work off five stones of excess body weight caused by the Olanzapene.

    It was then a further two years of working to find a simpathetic surgeon who could by that time offer me gastric reflux surgury (a newly available keyhole operation, which was far less major and with far fewer risks) I have not needed to take any of the, frankly enormous, amount of medicine I had been taking every day and night for eight years, to help me to relieve the burning of acid reflux since that time, around three years ago, thank goodness!

    I've not been able to gain my 'normal' healthy sleep quality and duration again thus far, though I had dearly hoped I would have, by now. I have not had a restful nights sleep in around fourteen years,

    Please forgive my long response on the subject of 'sleeping pill' prescription, and my personal experience with them if it is in anyway unhelpful. I don't use other social media, and I don't feel very proficient presently, so I do hope you receive this. I do realise that some of my sadness and frustration with my long standing insomnia and the distinct lact of support available for sufferers over the years has spilled out in my response. I hope that by sharing some detail of what I have gone through over the years that you or another member of Sleepio might benefit or be encouraged by it in some way. As I choose to believe that I can sleep well again, and I will stick with it until I make it happen.

    I'd like to add my appreciation for everyone involved in Sleepio from the beginning to the way it is running now. I have felt inspired and hopeful since I watched the TV documentary a few months ago, and I feel more encouraged as I am progressing through the online sleep course. I am very glad that I found you all and I wish us all the very greatest success. I hope to see complete government funding for those of us who need help and can benefit from Sleepio, the online Sleepio course, or any other way that Sleepio might give treatment or therapy in the future!

    Sincerely,

    Henry

  • Sleepio Member

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    Graduate

    Hi Laureloakwood,

    please find my response (above, marked 3:05am) to your comment at 7:20pm around sleeping pill prescription, as it was intended for you as well as Dr Espie.

    And I'd like to say that, I agree with you wholeheartedly about the need for there to be much greater awareness across the population around sleep problems. I think that the best way to achieve this presently is most proberbly by/ through Sleepio staff/ organisation, in which ever way they can afford to publicise their success in helping sufferers of insomnia to the people in government, public health and edjucation who can help both spread the word, and ideally, I think, to get Sleepio courses etc, available with complete NHS / government funding.
    And for us to personally recommend it to our own GP's and friends/ family/ contacts too.
    I've begun to do this, and have so far recommended it to my nephew, and to several people that I know that work in psychotherapy, councelling and other roles within mental heath.

    One problem that I know we are up against, is that the very excellent wholelistic CBT / psychotherputic understanding and knowledge of insomnia and how to help people to overcome it, without the need of using drugs, comes within the area of mental health and the funding which that part of heath receives as far as public money for such initiatives as public awareness campaigns and GP training, And as mental health has been for many years very poorly funded, which is a scandal in my view, considering the ill-effects that mental ill-health has upon individuals, families and society as a whole in the long term, it has been given a low priority by successive governments,
    Frustratingly for myself, even though I have friends who work in mental health, the first time I heard about help from Sleepio was around two months ago in the documentary on insomnia with which Professor Espie appeared

  • Sleepio Member

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    Graduate

    but at least I have finally found some intellegent, well intergrated and well organised help
    hey what? How long have you been involved with Sleepio? And how did you hear about it Laureloakwood?

    Sorry if I have been rambling somewhat this evening, it's induced by my insomnia presently. I hope you are resting well now,

    Kind regards,

    Henry

  • Sleepio Member

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    Graduate

    Henry,
    Thanks so much for sharing this. You obviously have great determiation and will power. You also seem to have a really good understanding of yourself as well. I do hope you will find Sleepio as useful as I have done. Tracking myself and reporting here on a daily basis has strengthened my knowledge of what I find difficult and how I can get around those problem. I and many others here are pretty well back on track with our sleeping needs, or if not know what we can do about it.

    Best of luck on your journey back to restful sleep.

    Suella

  • Sleepio Member

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    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Graduate

    Hi Henry I agree with Suella and I hope, like me, you keep learning and browsing the discussions. It took me a little bit of time to realise just how much is available at Sleepio so now I make sure I spend a bit of time each day keeping to the programme and going through the website. Thanks again.

