Live Discussion with Dr Gwen Keenan - 14th May

Dr Keenan will be hosting a live online discussion here on Wednesday 14th May 7pm-8.30pm (BST).

She will discuss as many topics as possible, starting with the most popular questions with answers being given in a way to give the most benefit to the general Community.

To have a say in which questions are answered, either:
+ post a question or comment ahead of the discussion, by clicking the blue ‘Add a comment’ button; or
+ vote on other people’s questions, by clicking the blue ‘Yes’ button underneath the relevant comment.

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 8 May 2014 at 12:00 PM
  • 52 comments
  • 16 helped

Comments

Show older comments
  • Sleepio Member

    • 279 comments
    • 62 helped
    Graduate

    Hi Dr Gwen I also would love some advice on how to sleep on holidays.

  • Sleepio Member

    • 409 comments
    • 91 helped
    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Graduate

    A lot of people find it tough when they go on holiday and challenge there sleep in some way. The best thing to do is try to sustain good healthy sleep practices, and if some components are difficult to implement, then hopefully there are some that you can still maintain and benefit from, even when in a different country. Things like sticking to a similar sleep window, having a good wind down routine, trying to keep the environment as conducive to sleep as possible- this will all help you to maintain good sleep. Sometimes aspects are more difficult to implement like the QHR and avoiding alcohol but these things can all be put back into place when you get back. Many good sleepers experience disrupted sleep when they are on holiday however they do not get anxious over it and this helps them to recover good sleep when they return. This is why I like Theresa's advice- try not to worry and enjoy the holiday.

  • Sleepio Member

    • 409 comments
    • 91 helped
    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Graduate

    Ha ha, thanks Theresa- not so balmy here in Scotland but not a bad evening! I will be here until 8.30 though.

  • Sleepio Member

    • 409 comments
    • 91 helped
    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Graduate

    Hi there, I hope the advice I have given to Muggsy is helpful. I also spoke about dealing with time differences earlier- does than help? Is there anything specific that worries you. I think for many of us it is the worry about coming out of a routine and the possibility of undoing all the progress. This does not happen though. Many of us find that we can relax the programme a little for going on holiday and then get back to it on return.

  • Sleepio Member

    • 11 comments
    • 2 helped
    Session 4

    Thank you, Dr. Keenan. I've found your advice really helpful. I always appreciate the support and creative alternatives for looking at things from a different perspective. It's nice knowing I'm not alone.

  • Sleepio Member

    • 11 comments
    • 2 helped
    Session 4

    I just wanted to add the obvious, perhaps, but intense exercise has helped me immensely – notably cardio.

    Thanks!

  • Sleepio Member

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

    Muggsy, you are CERTAINLY not alone, and the Community is there to help. Always 'post' questions, and someone will have an answer which will help and guide you. It is very early on in the programme, so stay with it, and as Dr Gwen said say 'I can…' rather than
    'I don't think I can…/I won't … etc, all negative thinking before you have been anywhere, or advanced. These
    thoughts will prevent you from progressing. Every good
    luck, and if you feel like putting a question, even when you are on holiday, do so! Best of luck, enjoy your break.

  • Sleepio Member

    • 409 comments
    • 91 helped
    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Graduate

    Good advice- exercise is a great way to expend energy and therefore build sleep pressure- this helps reduce the time it takes to fall asleep and improves sleep efficiency. Best not done in the hours immediately before going to bed though as this can actually energise the body. Early evening is a good time. I am glad to hear you find this helpful.

  • Sleepio Member

    • 11 comments
    • 2 helped
    Session 4

    Also, I have one more question about a thought I often wrestle with before going to sleep. I'm embarrassed – it's a bit of a ridiculous worry and one I suspect started after having had my baby – but I guess that's the beauty of being anonymous online. Sometimes before going to sleep, I'll have an annoying intrusive thought something to the effect of “I can't shut down. I don't want to shut down.” It's almost hyper-vigilence I guess and I know it's “just” anxiety but I've tried countless ways to counter this thought but it persists on the rare night and I can't get to sleep. I know I sound foolish but I wanted to get it out and see if someone could help re-frame it?

