Live Discussion with Dr Bryony Sheaves - 29th October

Dr Sheaves will be hosting a live online discussion here on Wednesday 29th October, 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 23 Oct 2014 at 2:14 PM
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  • Sleepio Member

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    Expert

    Ok – here are some facts about insomnia… mainly from a paper by Charles Morin and Ruth Benca, written in the Lancet (extremely reputable journal!). Feel free to discuss!

    1. It is extremely common!
    Around 25% of people are dissatisfied with their sleep and report symptoms of insomnia. Around 1 in 10 will experience insomnia. Bearing in mind how common this is can be helpful for our own expectations of sleep.

    2. Response to treatments like sleepio (based on cbt techniques) is good – 70-80% will respond to treatment.

    3. The effects tend to be durable up to 6 months follow up.

    4. Anniem – you have identified the same research question that article has… we need more research for the very long term effects of these kind of courses!! We need to know how well the gains are maintained. Trials tend not to go on for that amount of time, but it is something that is important for us to find out.

    But, I would reiterate that the tips that have been picked up on the course can be used again if sleep becomes tricky again (as it does for many people at some stage!).

  • Sleepio Member

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    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Graduate

    Hi again,
    Looking forward to what you find out re:stats. I'm aware that some members graduate and may follow the recommendations for awhile, then do a reboot if they find their sleep relapses. So I wonder if people who continue to follow the recommendations indefinitely will find one day they no longer need to or are there perhaps some people, such as those Marie Elaine refers to, who need to follow the prinicples all the time? Maybe I'm looking for research that looks at if there's any difference in long-term outcomes based on severity of sleep issues at the beginning and adherence to the recommendations. Maybe some with long-term sleep issues don't need to follow the recommendations indefinitely and others do. It would be nice to know if there are any predictors of this. I'm not sure if I'm wording this clearly. It's a bit of a muddle in my head.
    anniem

  • Sleepio Member

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    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Graduate

    Hi,
    Thanks for the info. I would agree – 6 months is not very long at all. We definitely need long term studies, that go on for years!
    anniem

  • Sleepio Member

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    Graduate

    Hello everyone, I am still around, but haven't been able
    to get to graduate chat, but I am interested in someone
    there, anniem maybe? who could guide me through all
    the tools again, which I have forgotten. I have reasonable sleep, but have never except for first couple of weeks achieved my goals. I can't remember the tools,
    and just go to bed, switch light off at same time, wake up
    a few times, go back to sleep and then get up, but the
    sleep quality graph is very much up and down. thanks
    for help and advice.

  • Sleepio Member

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    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Expert

    Hi Karen,

    Interesting questions! And welcome to the sleepio course.

    There is certainly much evidence that insomnia is more prevalent in women than men. There is also evidence that sleep difficulties are more common as we get older. Older adults tend to experience more fragmented sleep than younger counterparts. Our body clocks (circadian rhythm) also changes with age – we become later (more evening type) people as we go through childhood and adolescence and then as we reach early adulthood we tend to become earlier (more morning) types again.

    In term of motherhood I think that is a really interesting question and I'm sure there are many mothers who are very attuned to their babies needs such that it can disrupt sleep (as well as the usual wake ups to tend to the baby). It is a very exciting time, but can be a stressful shock to the system(!) and we know that stress can be more factor contributing to the onset of insomnia. I'll see if there is any research relating specifically to your experiences.

    Good luck with the course

  • Sleepio Member

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    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Graduate

    Hi Theresa,
    Nice to hear from you! It's good that you have reasonable sleep. Sometimes it takes awhile to achieve one's goals or maybe the goals sometimes need to be revised? I know as people go through the course, I do read about some revising their idea of a good sleep, from wanting 7-8 hours to thinking that fewer hours of good quality sleep is a good goal too. If it's any consolation to you, my sleep quality goes up and down, and seems to be a reflection of how well I follow the recommendations. The more I follow them, the better my sleep. I think the best way to review the tools is to go back to the library and do a read through each session's highlights. That way you can pick out what makes sense to you and get a refesher at the same time. Feel free to message me on my profile and maybe I can be of more assistance.
    Take care,
    anniem

  • Sleepio Member

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    Graduate

    checking out now – have an appt. Thanks Dr. Sheaves!

