Live Discussion with Dr Vicki Creanor - 24th April 2019

Dr Creanor will be hosting a live online discussion here on Wednesday 24th April, from 8:15pm to 9:45pm British Time or 3:15pm to 4:45pm US Eastern Time.

She will discuss as many topics as possible in the hour and a half and, as always, you are welcome to ask any questions at all about sleep or the Sleepio program. If there are a lot of questions, she may not be able to answer all in the time available, but will try to answer as many as she can.

Please do note that, as per our guidelines, Dr Creanor will not be able to give personal medical advice including those about medication. Her replies to questions will be made in such a way as to help as many people as possible who might have similar issues.

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Posted 18 Apr 2019 at 3:45 PM
  • 16 comments
  • 6 helped

Comments

  • Sleepio Member

    • 43 comments
    • 12 helped
    Graduate

    Thank you for listening to my concerns and questions!
    Is it common for an increase in the sleep window to cause a backward trend for a time? It's discouraging slipping and being back in the 70's (and lower) the last several of nights for my SE%. I wonder if this is the usual, or how long until I improve (?). Like many others, I'm waking a few times during the night, usually early morning, but now I'm not sleepy enough to drift off. Previously to a sleep window change I was still waking 2-3 early morning, but it was very brief and I was able to fall back to sleep. Now I'm back with the QHR. I try to stay positive that the 90%s will return. The last thing I want to create is anxiety about sleep again. I get so tired of being tired.

  • Sleepio Member

    • 10 comments
    • 4 helped
    Session 5

    Hello and thank you for all your help.

    I started my first week of SRT last week and moving to week 2 on 23 April (I used SRT with success last summer but fell back into all over sleeping patterns and of course now struggling with insomnia). I fall asleep easily but wake up usually between 45 minutes to 1h30 ahead of my waking time and sometimes wake up during the night. I feel refreshed with 7 hours sleep but currently getting just under 6 hours. My current first week window is 23h00 to 6h00.

    I am going on holiday to Crete (+2 hours) on Friday for 11 nights and was wondering how best to adapt to the time difference getting there and coming back to the UK.

    I am also realistic that the programme is going to be very challenging as I will have opportunities for napping and long nights after daily hiking. I want to allow myself to relax but also keen to keep with the programme as I’ve only just started.

    Thank you!

  • Sleepio Member

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

    Yes, I am wondering about this. I have started waking once each night for about 45 minutes (usually about 5am for a get up time of 7am). Previously I had managed to sleep through, but after about a month of of going to bed 15 minutes earlier each week I have reverted.

    When I first started, I had an average of 5:08 sleep per night, so I started going to bed at 2am for a get up time of 7am; now my average is 5:45, with a bed time of 12:15, so I am wondering if I should revert to going to bed at 1:15am, and then gradually increase by 15 minutes per week again.

  • Sleepio Member

    • 23 comments
    • 1 helped
    Graduate

    Hello, thank you for this discussion.

    My problem is waking through the night. I also have the habit of getting out of bed, and generally visiting the bathroom, even if I don't need to. When I go back to bed and straight to sleep. If I don't get up I lie in bed tossing and turning, so have found it best to get up!

    I have been doing this for many years, therefore don't expect it will be resolved in a short time.

    I am up to about week 9 in Sleepio and, so far have not seen any improvement in terms of reduced number of times I wake up.

    I have the other issues like most others of daytime tiredness, falling asleep before going to bed etc etc. I think this will improve with time, so am not overly concerned about these things.

    I have read most of the library articles relating to this problem, but have seen no improvement. Is there anything else I can do about waking and getting out of bed through the night?

    I probably won't be able to join this weeks discussion as it will be about 4 am Thursday morning in Australia, so I look forward to an emailed response.

    Thanks and regards
    Ravioli

  • Sleepio Member

    • 2 comments
    • 0 helped
    Session 2

    Would you please post the session in youtube?

  • Sleepio Member

    • 3 comments
    • 0 helped
    Graduate

    Have been with Sleepio for 9 weeks after many years of frequent sleep problems . Week 3 my sleep restriction was 5 hours which increased sleep efficiency but left me so tired , agitated and anxious during the day that I increased it to 6 hours after two weeks . This was better, especially since I was on holiday for a couple of separate weeks and occasionally ran over the 6 hours. But sleep efficiency has varied considerably since, never averaging more than 75% and now the time I sleep is decreasing and I am sleeping less than 5 hours again and this is the main problem. The QHR works OK earlier on in the night but does NOT work for me if wakening is within an hour of getting up time. I moslty get to sleep with no problem and find some of the articles and community helpful but has not solved anything. Any suggestions as how to proceed.
    Thanks

  • Sleepio Member

    • 2510 comments
    • 383 helped
    Expert

    Hello and welcome to today's live discussion session. I'll be taking questions for the next 90 mins, so if anyone has anything they'd like to ask about sleep or the Sleepio programme, please get in touch!

