Live Discussion with Dr Bryony Sheaves - 9th July

Dr Sheaves will be hosting a live online discussion here on Wednesday 9th July, 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
+ On Mac hit ‘Command’ or ‘Apple’ and ‘R’

Posted 4 Jul 2014 at 9:44 AM
  • 28 comments
  • 10 helped

Comments

Show older comments
  • Sleepio Member

    • 522 comments
    • 95 helped
    Expert

    Hi CatherineW. It's good that you are thinking about the things that help you wind down ready for sleep. The reason that browsing the web and watching TV isn't advised immediately prior to bed is mostly due to the blue light, as Mrs_DM has noted above. Back lit screens such as phones, laptops and TVs do emit blue wavelength light which tells the body clock that it's time to be alert.

    It sounds like you've found that prioritising wind down is helpful and that a relaxing and distracting activity works well for you. Are there other relaxing activities that might offer you the same/similar thing? Reading a book perhaps, flicking through a magazine or listening to music? Others might have more ideas.

    Good luck with the rest of the course.

  • Sleepio Member

    • 522 comments
    • 95 helped
    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Expert

    Hi Colin99,

    I'm sorry that you're worried about your test results and hope that they turn out ok.

    In terms of sleeping pills, there is an article on sleeping pills in the library (https://www.sleepio.com/library/article/sleep-aids/). I'm not a medical doctor (I'm a clinical psychologist) so I'm not in a position to advise you on your medications specifically unfortunately. I'd recommend you ask your prescriber for advise.

    Sleepio is designed to offer you skills and strategies that we know are beneficial for improving sleep in the long term, and particularly for people who have experienced persistent insomnia for a long time. Keep trying to follow the course and utilise as many of the strategies as possible.

    In particular, were there any strategies that you noted have been helpful for you managing your evening worries a little better lately?

  • Sleepio Member

    • 522 comments
    • 95 helped
    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Expert

    Hi AimeeColleen,

    I hope the previous post about back lit screens was helpful in part for your question.

    I see that you're on session 2. I think in the next session or so you'll learn about your bed-sleep connection, which sounds like it'll be really helpful for you. In terms of your specific question about the impact of using your laptop for work emails and films in bed, it might be best to avoid these when in bed partly because of the note above about using screens, but also so you can start to wind down and close the day off, ready for sleep. Are there any other activities that you might enjoy that could form part of your wind down routine?

  • Sleepio Member

    • 5 comments
    • 0 helped
    Graduate

    Since starting SR my sleep seems to have become my consolidated as I have fewer awakenings and good efficiency but I'm typically wide awake after 4.30-4.45 hours of sleep and 15 minutes before my sleep window finishes. This seems to be the case even if I shift my sleep window by up to an hour.

    I would have expected my body to be forced awake by my alarm rather than waking before it. It makes me feel like my body has got used to this amount of sleep due to the strict sleep window and wont allow me anymore (despite still being exhausted!). Is this a typical thing at the start of SR and would relaxing my sleep window help?

  • Sleepio Member

    • 522 comments
    • 95 helped
    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Expert

    Hi Mrs_DM,

    I'd not heard about this – thank you, I'll look into it and how effective it is.

    The other thing to consider with screens is what we're doing on them (as well as the light). For example, the temptation to check emails, or get caught up watching films that are really engaging or scary. These are likely to increase rather than decrease our arousal before bed, so also something to consider.

  • Sleepio Member

    • 522 comments
    • 95 helped
    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Expert

    Hello Theresa,

    Thanks for joining the discussion this evening.

    There seems to be a bit of a theme of what activities to do to wind down ready for sleep. If you have any thoughts please feel free to any ideas.

  • Sleepio Member

    • 7 comments
    • 4 helped
    Session 3

    I got the name wrong. The software is called f.lux (lux being a unit of light measurement). But I had another question: How sleep deprived do you have to be to experience REM-intrusions (are these like hallucinations?) I've just experienced a week of little sleep -- 3 hours a night from 12 to 3am, sometimes less. I was surprised that I didn't hallucinate during the day. The worst was mood and concentration difficulties. Does the body/brain adjust for REM/NREM ratios when sleep deprived?

