Live Discussion with Dr Bryony Sheaves - 11th February

Dr Sheaves will be hosting a live online discussion here on Wednesday 11th February, 7:00-8:30pm (GMT).

Dr Sheaves is a Research Clinical Psychologist working within the Sleep and Circadian Neuroscience Institute at the University of Oxford. Her work focuses on the association between sleep and mental health difficulties, particularly symptoms of psychosis.

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 6 Feb 2015 at 3:59 PM
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  • Sleepio Member

    • 1 comments
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    Session 3

    Hello, I followed your advice and procedures now for in excess of four weeks but still cannot sleep without the use of sleeping pills. I cannot identify anything within your system which will overcome this, your comments please.

  • Sleepio Member

    • 478 comments
    • 81 helped
    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Expert

    Hi UrsieT,

    I'm really pleased the course has been helpful! If you are still recovering maybe stick with your current pattern until you're recovered (if you continue to sleep well). No need to restrict your sleep if your sleep efficiency is good. You could adjust back if you find the sleep difficulties are creeping in again.

  • Sleepio Member

    • 478 comments
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    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Expert

    Hi glider_guy. This does sound frustrating, but good news that you are returning to sleep quickly. How would you rate your sleep quality (based on how you feel throughout the day)? I also wonder what your sleep window is like. Did you find the SR element of the course helpful for consolidating your sleep?

  • Sleepio Member

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

    Dr Sheaves
    Thanks for the advice. I'll carry on. Honestly I know it's only 4 weeks but life changing for me already. I can't believe I've not got headaches everyday. Amazing!

  • Sleepio Member

    • 25 comments
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    Graduate

    The problem I have is waking in the night and not getting back to sleep. It's very rare for me not to get to sleep at bed time within a minute or two. But the middle of the night is different story entirely and really messes me up. My question is : does sleep restriction really help this? I'm not really convinced it has helped me, as the first bit of sleep neutralises whatever “sleep pressure” has built up, by 2am there's no pressure left….

  • Sleepio Member

    • 478 comments
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    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Expert

    Hi Gavlaur,
    It sounds like there is a performance anxiety around sleeping. The course will certainly cover some more tips to help you with this. I notice you are on session 2 – have you tried the relaxation exercises before bed? The prof will also tell you more about paradoxical intention and questioning thoughts that pop into your mind during this period over the coming weeks.

    You are right to be cautious about driving if you are feeling very sleep deprived. Are there any other activities you can do in the day if you have taken the day off? This will help to tire you for the following night.

  • Sleepio Member

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    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Expert

    Dear James Egan,

    I'm sorry to hear that your sleep is still problematic. The course should help you to try new techniques to help improve your sleep. For this reason it's designed to be delivered over several weeks, rather than overwhelm you with new strategies in one go. You need a chance to try things out and the system will use your sleep diary data you fill in to make sure the advice is tailored to you as much as possible. Is there anything that you have tried from the first few sessions? You should shortly be trying the sleep restriction element of the course which is one of the key techniques.

    Sleep problems can take a while to adjust. Do keep going. And hopefully some of the graduates can provide some helpful support along the way.

  • Sleepio Member

    • 47 comments
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    Graduate

    Dr – thanks for the response – My sleep window is 10:15 to 6. My SE hovers in the high 80s and I get over seven hours a night. So, compared to some of the members of the community , I am in good shape. Just trying to work that early waking out of my pattern. I am not depressed. I just have become acclimated to waking – especially on work nights. Sounds like creakingbrain has the same issue.

  • Sleepio Member

    • 478 comments
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    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Expert

    Dear nate,

    I'm sorry to hear that your sleep is so difficult right now. If you are concerned about a possible physical problem underlying this do speak to your medical doctor.

    You are near the start of the course. Do keep going with it. Your story is (sadly) not uncommon when people have insomnia. You aren't alone, and perhaps the community will be helpful to link in to hear other people's experiences.

