Live discussion with Dr Audrey Espie - 25th June

Dr Espie will be hosting a live online discussion here on Wednesday 25th June, 7:00-8:30pm (BST).

She will discuss as many topics as possible in the hour and a half, 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 19 Jun 2014 at 11:10 AM
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  • Sleepio Member

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    Session 3

    Hello everyone and welcome to another Live session. I'll try to work through any Live posts first and then concentrate on previous posts.

  • Sleepio Member

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    Graduate

    Hello Dr Espie.

  • Sleepio Member

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    Session 3

    Hi Theresa, have you received any comments from anyone in the UK?

  • Sleepio Member

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    Graduate

    No comments from anyone. And none from my last
    two posts on the general network where I thought I'd
    be able to help someone! They weren't on the graduate
    post common room, so maybe that's why. But, no matter. I'm here to learn more!

  • Sleepio Member

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    Session 3

    Hi won052 and thanks anniem for your response. I wondered whether you actually meant just to increase your window by only half an hour but as anniem noticed, what you are considering is an hour longer. Generally, I tend to work in 15 minute increments as this can be less of a challenge to people – a more gradual process. For example, we have the 15 minute rule. It also depends on how long you have been following the programme. If you feel confident enough that you have established more of a routine then I would start with 11.15 for a week or so and then reconsider. As anniem said, Sleepio admin are the best contact to make changes. Hope this is helpful.

  • Sleepio Member

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    Session 3

    Hi Theresa, I think when the sun shines in the UK everyone is out enjoying it.

  • Sleepio Member

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    Graduate

    Indeed! Or glued to the box with tennis…. but wish
    the Umpires would stop Sharipova's GRUNTS!!! But they are of course involuntary…. with effort exerted.
    The players won't I imagine have a sleep problem…!

  • Sleepio Member

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    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Session 3

    Think you're right!

  • Sleepio Member

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    Session 3

    Hi colin99, thanks for your post. I would suggest that you stay with that window for the next couple of weeks. I was interested to read that you actually had a very small sleep window at one stage earlier in the year. You could be someone who does require less sleep but the fact that you are following the programme would suggest that you would prefer to sleep more than previously. As I mentioned earlier, 15 minute increments feel like less of a challenge and if you really feel after a couple of weeks that you could function on less than 6 hours then I would adjust accordingly per week ( the half hour every 2 weeks you suggested) but it is important to have a cut off and not decrease your sleep window too much.

  • Sleepio Member

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    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Session 3

    Welcome to Sleepio Tai. Good question. You may have already read the material in the library referring to good sleep hygiene. This pertains to the sleeping environment – levels of light, routines followed before bed, room temperature etc. For some people this can also mean particular duvets, pillows etc. I met one person who could not go on holiday without a particular pillow as they associated this with good sleep. Frequently people have a regular or possibly preferred position in bed. In your case its on your stomach. If you want to avoid this impacting on your progress through the course then you have a few options 1.) try experimenting with different positions using pillows, duvets etc as support 2.) postpone following the programme until your leg has healed 3.) most importantly, have you had your leg checked by a physician?

  • Sleepio Member

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    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Graduate

    Thanks for your suggestions--I'll try #1. The problem is tendonitis in my calf; I have two more sessions with the physiotherapist, which hopefully will allow me to sleep in my usual position. The leg is not the main cause of my insomnia, which has been going on for 14 years, it's just another stressor…

  • Sleepio Member

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    Session 3

    Theresa, what are your thoughts on exercise and its impact on sleep? I was just reading a summary prepared by Dr. Kyle on a research paper this week that looked at exercise and time of day and its impact on sleep.

  • Sleepio Member

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    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Session 3

    Hi Tai, it sounds like that may be contributing however at the moment, so hopefully you can resolve in the short term.

  • Sleepio Member

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    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Graduate

    I don't do too many exercises to be honest Dr Audrey.
    However, on days when I do any, that would be walking, I feel the endorphins going up, and the serotonin takes
    a leap too, and then at the end of the day the sleep is
    better. It all goes 'in a circular fashion really.' I occasionally do Iyengar yoga, but have only had about 6 lessons, but that relaxes the body, and stills the mind.
    That's another boost for good sleep, as it de-activates
    the negative thoughts. What I have found is that from the beginning when my sleep window was 3.00 am – 7.15 am until now 11.30 pm – 7.15 am things have progressed immeasurably! I thought I'd collapse waiting up until 3.00 am… I always read in bed; but now don't and the bed/sleep 'relation' is therefore better defined. I switch off light immediately I go to bed, wait for sleep, do not look at the clock, and put it out of reach for when the alarm goes off. But I have found in the last week or so I wake before it goes off; very much something that DID not happen, ever, before. But, my advice is, don't read in bed, even if a lightweight book. Keep the discipline of
    using the bed to sleep.

  • Sleepio Member

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    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Session 3

    Hi Muggsy, that is an excellent response in only 4 weeks on the programme, so well done. I wonder if you are someone who tends to find it difficult to 'switch off' in general and perhaps you would consider yourself as a bit of a worrier. You made a really good point about feeling that you need some specific statements to deal with your intrusive thoughts about sleep. I find that some people respond well to asking themselves for 'evidence' e.g. because you didn't sleep well on Monday does that always mean you won't sleep well on Tuesday or that you won't be able to function? Have you felt tired but managed to function before etc? Having this internal dialogue (basically asking and answering these types of questions) can prove to be helpful. You could of course also ask someone who is close to you what they would say when a particular intrusive thought comes into your head – you might be surprised by their answer. It sounds as if the cognitive components of the course may prove to be very important for you. Good luck.

  • Sleepio Member

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    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Session 3

    Theresa, it sounds if you have found (and applied) a variety of techniques to improve your sleep. The research was indicating that although there was a range of times when people exercised and how they thought that affected their ability to sleep, exercise itself was regarded as very important in improving sleep.

  • Sleepio Member

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    Graduate

    Exercise, for me, anyway, is best done in the morning, or at least before 2 or 3 pm. Otherwise it has the opposite effect, of one being too 'active' in body/mind. thanks for this evening, good night.

  • Sleepio Member

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    Session 3

    Good night Theresa and thanks.

  • Sleepio Member

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    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Graduate

    Thanks very much. I'll stay with the 6 hours window for now. I would like to get 4-5 hours a night – I suspect I'm fine with that much sleep. At one time, I would average 4-5 and bad nights of 2 or else would happen but I could recover from them. Now with the average at 3ish hours per night, recovery is extremely rough.

  • Sleepio Member

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    Graduate

    Given the research on the health and psychological consequences for sleep deprivation, how is it that insomnia patients are supposed to overcome their fear of not sleeping, something that I understand to be integral to getting over psychologically induced insomnia?

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