Live Discussion with Dr Audrey Espie - 19th June

Dr Espie will be hosting a live online discussion here on Wednesday 19th June 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.

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Posted 13 Jun 2013 at 1:00 PM
  • 29 comments
  • 6 helped

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  • Sleepio Member

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

    Hi Polly Sleep cross fingers it works out well for you when the old triggers come up

  • Sleepio Member

    • 215 comments
    • 35 helped
    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Graduate

    Thanks valkaye – friends coming to stay weekend after next, so I'll report back!

  • Sleepio Member

    • 243 comments
    • 50 helped
    Session 3

    Hi Minnie, thanks for posting. If I can explain a bit more, the principles behind CBT involve challenging some of your cognitions and replacing these with more adaptive/helpful ways of thinking in particular situations. Acknowledging that for you poor sleep does affect your mood is fine and we know that there is a relationship between the two. What the techniques are suggesting is that you try to avoid these thought becoming ‘catastrophic’ and thus having an even greater impact on your sleep quality. Perhaps you would find it more helpful to reframe your thoughts in a different way? For example, rather than anticipating a very low mood after a poor nights sleep perhaps you can remind yourself that you may have a dip in mood but that there will be times in the day when it won’t be so bad? You may even find it helpful to record your feelings throughout that day for comparison later? You will learn more about some of these cognitive strategies as you progress through the course. As with anything new, the techniques require practice and time to work, but you will have the support of the Sleepio team and of course the Graduates who have had experiences like yours too. Good luck!

  • Sleepio Member

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    Session 3

    Hi HarryBear, I bet there are a number of graduates out there who will acknowledge that the QHR was one of the most difficult aspects of the programme but one of the most rewarding when they mastered it! You expressed concern that you feel you have trained yourself to sleep on the sofa. I wonder whether your sofa is just too comfortable? Is it just too easy to remain there? Some people find it helpful when they rise to sit somewhere relaxing but where they would not be able to fall asleep and remain comfortable for too long. Would it be worth you changing your strategy and finding somewhere else to sit until you feel sleepy?

  • Sleepio Member

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

    Hello minnie. Dr Espie's advice is good. When my sleep was really bad I remember having very marked dips in mood after several very bad nights. It was really different from any other low times eg when something sad was actually happening and had a mildly paranoid flavour to it, so I could usually recognise it for what it was. The best way I found to deal with that was to mentally label it as a sleep mood, and tell myself it would go away after I had had some sleep. In fact by the time the mood happened I was in such a sleep debt that I would usually sleep more the next night so it actually usually turned out to be true that it would go away.

  • Sleepio Member

    • 74 comments
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    Graduate

    Since posting the comment I have tried a chair. It works a bit better however the real issue is that having got to the sleepy stage when I go back to bed I seem to wake up again and sleep eludes me.

  • Sleepio Member

    • 243 comments
    • 50 helped
    Session 3

    Hi valkaye, we havent spoken in a while! It sounds to me as if you know what the maintaining factors are for some sleepless nights. You are aware that although alcohol may result in reduced time to fall asleep it can lead to less restorative sleep and early morning wakening. In addition, I think you are trying to control some of the more negative aspects of thinking by refusing to let concerns about your sleep dominate. I often find it helpful to suggest that people consider how long they have experienced a problem and therefore how long they think it would take to remedy.

  • Sleepio Member

    • 215 comments
    • 35 helped
    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Graduate

    Hi Minnie. My experience of serious sleep deprivation was a whole state of being that sometimes felt a bit like being slightly ill. My mood would vary but often at work I was pretty low, but learned to manage and keep reminding myself I could still work from that place, which turned out always to be true. After work sometimes it was hard to bear driving home and when I got home was often so depleted it was hard to do anything much. Life became very 2D for a while, especially when naps were off the agenda, doing sleepio, tho I did learn to have quite effective 10 minute naps when I absolutely had to!

  • Sleepio Member

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

    Good point Dr Espie about the duration of the problem. I have had sleep problems for over 30 years so perhaps expecting too much that it gets totally sorted out in a few months!

  • Sleepio Member

    • 243 comments
    • 50 helped
    Session 3

    Hi funkymonkey and welcome to Sleepio. As you have just commenced the course I hope you will find some answers to your questions as you progress through the sessions. it seems that although your diary is recording a sleep efficiency of 89% you feel that you experience sleep which is not as refreshing as your partner. Is your partner aware of you waking up? Do they report you snoring or moving around or excessive restlessness? While there may be an issue of quality of sleep versus quantity, waking up to 10 times per night must also be having a significant impact. Data from your diary will help to establish where the problems lie and you will be taught techniques to try to combat the problem areas.

  • Sleepio Member

    • 243 comments
    • 50 helped
    Session 3

    valkaye I think you're on the right track. I suspect the cognitive strategies are most effective for you so I would keep going.

  • Sleepio Member

    • 243 comments
    • 50 helped
    Session 3

    Hi rmontag, you mention thought processes and I wonder whether there is a degree to which you almost expect to have a poor night if you've slept well the night before? A bit of a self-fulfilling prophecy. I see you are in session 2 and, as I was saying to valkaye, I think you too may benefit from applying some of the cognitive techniques which you will read about. Your diary should assist you in considering how much sleep you actually require over a certain period of time and that may help you too.

  • Sleepio Member

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

    I was always pretty good at cognitive strategies and used to work quite hard at not catastrophising about sleep even when it was dreadful. Without that I think my sleep would have been much worse in impact than it was. What I have found most helpful however has been the more behavioural strategies ie QHR and SR, which I never could manage to do on my own but did do on Sleepio. Also making my room more sleep friendly. Also using meditation techniques to switch the racing brain off when I wake in the night. But you are right that I need to work now at not having the “back to square one” dialogue with myself when I have a setback but to replace it with something along the lines of “My sleep is massively better but it's not surprising that it sometimes gets disturbed when i am out of routine. it will settle in a day or two”.

  • Sleepio Member

    • 26 comments
    • 14 helped
    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Graduate

    Thanks, this is a good point. I do think I need to work on the cognitive techniques. Thus far I have really only been introduced to the thought checker and hope to benefit from the other techniques introduced later in the course.

  • Sleepio Member

    • 243 comments
    • 50 helped
    Session 3

    Harrybear, You mention that a less comfortable chair has helped a bit – so are you getting back to sleep more often? Is there any event(s) that have occurred recently that may be contributing? It sounds as if you had improved. Sometimes we just have to persevere with the QHR however uncomfortable it may feel to rise from bed during the night.

  • Sleepio Member

    • 74 comments
    • 17 helped
    Graduate

    I was away for a couple of weeks in France and I do find that when I stay in that apartment my sleep is not good. I think I have a negative association with the place as I have had past bad experiences with sleep there. Any techniques that might be helpful to disassociate as we are going there again in September.

  • Sleepio Member

    • 243 comments
    • 50 helped
    Session 3

    Thanks valkaye, I think I will use your quote in the future if I may?

  • Sleepio Member

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

    Feel free to use the quote! I am off to listen to Cardiff singer of the World now so bye everyone and have a good sleep

  • Sleepio Member

    • 243 comments
    • 50 helped
    Session 3

    HarryBear, have you considered using some positive self-statements? A bit like valkaye mentioned. Or you may wish to use some imagery instead.

  • Sleepio Member

    • 243 comments
    • 50 helped
    Session 3

    Thanks everyone for your postings. Will speak again soon.

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