  • Sleepio Member

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    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Expert

    Hi anniem,

    I think one of your questions is about whether we can predict who does well in sleep treatments such as sleepio. Our very own Professor Espie has run a previous study which looked at this.

    They found that basic demographics (age, gender etc) were of no use in predicting who would respond to treatment. They wondered if those who had more severe insomnia at the start of treatment would have less of a response to treatment. They found out that this wasn't the case. In fact those with more severe insomnia at the start tended to see bigger changes in the measures used to assess insomnia. However, people with more severe insomnia tended not to have the lowest scores at the end of treatment (rather, they saw the biggest improvement). People using sleep meds did equally as well as those who didn't. People who experienced anxiety and or depression alongside insomnia did better than those who didn't.

    That from a study in 2001 in the journal of consulting and clinical psychology (Espie and colleagues).

  • Sleepio Member

    • 184 comments
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    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Graduate

    Many thanks! I get confused with all the different 'sites'
    but I'll have a go.

  • Sleepio Member

    • 49 comments
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    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Graduate

    Thanks for the follow-up. I can understand the importance of waking to nurse--but not why the pattern keeps up for the next decades!

    Also thanks for the reference to the Morin and Benca paper--very useful. I just skimmed through it and will enjoy going through some of the citations.

    As to long-term effects--maybe courses such as sleepio could take part in providing well-designed, if anecdotal, information that might be useful?
    Thanks, Karen

  • Sleepio Member

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    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Expert

    Hi Theresa,

    I agree with anniem's advise – if you go to the library you can get advice straight from the prof.

    There's quite a bit in the library so maybe you could break it down, review one session at a time and think about what you have taken away from it which you are going to try out. Try the new technique and then move onto the next session. Trying things out really is the key to success.

    If you have a particular question, do come back here.

    Good luck and I hope the library is useful.

  • Sleepio Member

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    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Expert

    Thanks for joining us tonight anniem – invaluable contribution as always.

  • Sleepio Member

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    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Graduate

    Interesting results. I could only find the abstract for the Espie et al 2001 paper online. Is there a pdf available somewhere in the sleepio library?
    Thanks, Karen

  • Sleepio Member

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    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Expert

    Hi Karen,

    It is often the case that one life event can change our pattern of thinking / behaviour in relation to sleep. It's these patterns which then keep the insomnia going, even when the initial life event has ended. I think the sleepio course will be helpful in learning about these in more detail, and, more importantly, help you to discover ways of breaking these patterns to work towards better sleep. Good luck with the course!

  • Sleepio Member

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    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Expert

    Not that I'm aware of I'm afraid, I'm not sure how that would work with the copyright rules of journals.

    There is lots of other information in the library, aimed at helping people to understand sleep difficulties and ways to manage them. I hope you find some other interesting info in there, definitely worth a look.

  • Sleepio Member

    • 522 comments
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    Expert

    I think that's all for tonight folks – thank you all for so many interesting questions.

  • Sleepio Member

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    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Graduate

    Thanks so much for your time, Bryony.
    Karen

  • Sleepio Member

    • 184 comments
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    Graduate

    good night, thank you.

  • Sleepio Member

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    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Graduate

    Karen and Dr. Sheaves,

    I, too, am a relatively new mother and though I've have had insomnia off and on through the years, the insomnia brought on by motherhood has been quite severe and long lasting. I truly think it's anxiety related and that heightened awareness you described in listening for baby. My son is now 2 and very, very rarely needs me at night (for now). Before Sleepio, I was waking often and listening for him, even hearing phantom cries that were pulling me from bed. So for me, obvious anxiety-driven wakings. I've been doing Sleepio since the beginning of Sept and I have had remarkable improvement in my sleep quality and have found many of the techniques to be very helpful in all aspects of life. Meditation has been the most beneficial aspect to me, and I think it's helping with the baby-related anxiety. So perhaps, that will be helpful to you as well? Interesting questions for the Dr. Thanks for asking them.
    Geonurd

  • Sleepio Member

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    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Graduate

    Thanks for the encouragement. My son is now 17, but needed me frequently until he was 3 due to medical issues. I meditate every morning (just for 15 min)--and it certainly helps me set up my day. Most nights I'm not anxious--but just can't sleep! The other night as I was drifting off, twice, just as I was about to go to sleep I heard this little alarm--obviously fake like the cries you heard! Interesting (but frustrating).
    Thanks, Karen

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