Live discussion with Dr Bryony Sheaves - 1st July

Dr Sheaves will be hosting a live online discussion here on Wednesday 1st July 7pm-8.30pm BST.

She will discuss as many topics as possible in the hour and a half and, as always, you’re welcome to ask any questions at all about sleep or the Sleepio program. Please do note however that, as per our guidelines, Dr Sheaves won’t be able to give highly specific medical advice. He will however try to help as best as she can!

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Posted 27 Jun 2015 at 7:48 PM
  • 11 comments
  • 1 helped

Comments

  • Sleepio Member

    • 21 comments
    • 3 helped
    Graduate

    I often wake up early, about 5 – 5:30 and feel like in a stupor still very drowsy, and just want to fall back asleep, any ideas? loridori

  • Sleepio Member

    • 2 comments
    • 0 helped
    Session 3

    Im trying to wean off ambien after being on it for 4 years, taking 10 mg every night, and sometimes I take unisom with it. Any advice? It hasnt worked for me anymore and I dont want to take more than 10 mg

  • Sleepio Member

    • 1 comments
    • 0 helped
    Graduate

    I've been on the Sleepio program for a few weeks and appreciate all of it's intentions. The truth is though that the only 2 nights I've had a good sleep during this period is when I've been out socialising and had a few drinks.
    I know I can't drink 7 nights a week but as a 'senior' I just need something to get me to sleep.

  • Sleepio Member

    • 478 comments
    • 81 helped
    Expert

    Evening everyone!

    Welcome to tonight's live session.

    For those that are new to the session – an extra special welcome! I am here to answer any questions that you have about sleep or the sleepio course.

    Just to let you know a bit about me – I’m a clinical psychologist (and researcher), with a particular interest in sleep. I’m therefore best placed to answer questions about the psychological aspects of insomnia and the tools you’ll be picking up throughout the Sleepio course. If you have very specific questions about medications or other medical complaints your GP / primary care physician is best placed to answer these.

    I’ll head through the questions in order, but if you are attending the session live, do post away – it’d be good to get a discussion started if you have any thoughts / questions!

  • Sleepio Member

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

    Hi loridori,

    What you're describing is early morning waking, which the sleepio course is very well placed to help you with.

    The way sleepio works is each week you will have your session and hopefully will find out something useful from it. I'd really encourage you to try out some of the strategies in between sessions and then you can build on them in the sessions to come.

    I see that you have just finished session 2 so you will have found out about bedroom and lifestyle factors which can impact on sleep. Have a think through whether any are of particular relevance to you. One that can be important to think about for early morning risers is light levels (particularly at the moment when the sun is rising early). Here is an article that explains more of the science behind why this is so important:

    https://www.sleepio.com/library/article/the-ideal-light-levels-for-sleep/

    This of course is just the 'foundations' for the later strategies, but it's important to get these right to ensure the other strategies have the best chance of being successful.

    Good luck with the course and do check back in here again if you have further questions.

  • Sleepio Member

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

    Hi tom the bold,

    Coming of medication certainly seems like a reasonable goal. Hypnotics are usually prescribed for short term sleep problems, whereas cognitive behavioural techniques (such as those in the sleepio program) are the recommended treatment for persistent sleep problems and are thought to lead to more durable changes so you have the right approach to help you!

    In terms of coming off meds I'd speak to your prescriber and come up with a plan to wean off of them. You might notice when you come off them that you experience 'rebound insomnia' as your body gets used to not having the medication. Hopefully you can use the techniques from the course to help counter this to some degree.

    Here are some discussions from the community in case you are interested to read about other sleepio users' experiences:

    Community discussion about weaning off medication: https://www.sleepio.com/community/discussion/zopilcone-depedance---how-to-ween-off-/

    Community discussion about taking medication while doing the program: https://www.sleepio.com/community/discussion/using-medication-while-doing-the-sleepio-course/

    It's up to you when you would like to change the medication – you may want to learn some of the sleepio techniques first to manage your sleep, so you have the skills in place. Or, you might want to learn the techniques at the same time.

    Good luck and do check back in here for support if you need it. And I'm sure you will find a wealth of support elsewhere in the community.

  • Sleepio Member

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

    hi sleepiorog,

    I can really see the appeal of alcohol, it has a sedative effect so can indeed help you to get to sleep. However the trouble with it is that it tends to decrease the quality of sleep that you get. Whilst a drink every now and then can be enjoyable, and certainly meeting up with friends too (!), be cautious that it doesn't become what we call a 'safety behaviour'. Let me explain more: some people can feel like they will only sleep if they have a drink. This gets in the way of making long term improvements in sleep, because it gets in the way of learning new strategies that can be helpful every night (rather than a few times a week).

    I see you are on session 4. Am I right in saying this means you have started the sleep restriction element of the course?

    One of the principles underlying the program is that we will all sleep eventually. All humans have a natural biological drive for sleep (although it's easy to forget this when we are in the midst of insomnia!). This 'sleep drive' kicks in the longer we spend awake (called the 'homeostatic sleep drive'). This is how sleep restriction works – you go to bed later, have a better chance of falling asleep and once you have a good habit of falling asleep quickly you can increase your sleep window.

    This is one of the most powerful techniques so I'd recommend giving it a go. The trick is to try and stick to it consistently each night (even on nights when out with friends). It's all about re-establishing that habit of falling asleep when you head to bed and can lead to long lasting improvement.

    The other thing I wonder from your post is whether your better sleep on the night you are socialising is also because you feel happier (because you've connected with friends) and are less focused on sleep on those evenings. Could that be the case? If so, it would be worth planning some enjoyable activities on other nights too.

    Good luck with the sleep restriction and the rest of the course.

  • Sleepio Member

    • 478 comments
    • 81 helped
    Expert

    Hi everyone, it's pretty quiet on here this evening. I imagine all the Brits on Sleepio are out enjoying the glorious weather we're having at the moment!

    If anyone has any thoughts or questions please do feel free to post away…

  • Sleepio Member

    • 478 comments
    • 81 helped
    Expert

    Hi everyone, there's very little activity on here tonight so I think we'll end the session there. I hope everyone has a lovely rest of the evening and I shall see you back on here soon!

    Bryony

  • Sleepio Member

    • 21 comments
    • 3 helped
    Graduate

    i didn't find the specific article about ideal light levels for sleep, thanks
    loridori

  • Sleepio Member

    • 21 comments
    • 3 helped
    Graduate

    i have for long time been sleep with a truly darkened bedroom, but you mentioned that my room might need to be darkened more. Well I did that, my bathroom attached to the bedroom has many windows. I darkened the small window in the door with black paper (before it had just colored red paper) and now cover the slight space between the floor and the door with and old shirt.. The room is much darker, and my sleep is better till morning. thanks

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