Live discussion with Dr Bryony Sheaves - 16th November 2016

Dr Sheaves will be hosting a live online discussion here on Wednesday 16th November, 7.00 to 8.30pm British Standard Time or 2.00 to 3.30pm US Eastern Standard Time.

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.

Please do note that, as per our guidelines, Dr Sheaves won't be able to give personal medical advice. Her replies to questions will be made in such a way as to help as many people as possible who might have similar issues.

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Posted 10 Nov 2016 at 4:09 PM
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  • Sleepio Member

    • 522 comments
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    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Expert

    Hi,

    I wouldn't endorse any in particular if I'm honest (and I've tried many!). I would recommend however going for one which uses heart rate data as well as an accelerometer to work out sleep.

  • Sleepio Member

    • 14 comments
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    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Session 4

    Thank you! I will make sure to get one that does both.

  • Sleepio Member

    • 9 comments
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    Session 4

    Thanks everyone for the comments, very helpful to a newbie, see you next time, JP

  • Sleepio Member

    • 522 comments
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    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Expert

    Hi,

    Snoring is a common problem, and we have an article on it here:

    https://www.sleepio.com/library/article/snoring/

    Some people who snore find that changing the sleeping position can help as it keeps to keep the airway clear (just as it is in the daytime)– experimenting can be helpful to find out which is best. Some people who snore and are overweight find that losing weight can help with snoring.

    Excessive snoring can be associated with sleep breathing problems (interruptions to breathing) called sleep apnoea, which does decrease sleep quality. People often report not feeling rested despite sleeping. You can read more about that here:

    https://www.sleepio.com/library/article/what-is-sleep-apnoea/

    If an individual is at risk of sleep apnoea we would always recommend seeking further assessment. There is a good treatment called continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP), which keeps the airway open and can improve sleep quality. A GP / Primary Care Physician would be the first port of call.

  • Sleepio Member

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    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Expert

    Hi,

    For people who experience both apnoea and insomnia difficulties, Sleepio can indeed be helpful, alongside the CPAP treatment for the apnoea.

  • Sleepio Member

    • 10 comments
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    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Session 4

    Thanks for the encouragement Scubes! Hope things improve for you really soon :)

  • Sleepio Member

    • 14 comments
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    Session 4

    In the Sleep Diary under the more information section, there are several tags created by default.

    One of the tags is 'partner'.

    When I first started reporting my daily results, I was using the partner tag everyday because I thought it was referring to the fact you don't sleep alone.

    However, after giving it further thought, I'm now wondering if this tag means some sort of 'activity' with our partner in the bedroom? (The answer is probably obvious but I can be naive.)

    Finally, are these tags actually registered in the system as meaning something to the data? Do they affect suggestions provided by the system? Or are they just for our own record keeping?

  • Sleepio Member

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    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Session 4

    Always good to have some perspective, thanks Toddy! Really hope things things improve for you soon :)

  • Sleepio Member

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    Expert

    Hi,

    Very good question and depends on the effect they have. Not sure there is a one size fits all here. I know for me for example, reading a novel is very relaxing and can leave me feeling sleepy, but someone else may say that they get really into the book and it leaves them feeling very alert!

    We usually recommend experimenting and working out which activities are the best match.

  • Sleepio Member

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    Expert

    Here's more info:

    https://www.sleepio.com/library/article/how-to-use-the-sleep-diary-tagging-system/

  • Sleepio Member

    • 18 comments
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    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Graduate

    I was reading my kindle every night in the dark and it helped me get to sleep but then session 2 suggested it was an Active Mental activity so not one to do before bed… so ive stopped but miss reading. I watch TV instead (as suggested) but am surprised it is ok to do that before bed and not read.

  • Sleepio Member

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    Expert

    Hi, sounds like you've been working really hard on your sleep and pleased to hear there are some times when it is better.

    Sounds like it is the hyperarousal associated with stress that is getting in the way of sleep during particular periods. For people who describe this I would usually recommend focusing in on strategies to manage this before bed and then when in bed. You are already using relaxation which is great.

    Some find the 'putting the day to rest' technique helpful, for example writing down the worries from the day. Planning the next day. Writing is a helpful technique that can take the sting out of worries and stop them turning over in the mind when trying to sleep. By giving them good time and space before bed it can be easier to postpone worrying thoughts until the morning, as they've already been given good time and space before bed.

    Some also find the thought checker helpful to challenge the thoughts that cause anxiety and get in the way of sleep. And finding helpful ways to remember the new more helpful thought when lying in bed (e.g. writing it on a card that is by the bed).

    Good luck with this.

  • Sleepio Member

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    Expert

    With reading, I think it depends v much on the content, and the effect it has. For some it can be quite active, as it activates the mind, but if someone finds it a helpful relaxing activity that has been a useful tool before sleep I wouldn't tend to want to stop it.

  • Sleepio Member

    • 522 comments
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    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Expert

    Hi,

    For clients who report a long sleep window (common when experiencing depression) and yet still feel exhausted I would consider experimenting with reducing the window slightly. Oversleeping can be associated with fatigue and some clients I have worked with say they feel just as fatigued and groggy after oversleeping as when undersleeping. If considering reducing the sleep window, it can be helpful to plan in some energy boosting activities in the morning. For example, many say a brisk walk in the sunshine can leave them feeling more energised.

    Of course, if other medical conditions (e.g. fibromyalgia) it would be worth seeking their advice on this approach.

  • Sleepio Member

    • 12 comments
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    Graduate

    Hello – is the session still ongoing?

  • Sleepio Member

    • 522 comments
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    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Expert

    Hi,

    For people who describe a real focus on sleep (and threats to sleep) there are several techniques that can be helpful. E.g. there are some imagery exercises which can provide the mind with another focus when in bed. Mindfulness can also be helpful: noticing and accepting the thoughts rather than trying to fight the thoughts. These will come in the remaining sessions.

    Good luck

  • Sleepio Member

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    Expert

    That's all for tonight folks – thanks for all the interesting questions and for those that logged in live.

    Good luck with the sleep tonight,

    Bryony

  • Sleepio Member

    • 12 comments
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    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Graduate

    Sorry to chase you but I've not seen an answer to the question I posted earlier this afternoon UK time. Has it gone AWOL?

  • Sleepio Member

    • 10 comments
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    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Graduate

    Thank you for your thoughts, Dr. Sheaves. I appreciate you taking the time to respond to my comments.

  • Sleepio Member

    • 3 comments
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    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Graduate

    Ok. Thank you for your advice. I will experiment to see what works best.

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