Live Discussion with Dr Bryony Sheaves - 1st October

Dr Sheaves will be hosting a live online discussion here on Wednesday 1st October, 7:00-8:30pm (BST).

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.

To keep up with new comments as they are posted you will need to ‘refresh’ this discussion page.

To do this:

+ On PC hit ‘Ctrl’ and ‘R’ or the ‘F5’ key
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Posted 26 Sep 2014 at 1:28 PM
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  • Sleepio Member

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    Expert

    Evening everyone and welcome to the live session. I'll be here for the next hour and half answering any questions you have.

    Lets get started….

  • Sleepio Member

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    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Expert

    Hi Annetheresa,

    Thanks for your post – I'm very pleased to hear you've made great strides with your sleep. That's excellent news and as a result of all the hard work you've been putting in.

    I think you've highlighted a real challenge. Coming off sleep medications can be tricky. I'd suggest that you speak to your prescriber to devise a plan for coming off off the tablets and continue to use your strategies that you have learnt from the course throughout this period. You might notice a bit of a dip in your sleep for a short while as you've been taking the tablets for some time. But if you keep using your new techniques, with time your sleep should improve as your body gets used to sleeping without the meds.

    Good luck with it, it's an exciting next step in your path to better sleep.

  • Sleepio Member

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    Graduate

    I find it hard to sleep on my back. I use to sleep on my side but with rotater cuff problems i can not sleep on my side. Has anyone any experience with sleeping on your back?

  • Sleepio Member

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    Expert

    Hi Dibby,

    Thanks for your question this evening. I think you are right to continue to use relaxation, this will help with the anxiety. The differences in your breathing might also be due to the anxiety – we tend to breath more shallowly when we're anxious. Try taking some deeper breaths that fill your lungs right to the bottom and this will help you to feel more relaxed.

    I wonder if you have got to the part of the course that covers the thought checker and mindfulness techniques? I think these would be particularly useful for this particular situation you are describing.

  • Sleepio Member

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    Expert

    Hi FredHK,

    It sounds like you are experiencing non-restorative sleep. This is actually quite common and can be for several reasons. For example, another sleep problem (sleep-breathing disturbance, limb movements) or due to another problem that is not related to sleep, such as chronic fatigue, depression or chronic pain.

    It's always worth having treatment for these optimised if you think this might be the case.

    When you say you feel like you have a cold, do you mean simply due to tiredness or do you have other symptoms that lead you to believe you might be getting unwell?

  • Sleepio Member

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    Expert

    Hi Izhar,

    That sounds like quite a change of habit. I wonder if anyone else has any experience or advice?

    I think with any change of sleep habit, it will probably take a little time to get used to. I'm sure the skills that you pick up through the course will help to facilitate adapting to this new position. Keep going and good luck with the rest of the course.

  • Sleepio Member

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    Expert

    Hi Seagroaa

    Yes I think you are right, the sleep quality question is primarily asking you to gauge how good you consider your sleep was. And this will likely be based a lot on how you feel when you wake up.

  • Sleepio Member

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    Expert

    Hi Bernard,

    It sounds like the prof is being cautious. This is because there are certain health conditions in which we would be quite cautious about recommending strict SR regimes as it can impact on these other conditions.

    The two options I would recommend would be to either follow the profs advice and work hard at using the other techniques alongside the 6 hour window. Or, speak to your medical doctor who has been managing the other conditions and ask for their advice about following sleep restriction. I hope that's helpful.

  • Sleepio Member

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    Graduate

    I tend to complete my sleep diary as soon as I wake up. I think it's usual to feel a bit groggy for a while until you come round. Would it be more useful to wait, say, half an hour before completing the diary, when you're answer might have changed. I've been trying to find some more information about criteria for filling in your sleep quality entry but not come up with anything very much within Sleepio. Should there be an article on this in the library (or is there one I haven't found)?

  • Sleepio Member

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    Expert

    Hi Geonurd,

    Sorry that you have been having more trouble with your sleep this week.

    Your question was about timing of your sleep window. The reason it is recommended to be later is because you will build up more sleep pressure if you go to bed later and your body should eventually learn to sleep longer (avoiding the early morning rising). I'd therefore stick with this if you can.

    It sounds like you have identified some of the difficulties with it – the racing mind and focusing on lack of sleep. Have you been through the section in the course for managing the racing mind yet? It might be helpful to try some of these so that when you go to bed your mind is a little more relaxed. That should also help with the early morning waking.

