Live Discussion with Dr Gwen Keenan - 5th February

Dr Keenan will be hosting a live online discussion here on Wednesday 5th February 7pm-8:30pm (GMT).

She will discuss as many topics as possible in the hour, 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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+ 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.

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Posted 30 Jan 2014 at 3:24 PM
  • 57 comments
  • 17 helped

Comments

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  • Sleepio Member

    • 79 comments
    • 16 helped
    Graduate

    Dr Gwen, Thanks very much for these thoughts. Havent had much time for exercise owing to stressful family stuff but will try and improve on this!

  • Sleepio Member

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

    Good evening Caliman, I hope that my response to Raybin was helpful for you too. You are right not to obsess over it as this only increases anxiety and I wonder if this is something you have learned over the course?

    Three and a half months might sound like a long time however I wonder how long you have been struggling with sleep problems. I wonder also how you measure progress? Have your thoughts about sleep changed at all? Have you addressed sleep hygiene? Has your routine improved? It sounds as if you are struggling a bit to find the best tool for you but you have also been trying hard with imagery. Good for you for sticking with that. Some people are more visual than others and take to this more easily however it sounds that you can find this difficult sometimes. Can you utilise a memory of a place you have been? Or a memory of a happy event? Imagery can be a great way of retuning the mind, a bit like changing the channel on the TV, we can transport ourselves to another place. How is the mindfulness going? As you might remember I am very much a fan of this approach and find if is so helpful for keeping us grounded to the present moment rather than worrying about the past or the future? Many people with sleep problems can become preoccupied with thoughts about how badly they have slept and worrying about how they will feel throughout the day however if you can connect more with the present moment you might find it is not too bad! Your last comment about not spending too much time on here I think is important and I seem to remember we had a discussion similar to this before. Can you remember I described a slogan I use in my work with parents: “Whatever you focus on grows”. I find this slogan helpful for many problems. If we focus all of out attention on them, they can become bigger and we then focus less attention on the things that are going well. However, if we focus on something that is going well then that will grow. So, you are right to limit your time attending to your sleep difficulties and see if you can focus on something that is going well for you; a project or a hobby. I hope some of this has been helpful for you. I always enjoy your interesting discussion points.

  • Sleepio Member

    • 409 comments
    • 91 helped
    Graduate

    My last post to Caliman just reminded me of something. He mentioned the community- the Sleepio team are running a survey for Nottingham University to investigate what members think about the community. We'd really appreciate your thoughts – it will only take 10 minutes to complete:
    https://www.survey.bris.ac.uk/nottingham/sleepiosurvey
    Thank you!

  • Sleepio Member

    • 92 comments
    • 28 helped
    Graduate

    I like that slogan: “Whatever you focus on grows.” Good or bad. I need to remember that often!

  • Sleepio Member

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

    Hi Polly, I am very sorry to hear that you have suffered a bereavements and I hope you are feeling well supported as you work your way through the grieving process. I can imagine you must have felt quite anxious about returning to work after experiencing a loss and also knowing that this kind of start at work triggered your difficulties with sleep. It might be worth bearing in mind the knowledge you now have at your fingertips in regards to your sleep difficulties and how to overcome it. You did not have this before so it is unlikely that you will experience your difficulties as severely again. My first thought was to leave SR just now and implement the other aspects of the program and I see you are doing that. Keep that up. SR might not be needed this time and if it is it can wait until you are feeling emotionally stronger. The thought checker might be useful when applied to some of the anxieties you have before you go to bed? I wonder if you could try and implement some mindfulness in the morning to conquer the early morning anxiety. You only started back today, so be gentle on yourself and remember that you have overcome this before. I wish you all the best.

  • Sleepio Member

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

    It's a great one!

  • Sleepio Member

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

    I would try doing a bit of weighing up the pros and cons of staying up versus going to bed. Can bed time be seen as “me time”?

