Live Discussion with Dr Audrey Espie - 16th October

Dr Espie will be hosting a live online discussion here on Wednesday 16th October 7pm-8pm BST.

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.

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Posted 10 Oct 2013 at 3:18 PM
  • 38 comments
  • 5 helped

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  • Sleepio Member

    • 243 comments
    • 50 helped
    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Session 3

    Hi Elf, thanks for your question – but as I've only just seen it, thanks also to Angief for answering so promptly!
    Its encouraging that you are trying so hard to stick to your SW but from what you are saying you are only getting around 2-3 hours sleep. As Angief indicated, the intention is not to make you so worried about sticking to this pattern (12-6) that it becomes counter-productive. It does sound as if you are becoming quite worried during the night. If you can try to stick to the 6 hours but find a window that causes less anxiety for you then that may be the best solution for you at the moment. As Angief also said, once you are maximising your sleep efficiency (at least 90%) within that window then its time to add 15 minutes or so on each week. Good luck and remember if you still feel worried the cognitive techniques are there to help you to deal with some of your thoughts.

  • Sleepio Member

    • 243 comments
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    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Session 3

    Hi Sharon, good question thanks. It was actually really encouraging to read that you had already considered some of the Sleepio tools that you have learned to solve the problem. A brief answer would be yes and yes! However, I'll take a bit longer and detail. As you know, the most restorative sleep is generally in the early part of the night. If you are lying in perhaps its proving to feel less restorative, you're more aware of increased light sleep. I know its hard to consider, particularly if you have struggled to sleep for a number of years but too much sleep is also not beneficial in cases. I would do exactly as you suggest, try to stick to a fixed rising time (even on days off) and if you feel more refreshed then introduce longer lies in 15 minute increments. You mention stress too, I don't think we should underestimate the impact of external pressures on our sleep quality. I think 'putting the day to rest' can be helpful in these situations. Go back to that 'toolbox' and consider what you found most helpful when you commenced the course. Hope this helps.

  • Sleepio Member

    • 1692 comments
    • 341 helped
    Graduate

    Hi Dr Epsie,
    Just joined in. Looking forward to your answers.
    Angie

  • Sleepio Member

    • 243 comments
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    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Session 3

    HI corlynzz, the first thing that springs to mind is how significant is this change? You mention that it has been the past week or so and you had a particularly bad night last night – could there be another possible explanation e.g. a change in circumstances, pressures at home? As Angief commented (feels like a team effort tonight Angief!) good sleepers do have poor nights too but they accept them simply because those types of nights are a minority for them. I can understand you worry but it is important not to catastrophize as that will only make you feel worse and likely make the situation worse. It may help to ask yourself, how many bad nights is that actually in proportion to your recent good nights.
    I think it helps sometimes to regard the programme a bit like for example starting an exercise class to get fit. If you found you felt fit after 12 weeks would you then stop attending the class or if you did, would you at least try to keep up an exercise regime of some sort? Try to view the programme as a resource where you can dip in and out as necessary, so you might want to try some of the techniques again but I would avoid returning to Session 3 unless the situation does not improve over the next week or so.

  • Sleepio Member

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    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Session 3

    Hi adrastea, I think the issue for you is that your chosen activity involves closing your eyes, lying down, dark room etc. What I would suggest is that those types of activities are more beneficial in bed. When you rise, you should sit in an upright position, don't undertake an overly arousing activity and have some light in the room. That way, when you feel sleepy tired you can return quickly to bed before you fall asleep. Please let me know how you get on?

  • Sleepio Member

    • 243 comments
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    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Session 3

    So glad you're here!

  • Sleepio Member

    • 1692 comments
    • 341 helped
    Graduate

    LOL I think it's just us tonight! I like your analogy to the exercise program. I think I'll use that one.

  • Sleepio Member

    • 215 comments
    • 35 helped
    Graduate

    naw! I'm here, just 'listening' in

  • Sleepio Member

    • 1692 comments
    • 341 helped
    Graduate

    Hi PS!

  • Sleepio Member

    • 9 comments
    • 0 helped
    Graduate

    So am I!

  • Sleepio Member

    • 1692 comments
    • 341 helped
    Graduate

    Hi JacC!

  • Sleepio Member

    • 243 comments
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    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Session 3

    Hi JacC, congratulations, you are actually doing really well. If you think of it as you trying to shift your biological clock a bit and your body initially resisting, change does take time. Some people settle into an improved pattern by the end of the programme, others take much longer. It depends on numerous factors, not least of all the severity and duration of your sleep difficulties. Can I make a few suggestions for those days when you are experiencing what you described as 'jet lag?' It is difficult following the sleep restriction but it is a very effective part of the programme. You may benefit first of all from going outside in the daytime if you can – even if wet – in order to impact upon your melatonin levels. It would also be helpful to have a caffeinated drink, provided it is not too late in the day or to undertake some light exercise – even climbing the stairs several times. If the feeling of sleepiness is still overpowering, a very brief nap if circumstances allow might help – but please still try to stick to your SR programme.

  • Sleepio Member

    • 243 comments
    • 50 helped
    Session 3

    That's great you are all here! I think I'll answer the last question although its past 8. If you have to go, thanks fro joining me anyway.

  • Sleepio Member

    • 9 comments
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    Graduate

    I will stick to SR as I don't want to go back to how my sleeping was – ive had sleep problems since working shifts 25 years ago. Your explanation makes a lot of sense. Thanks.

  • Sleepio Member

    • 243 comments
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    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Session 3

    Hi Pierrette, It sounds as if you are still following your SR? If you feel your sleep quality is good, as you seemed to indicate, then extend your window. If it proves to make the situation worse then simply return to your suggested schedule. Are you in a position to sleep as late as you can? It may be better if you still restricted your rising time to some degree, just to avoid the possibility of your schedule becoming erratic.

  • Sleepio Member

    • 1692 comments
    • 341 helped
    Graduate

    Thanks Dr Epsie! Gotta go now. Bye.

  • Sleepio Member

    • 243 comments
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    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Session 3

    Glad it was helpful JacC. Given the history of your difficulties, your achievement is even more impressive. Yes I think sticking to your SR is the best option just now.

  • Sleepio Member

    • 243 comments
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    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Session 3

    Bye and thanks again!

  • Sleepio Member

    • 243 comments
    • 50 helped
    Session 3

    Good night everyone and thanks for joining me.

  • Sleepio Member

    • 62 comments
    • 8 helped
    Graduate

    Dr Espie,
    Thanks for support.

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