  • Sleepio Member

    • 2510 comments
    • 383 helped
    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Expert

    Hi there and thank you for your question. It feels so frustrating when anything about our sleep starts to change in a negative way after a period of progress and I'm sorry to hear you're feeling this way.

    When we increase our time in bed, our body needs to get used to a new change and so sleep can often be disrupted when this occurs. A good rule of thumb is to view the entire journey of sleep therapy as a graph with various peaks and troughs within it, but with a general upward trend towards better sleep. If we see these blips as just blips (and normal ones at that), this helps keep our mindset positive and focused on the end goal.

    I hope that helps?

  • Sleepio Member

    • 2510 comments
    • 383 helped
    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Expert

    Hi there and thanks for getting in touch. Travel can be one of the things that makes us anxious when we're working on our sleep. The good things about Crete, however, is that the time difference is fairly minimal. In general terms, it is advised to adapt to the local time zone as quickly as possible – rise and sleep at your usual times (adjusted to the new time zone), eat when the locals do and get plenty sunlight during the day and have a darker room at night. There is a helpful article on the website if you are interested – you can find this at
    https://www.sleepio.com/articles/jetlag/

    It is a personal decision as to whether to pause the programme while away or to continue, however if people plan to pause, they can request this via hello@sleepio.com.

  • Sleepio Member

    • 2510 comments
    • 383 helped
    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Expert

    Hello there. I'm sorry to hear you've been struggling. I wonder if, when you're awake, you're using the quarter hour rule? 45 mins is a long time to be in bed unable to sleep and will be having an impact on sleep efficiency. In terms of the sleep window, if sleep efficiency remains at a reduced level for some time, it is a wise decision to reduce the window again in line with average sleep. You can then increase the sleep window by the 15 mins increments you mention once sleep efficiency is up to 90% again. I hope that makes sense?

  • Sleepio Member

    • 2510 comments
    • 383 helped
    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Expert

    Hi there,
    Thank you for getting in touch with this post. I'm afraid I'm not able to email people as I am not given access to personal details, however I hope you will be able to find this discussion thread and find this response! Based on the info provided, it is unclear whether sleep restriction is being put into practise here? Sleep restriction is the best technique to tackle broken sleep as described here. Its aim is to squeeze all the bits of broken sleep into one chunk and aim for a better quality sleep over a shorter amount of time, with a view to increasing the length of sleep over time.

  • Sleepio Member

    • 2510 comments
    • 383 helped
    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Expert

    Hi there, thanks for getting in touch. I'm afraid our sessions cannot be posted on YouTube for privacy reasons. I hope you will be able to access the chat when convenient for you – they are all stored in the community area for people to view in their own time.

  • Sleepio Member

    • 2510 comments
    • 383 helped
    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Expert

    Thank you for your question. I'm really sorry to hear it'd been such a struggle recently. It can make us feel quite desperate when this happens. Sleep restriction is one of the most tricky parts of the programme and any of those who have been through it will, I'm sure, agree. The agitation and anxiety described is also very common! So you're not alone here…

    Similarly to what I mentioned earlier tonight, the journey we experience during sleep work is full of ups and downs and this is to be expected with any type of psychological therapy or behavioural work. I hope this gives you – and anyone else experiencing this – some reassurance.

    From the info provided, it sounds as if the sleep window and wake times have varied quite a bit lately, so we tend to recommend that people keep these as consistent as possible, which helps the body get into a healthy pattern.

    In terms QHR (the quarter hour rule – getting out of bed and moving to a different room if one has been trying to sleep for over 15 mins), although it is acknowledged to be very difficult, we do still recommend that people implement it no matter what part of the night it is. This is to help maintain a strong positive bed-sleep association; if people stay in bed when they wake later on in their sleep window, it can have a negative impact overall.

    I hope this makes sense?

  • Sleepio Member

    • 2510 comments
    • 383 helped
    Expert

    That's all for today's session folks – thanks for the posts people left on the group. Hope to speak to you again soon!

  • Sleepio Member

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

    Thanks for your reply. I have followed the 15 min rule assiduously, so the 45 minutes I spend out of bed, dressed, in my sitting room doing a crossword and listening to music.

    Thanks also for confirming that it would be sensible to reduce the sleep window to my recent average and start again. I will do that starting next week.

  • Sleepio Member

    • 23 comments
    • 1 helped
    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Graduate

    Hello, thanks for your reply. I understand you can't email, all good.
    I have been using the sleep window but, like many others, feel exhausted, and am not improving in terms of getting out of bed less often. However, yesterday I was unwell with hayfever and went to bed a bit earlier, due to not feeling well. I only got out of bed twice which, for me is a good improvement.
    I was really asking are there any other tools to help me stay in bed through the night (during the SR window), as this is my biggest problem. I feel that if I had even four or five hours continuous sleep I'd feel much better.
    Thanks again

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