  • Sleepio Member

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    Expert

    Hi Rita,

    It's really nice to hear that you have an idea of where you'd like to get to with your sleep and that you have recent experience of better sleep.

    The course is all about picking up skills, a few at a time, and integrating them into your path to better sleep. It sounds like some of the techniques on managing the racing mind and putting the day to rest will be particularly helpful. I also wonder if you have tried the relaxation? See what you can take from each week and try them out.

    Good luck with the rest of the course.

  • Sleepio Member

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    Expert

    Hi Machado3,

    Sorry you've been having trouble with your sleep again. I wonder what happens when you wake up? It sounds like some techniques to help with the anxiety might be helpful. Do you follow the 15 minute rule if you wake up? Perhaps try going to another room and doing something that you find relaxing until you notice you are sleepy.

    Try to see this as a blip in the road to better sleep. It sounds like you have made good gains with your sleep so keep faith that you can make those gains again.

  • Sleepio Member

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    Graduate

    Thank you Dr. Sheaves! I have been through that part of the course and I'm still trying some of the tools. I think part of the challenge is just getting used to a new routine. I used to go to bed a bit earlier than my husband (a snorer) and now I stay up later than him and either he's snoring (which makes me want to throw things at him) or I'm afraid of waking him up when I get in, so it's just something I need to adjust to. I have been practicing mindful meditation before bed, but I think I'm falling asleep during it, so I'm trying to find time during the work day to do it as well. I think it will just take some time to accrue the skills to slow the racing mind.

    Thanks for the information on the sleep window!
    Geonurd

  • Sleepio Member

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    Expert

    Hi seagroaa

    I'm not sure if there is exact advice on completing it. But remember, the sleep diary is designed to be an overall snapshop of your sleep. It will of course be subjective and an estimate, but that's ok, it is designed to be that way. The key thing is to try to pick up and try out the techniques from the course.

  • Sleepio Member

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    Expert

    Hi Geonurd,

    I completely agree and I also now understand why going to bed slightly later is more tricky! I'm sure you will get used to the snoring over time. I also wonder if your husband would consider going to bed slightly later with you so that you can continue to get off to sleep first?

    This must be a common difficulty – I wonder if anyone else has any suggestions?

  • Sleepio Member

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    Expert

    Hi Kelly13,

    Am I right in saying you are pressing the 'help me now' button? That is designed to be a button for in the moment advice. Do continue with what you have picked up from the course. If you have logged in as a web user you should have your daily schedule if you press the button in the bottom right hand corner of the app (the calendar icon).

    I hope that's helpful in some way.

  • Sleepio Member

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    Graduate

    Hello I have been a graduate for sometime now. Even though my sleep efficiency is 90% or more I have not improve on the quality or achieved my goal of sleeping for more than 6.30 hrs. Only time when I do achieve my goal of 6.30 hrs is after a few nights of poor sleep, but great efficiency, that I am able to achieve 6.30 hrs. How do I achieve my goal consistently and get good quality sleepl at the same time?

  • Sleepio Member

    • 478 comments
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    Expert

    Hi sotiredtoo (great name!!)

    When you say you are microsleeping is this happening through the day or do you mean at night?

    If it is at night the course should help you to get more consolidated sleep.

    Experiencing dream like states on the way to sleep can be describing an experience called hypnagogic hallucinations. These are quite common and particularly so in people who are experiencing insomnia or have other sleep difficulties such as narcolepsy.

    Good luck with the rest of the course and do post back here if you have any questions.

  • Sleepio Member

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    Expert

    Hi won052.
    It sounds like when you are really tired, your sleep quality improves. I wonder if there are other ways that you can achieve this e.g. exercise? There is evidence that working out in the day can lead to an increase in deep sleep (NREM sleep) so if you aren't already that might be worth integrating.

    Are there any things that you have noticed are different on the nights when you sleep less well? Maybe see if you can identify them and go back through the course to find particular techniques that could be helpful.

    It sounds like you have made really great progress so far, it might just take a bit of time to get to that top goal. Keep going!

  • Sleepio Member

    • 478 comments
    • 81 helped
    Expert

    I think we're finished for tonight folks. Lots of people at earlier stages in the course tonight – good luck with the rest of the course and do post back here if you have any more questions.

    Night

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