  • Sleepio Member

    • 522 comments
    • 95 helped
    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Expert

    Hi Evums26,

    I see you're new to the course so firstly, welcome to sleepio! The course will cover many different areas over the next few weeks. Each of these areas is helpful for improving our ability to get to or stay asleep.

    One of the areas that we know is really important, as you've highlighted, is how to clear the mind, or in sleepio terms: how to deal with the racing mind. I think this part of the course sounds like it might be helpful for you, alongside the other techniques. Keep going and good luck with the rest of the course.

  • Sleepio Member

    • 28 comments
    • 8 helped
    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Graduate

    Thanks Dr. Sheaves, I do find that CBT helps. I've been working on it with a therapist and it settles many of the issues. It's just that there's these type of things (especially health related it seems) that creep into my mind and are hard to turn off. On a positive note, the restorative yoga does do a good job in prepping me for bed. And I reduce some of the night time pressure by doing journalling of how the day went and what is bothering me.

    I think it's been going decently well with the sleep restriction but I'm still getting used to not napping on weekends and after work to catch up with lost sleep.

  • Sleepio Member

    • 2 comments
    • 0 helped
    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Session 2

    Thanks very much Dr Sheaves :) !

  • Sleepio Member

    • 522 comments
    • 95 helped
    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Expert

    Hi Alangb1,

    I'm sorry to hear that you aren't sleeping for your full sleep window. It's difficult to say exactly why this might be. A few things I'm wondering about are: is there something external that plays a role, e.g. sunrise or a regular noise? We also sleep in cycles so certain times of our sleep can be lighter than others. This might account for the regularity of the time you wake up.

    It's great that you are working hard to stick to the SR, and it sounds like you've made good progress with it. It's a tough part of the course because of the tiredness as you mentioned, but we also know that it is really helpful for improving sleep.

  • Sleepio Member

    • 184 comments
    • 17 helped
    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Graduate

    I don't use them myself, but maybe a CD on gentle guided meditation might be useful as a wind down, or
    some 'inspirational' type books, quotations, sayings?

  • Sleepio Member

    • 184 comments
    • 17 helped
    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Graduate

    Not any stimulating readings or music… might think of
    other suggestions before the end of the session!

  • Sleepio Member

    • 5 comments
    • 0 helped
    Graduate

    There don't seem to be any external factors, daylight and noise aren't issues. I guess it could be a sleep cycle thing which is why I thought relaxing the window might help me enter another cycle (my current sleep window is 5hrs)?

    I'd like to be woken up by my alarm so it feels like I've got sleep to catch up on for the next night!

  • Sleepio Member

    • 522 comments
    • 95 helped
    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Expert

    Hi Mrs_DM,

    That's an interesting question. Hallucinatory experiences as a result of sleep deprivation tends to occur under pretty extreme sleep deprivation, usually in a research context where people might agree to be kept awake. There might however be some people who are a little more prone fleeting hallucinations (they are much more common in the general population than many think) and the effects of severe sleep deprivation.

    Usually, if left to our own devises we will fall asleep eventually (because our bodies are built to do so) and avoid these experiences.

  • Sleepio Member

    • 522 comments
    • 95 helped
    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Expert

    Hi Colin99,

    The yoga and journaling sound great and I'm pleased the SR is going well, it's tough so well done!! Keep going with it and keep up the hard work on the naps.

  • Sleepio Member

    • 522 comments
    • 95 helped
    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Expert

    I like these ideas Theresa! Particularly the inspirational quotes – what a nice idea, ending the day on a high note!

  • Sleepio Member

    • 184 comments
    • 17 helped
    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Graduate

    Thanks! Here endeth the 'Lesson'! Good night Dr and those on line.

  • Sleepio Member

    • 522 comments
    • 95 helped
    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Expert

    Hi Alangb1,
    I'd recommend sticking with the SR window as it is if you can manage it. You will be building up good amounts of sleep pressure across the day in preparation for better, more consolidated sleep the following night. It sounds frustrating for you, but do keep note of the improvements you've made, like the reduced awakenings. Good luck.

  • Sleepio Member

    • 522 comments
    • 95 helped
    Expert

    We've come to the end of the session tonight. Thanks everyone for your posts and good luck with the rest of the course.
    Best wishes, Bryony

Return to top