    I hope that you can take something from the sessions each week and try some of the new strategies out. There has been a good quality research study showing the course is helpful for improving sleep so try to bear this in mind to build up some fresh hope. Good luck

  • Sleepio Member

    • 25 comments
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    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Graduate

    Hi glider guy, I do seem the same. It started when I was actually on call in the night for my job so the phone would wake me and I would go out and sort something out then go back to bed. That was 25 yrs ago. But I've never got out of the habit of waking up – maybe that's what's happened anyway. Like you say the night after work days or anything stimulating in the day has always been worse. “I have been one acquainted with the night”.

  • Sleepio Member

    • 47 comments
    • 17 helped
    Graduate

    James – follow the wind down routine and you cant help but get sleepy. Give yourself a good hour to transition. No TV or phones or tablets. Put on some soft music and read or stretch. After just week or so,you will get sleepy I promise.

  • Sleepio Member

    • 478 comments
    • 81 helped
    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Expert

    Hi Banno1,

    Of course you want to stay at your partners house, this sounds really important. It sounds like focusing on possible 'threats' to your sleep is really increasing your anxiety. This will send stress hormones racing round your body, reducing your chances of getting to sleep.

    Is there anything else you can focus your mind on? Something more positive or relaxing? Maybe a positive memory or a relaxing image? You are early days with the course so the Prof will talk you through many more tips which should help with this. Try them out and see which is the most helpful for you. Keep going.

  • Sleepio Member

    • 6 comments
    • 1 helped
    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Graduate

    Yes! thats it sleep performance anxiety, I go to bed stressed about it, but I find the relaxation exercises don't work for me. I've been out on my bike today Doctor for quite a strenuous session. No alcohol today at all. Feeling exhausted at the moment, but i've found that exhaustion doesn't always transfer to a good nights sleep. This problem is commanding my whole life, and affecting the life of the people round about me. I need to drive as I do external sales, and my territory covers half of Scotland.

  • Sleepio Member

    • 478 comments
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    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Expert

    Hi Ally,

    Good question. At the moment the expert sessions are set up as the forum for doing this. We appreciate that anonymity is something that is important to consider and not offered within live discussions. We are currently thinking about whether there are any helpful adaptations which would be useful so I will feed this question back to the team. Sorry I can't be more help in the short term but any further suggestions about the expert sessions, do let us know.

  • Sleepio Member

    • 478 comments
    • 81 helped
    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Expert

    Hi MadsE,

    Your right that having the right temperature can be helpful for sleep. And may people with sleep difficulties notice that they feel too hot or too cold before they go to bed. The only solutions to this are practical ones – having the heating on a timer for the morning, finding ways to cool off at night (e.g. going to the bathroom and running cool water over your wrists). You may well have tried these. If you do find a good solution please do share with us!

  • Sleepio Member

    • 478 comments
    • 81 helped
    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Expert

    Hi Creaking brain,

    SR is often helpful to gain more consolidated sleep (ie less awakenings). If your sleep pressure is higher when you go to bed it should be higher than without SR at 2am (though you're right, not as high as when you went to bed). Have you found the 15 minute rule helpful for getting back to sleep quicker?

  • Sleepio Member

    • 478 comments
    • 81 helped
    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Expert

    Hi all,

    That's all for tonight. Thanks for the interesting and varied questions. I'll be back for my next session in March, it will be other experts between now and then, do look at the adverts for the times of the sessions (sometimes 7pm and sometimes 8pm UK time).

    Night all,

    Bryony

  • Sleepio Member

    • 25 comments
    • 11 helped
    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Graduate

    To be honest when I did sleepio the first time 6 months ago I don't think I ever did the QHR properly. It's a bit counterintuitive, when you want to go to sleep, to think at 2.a.m that getting out of bed is going to help! I have now come back for another go at sleepio. Last I did the QHR properly i.e. got out of bed and went and sat in the other room and listened to a boring speech podcast until i felt sleepy. It took an hour+. Then I went straight back into a deep sleep in bed. Hopefully following this strategy will help in the long run. Maybe you have put your finger on the problem. Thank you.

  • Sleepio Member

    • 25 comments
    • 11 helped
    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Graduate

    Sorry I meant to say “last night I did the QHR”

  • Sleepio Member

    • 1 comments
    • 0 helped
    Graduate

    Dr Bryony Sheaves, I find myself tend to wake up several times during the night. What causes that and what can I do to change the situation? Thanks a lot.

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