  • Sleepio Member

    • 279 comments
    • 62 helped
    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Graduate

    Thank you, yes that's good advice. For me, I feel that my insomnia may be due to a need to be 'on watch', especially with children. We once lived in a house with a broken back door lock, and I still have dreams about intruders coming in. So when I'm away from home, I'm not sure about the security and lie awake. I should add, this is an unconscious feeling, and obviously unnecessary.

  • Sleepio Member

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

    If you have only recently had your baby I can understand your anxiety because the baby needs your full time
    attention when s/he is awake… I haven't had a child but
    can imagine it is a fretful time, if it is the first one.
    However, your anxiety will spill over onto the baby and
    resurrect itself in it's adulthood, so for both of you do try
    and be less anxious, practice the tools given on the
    programme, get a good night's sleep, or as good as you
    can, and that will also benefit the baby. Congratulations..

  • Sleepio Member

    • 409 comments
    • 91 helped
    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Graduate

    The first stage at changing thoughts is recognising the ones causing you a problem. I wonder what “shut-down” means? Are you worried to fall asleep and not be available to your children?

  • Sleepio Member

    • 11 comments
    • 2 helped
    Session 4

    I think so… it's more not being available/unresponsive in general I think. Honestly, I wish I could just dismiss the thought but when it arises, it causes me a lot of angst and I feel like I need to challenge it with a healthier, logical response so it can…well, take a hike!

  • Sleepio Member

    • 409 comments
    • 91 helped
    Graduate

    A few worries about staying awake for our babies! A baby's cry naturally elicits attention as it causes distress, particularly for the caregiver. Mothers are tuned into hear their baby cry, even when we are sleeping. You are right, there will be hypervigilence to it. However, try to keep in mind that good sleepers have babies too and they waken to them and they sleep once they have attended to them. Your baby also needs you to be alert through the day and you need sleep for this. Perhaps you could reframe “I mustn't shut down” to “I will try to sleep, my baby would want me to sleep well” or “shutting down doesn't mean shutting out” and trust that mothers instinctively wake to a baby's cry- it will not go unheard! Even if you don't hear some of it the chances are your baby will fall asleep again and this is good for the baby as he/she learns to self-soothe.

  • Sleepio Member

    • 409 comments
    • 91 helped
    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Graduate

    PS I hope talking about it online might help you feel more comfortable talking about it with others- a partner or friend, maybe another mother. I think we can all experience anxiety after having a baby and it is nothing to be ashamed about.

  • Sleepio Member

    • 409 comments
    • 91 helped
    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Graduate

    I hope my reply to Muggsy helps your comment here. As parents, we do have an instinct to protect our children however we need to keep our fear of harm in perspective. Look out for “catasrophic thinking errors” or “negative thinking” and utilise the thought checker- it will help with that anxiety.

  • Sleepio Member

    • 409 comments
    • 91 helped
    Graduate

    That is all for this evening. Thanks for joining me tonight and for an interesting discussion! Goodnight.

  • Sleepio Member

    • 279 comments
    • 62 helped
    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Graduate

    Thank you!

  • Sleepio Member

    • 184 comments
    • 17 helped
    Graduate

    Muggsy perhaps there is a mother and toddler/baby
    group where you are and if you felt comfortable going
    there I'm sure that would help you to know you are not
    alone in your different feelings, and that they are all
    entirely natural.. You could perhaps chat about your various worries, anxieties around your precious babies. But Dr Gwen is the expert, and I am just adding my 'penny's worth' in the hope it helps you. Big hug to yours!

  • Sleepio Member

    • 184 comments
    • 17 helped
    Graduate

    O was busy typing, just see you have gone off line. thanks anyway, Dr Gwen.

Return to top