  • Sleepio Member

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    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Graduate

    Hi Suella,

    thank you very much for your kind words of encouragement, and for helping me feel that what I shared here was valid. I too hope that I shall find Sleepio as useful as you have done. And I'm glad to hear that your sleeping needs are pretty much back on track now.
    Do you report back daily on this part of the community section, or is it within the general chat maybe? And how did you come to hear about Sleepio? And how long have you been involved for now?

    Kind regards,

    Henry

  • Sleepio Member

    • 287 comments
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    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Graduate

    Hi Goldie,

    thank you very much too for your encouragement. And I can relate with finding that there is a great deal of help and support here on the site. I'm finding it a lot to take in at the moment frankly, I think partly because I have spent so many years coping the best I can, on my own so far! I am seriously impressed by Sleepio's support and ideas.

    Please let me know for how long you have known about Sleepio, have been involved, and where you heard about it. And if you usually read and respond to others in the general chat section too please?

    Kind regards,

    Henry

  • Sleepio Member

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    Graduate

    Hi Henry I am increasingly connecting to the discussions. I have asked Sleepio to produce a Sleepio for Dummies guide as I have had to learn as I went along. I first came across it when there was a cd given away in the Guardian and my partner also saw something about it on TV. I was impressed by the legit nature of the programme and the connection to Glasgow University.

    My insomnia spans decades and over the years I had tried may things some of which are included in Sleepio, but I had never done them all at once and particularly not had the courage to try sleep restriction which you will be at now I think.

    I then realised that there was much more support available on the discussions than I had first realised and that I could click the follow the discussion tab at the top of each discussion and that would save me trawling through the posts to see if something new had been put on. This means I get emails on the topics every time someone posts. Excuse me if I am teaching my grandfather to suck eggs but I think it is a very important part of the programme and also lets the new people scroll through old posts to see the kind of joys and sorrows that others have met along the way.

    I have also suggested that if the programme is not kept available to graduates on a permanent basis then I would be prepared to take out a subscription because I don't believe that on my own I will mange well if I have set backs.

    Hope this helps Henry and do keep posting and exploring. All the best!

  • Sleepio Member

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    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Graduate

    Hi Goldie,

    I would also like to help to make Sleepio's website and sleep course more user friendly and so more inclusive to all-comers, with what energy I have presently, suffering such poor sleep quality. And in particular, to give more feedback to Sleepio and be more supportive to other members here. I look forward to feeling more able to do this as time goes on, as I think it is a very worth while thing to be involved in.

    (more to follow)

  • Sleepio Member

    • 287 comments
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    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Graduate

    Thank you for getting back to me with your experiences, and for helping to encourage me to take part in the discussion's here.

    I was impressed by the legit and authentic nature of Sleepio support and the uni/ sleep centre connection, as I watched the TV documentary in November 2011, and in particular with how Professor Espie came over.
    It took a number of weeks for me to take on board the fact that there was finally some proper help that I could get with my long term insomnia, before I finally began the online sleep course. In fact I'm still coming to terms with it…

  • Sleepio Member

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    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Graduate

    now! So consciquently I am presently daring to hope that I can make it work for myself.

    I have been wondering what will be available to me whithin Sleepio when (hopefully) I graduate, and empathize with you around how I will manage setbacks/ issues if the Sleepio online course 'structure' and contract, is not there to support me. So I think what you have mentioned is a very valid thing to be considered. And I also believe that it is possible for us to have some sort of 'support contract' in place here on Sleepio, amongst other things, for us to remain part of indefinately, for those who would wish it.
    I'm not clear in my head presently, about the detail of such a contract, but believe it is possible due to my experience in psychotherapy training and that I remain a member of a residential psychotheraputic community and within such a contract indefinately, even though I left the community around 3 years ago!
    I would be glad to share my knowledge and experience of such contracts here for their mutually beneficial advantages in the future, if it would be welcomed by members and staff alike. And actually Goldie, I would not be supprised if Sleepio is already implimenting or planning to impliment such support here.

    Would you welcome something along the lines that I've mentioned for yourself?

    I think something might come out of this, so keep the faith, hey what?

    kind regards,

    Henry

  • Sleepio Member

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    Graduate

    I have just had a reply from Rosie saying only six weeks after I signed up – see it in bugs etc post – disappointing.

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