Live Discussion with Dr Bryony Sheaves - 26th November

Dr Sheaves will be hosting a live online discussion here on Wednesday 26th November, 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 20 Nov 2014 at 2:27 PM
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  • Sleepio Member

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    I'm generally satisfied with the amount I'm sleeping and have been wondering whether a 7:15 minute sleep window is more than enough.

    I've been a bad sleeper for so long it's difficult to know when a natural time to wake up would be. I've checked my sleep diary for the first 2 weeks before the sleep restriction started and it's been any time between 6:00 and 8:15 but with only between 3 and 5 hours of sleep.

  • Sleepio Member

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    Thank you. The TV is in another room – appreciate your advice :)

  • Sleepio Member

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    Hello Dr Sheaves
    I have a rare illness called Cushings Disease, caused by a tumour on my pituitary gland, causing it to produce too much cortisol. After surgery and radiotherapy, 2 1/2 years ago, I am no longer producing too much steroid and am no longer having to take steroids, so am only now taking nevothyroxine, which I take in the morning when I wake and simvastatin when I go to bed. I am having great difficulty getting to sleep and staying asleep, and getting back to sleep if I wake up. I have just started the sleepio programme 3 weeks ago, and tried to manage without sleeping tablets, but eventually gave up about 4 or 5 nights ago and have been taking zopiclone, as I found I could not function during the day as I had so little sleep at night. I seem to be able to sleep well between 6am and midday, but this does not work for normal life. Please can you comment?

  • Sleepio Member

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    Hi Seagroaa – if you are satisfied with your sleep after a 7:15 wake up this sounds like good news! Perhaps your body isn't after much more sleep. Well done on the improvement in your sleep – great result.

  • Sleepio Member

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    Here's an interesting article about blue light and the Kindle: http://www.themetabolicloophole.com/blog/2014/11/24/why-your-ipad-is-robbing-you-of-sleep. It suggest that the Kindle is OK. I've been reading print books and the Kindle before going to bed and during QHR periods and I've not noticed any difference. I stop using the laptop and my smart phone at the beginning of my wind down and don't watch TV later than 30 minutes after wind down starts.

  • Sleepio Member

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    I'd still like to sleep through uninterrupted in a shorter sleep window though if that was possible. For me I find midnight is an ideal time to start the sleep window so wouldn't want to shift the period back.

  • Sleepio Member

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    Hi Buffie and thanks for the post,

    Have you talked to your medical team / prescribers about your sleep and the possible impact of medication? If you haven't already it would be worth seeking their advice.

    What is your sleep pattern looking like at the moment? It sounds like your body clock and social demands are a little out of sync. How often are you sleeping 6am-mid-day?

  • Sleepio Member

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    What sleep window is the course suggesting at the moment? And is the course up to date with your sleep diary info?

  • Sleepio Member

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    Thanks Seagroaa – that's helpful to know. I'll take a look at the article

  • Sleepio Member

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    My consultant referred me to gp for sleep but he could not really help but I am going back next wk. I am v rarely allowing myself to sleep 6am to midday.i normally wake myself by 9am at the latest. My sleep efficiency is around 54%

  • Sleepio Member

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    The course is up to date with my diary and last week I extended it to 12:00 – 7:15. When I visited the Prof yesterday he suggested extending my sleep window by another 15 minutes but I turned this down. My average sleep efficiency for the week was 86%

  • Sleepio Member

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    Hi Buffie,

    I'd recommend asking your consultant about the impact of medications when you see him/her.

    As a first line of treatment I'd try some of the strategies from the course. It's possible that you can sleep from 6am to mid-day simply because you have been awake long enough for your sleep drive to build up. If you try the sleep restriction element of the course (which I don't think you will have started yet) but your sleep efficiency doesn't increase then do link back in on this forum for further advice.

  • Sleepio Member

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    Evening dr bryony, I feel a little disheartened my mood is low, energy almost nil, sleep approx 4hrs broken each night. I am trying to be positive and stick to my sleep window but it's very hard when my days are unproductive. On a positive note I do now not have a problem falling asleep. Apart from taking anti depressants for mood any other suggestions. Many thanks Debby.

  • Sleepio Member

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    Thank you Dr Sheaves

  • Sleepio Member

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    Hi Seagroaa –

    If it's only been a week you could try waiting to see if your sleep adjusts with a little more time (I think you were right not to extend your window further at this stage). It can take a while for our bodies to adjust to even small changes. Or, if you preferred a shorter window in the hope that it would let you achieve more consolidated sleep then you could try this. Which would you prefer?

  • Sleepio Member

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    A shorter window but I'll stick with the current one for another week I think.

  • Sleepio Member

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    Thank you. Very helpful.

  • Sleepio Member

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    Hi Debbybabe,

    I'm really sorry to hear that your mood and energy are low right now but very pleased you are getting some help with these in addition to the sleep.

    One suggestion that I mentioned in a previous post is the importance of activities for mood, sleep and energy. Whilst we often think of energy as a battery (the more we use it the more it drains), energy is in fact more like an elastic band – the more you stretch it, the more it gives back.

    Try experimenting with planning some things in your day which would usually leave you feeling good. See how your mood and energy change afterwards and whether that helps you feel more tired out for sleep at night.

    Good luck with it and keep going

  • Sleepio Member

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    Time for me to log out now. Thanks for all your comments and questions!

    Bryony

  • Sleepio Member

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    Thank you & goodnight

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