  • Sleepio Member

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

    To be honest, when I joined the course I entered 'Worse case scenario' . Previously I would have some nights where I spent a long time in the night awake, some where I couldn't get to sleep at all and some where I had a decent night sleep. It was few weeks decent sleep, few weeks dire sleep. As I am getting older I felt I needed to sort this out, as I get quite stressed about it. However, since starting the course , most nights I get less than 5 hours sleep. Some nights I get less than 3. I am keeping to the 'rules'. I do the wind down, I go to bed at the same time (1am), I get up at the same time. I get out of bed if I'm not sleeping. I never sleep in the day. My sleep efficiency is 78 ish, so nowhere near 90%, despite the fact that I am 'following the rules'. Most days I feel really drained. Like walking around in a fog. I want to continue with it, but I want to get a feel that it works. That's why I'd like to get some idea how long to continue trying before it is appropriate to decide that it isn't going to work for me.

  • Sleepio Member

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

    Lol! I see both the late night TV stay up AND the actual sleeping as “me time”.

  • Sleepio Member

    • 215 comments
    • 35 helped
    Graduate

    Thanks Gwen

  • Sleepio Member

    • 92 comments
    • 28 helped
    Graduate

    Are there studies (I don't need them referenced in detail) that show sugar at night is overly stimulating to most people?

  • Sleepio Member

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

    You are really investing a lot of energy and resources into turning things around. This programme can work well with medication so I hope you will see some improvement over the next couple of weeks. It is not an ‘all or nothing’ in terms of improvement and many people we see find components useful after several weeks, that they hadn’t initially found helpful from the beginning. Also, certain components are easier to implement depending on your own context/lifestyle demands, so keep going and return to basics. Expectations are also important; and particularly if you have had poor sleep for a long time, it can take several months to establish a new solid sleep pattern as well as a new approach to sleep and poor nights of sleep. Please continue to use the online community as well as others in your own support network to help you cope with negative feelings.

  • Sleepio Member

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

    Hi, I am not sure of any particular studies of the top of my head but sugar is a source of energy so it will stimulate anyone however some people appear to be more sensitive to it than others.

  • Sleepio Member

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

    Oh dear, as I say, writing down the pros and cons can be a helpful motivational tool as well as developing some motivational statements. Use the thought checker to evaluate your thoughts about “me time”- hope that is of help!

  • Sleepio Member

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

    I'll implement less sugar and use the thought checker. Thank you for all your help over the last few weeks!

    Tink :)

  • Sleepio Member

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

    In reply to Mushmellowstar earlier I outlined that it is not an ‘all or nothing’ in terms of improvement and many people we see find components useful after several weeks, that they hadn’t initially found helpful from the beginning. Also, certain components are easier to implement depending on your own context/lifestyle demands, so keep going and return to basics. Expectations are also important; and particularly if you have had poor sleep for a long time, it can take several months to establish a new solid sleep pattern as well as a new approach to sleep and poor nights of sleep. I would keep implementing the programme as much as possible as some people find that it can take several weeks or months to get a new steady sleep pattern. This programme has a strong evidence base so stick with it.

  • Sleepio Member

    • 409 comments
    • 91 helped
    Graduate

    Thanks for all the questions tonight. I struggled to keep up at some points! Can I just remind you all to have a look at the survey on the link below:

    www.survey.bris.ac.uk/nottingham/sleepiosurvey

    I'll be around for another 5 minutes so any last minute question?

  • Sleepio Member

    • 409 comments
    • 91 helped
    Graduate

    That seems to be all for tonight. Goodnight.

  • Sleepio Member

    • 92 comments
    • 28 helped
    Graduate

    I did the survey and when they asked about the expert sessions I recommended either:

    1) longer session

    2) two session a week

    OR

    3) one session for those who can actually be online at the time and another session for those who can post a question but cannot be online.

    Sometimes there are 15 questions before the session even starts. Yikes! Plus more added as the session goes on. Hope they find a good solution.

  • Sleepio Member

    • 9 comments
    • 0 helped
    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Expert

    Thanks, Tink – really appreciate your suggestions. We will be keeping the survey live for a few more weeks to give plenty of time for people to respond.

    If anyone is reading this and hasn't responded, it's not too late! www.survey.bris.ac.uk/nottingham/sleepiosurvey

    The data crunching will mainly be done by the University of Nottingham, but the Sleepio team will also be reading all the comments and hopefully trying out some new ideas as a result.. we'll let you know what arises from the research.
    Best wishes, Sophie

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