Live Discussion with Dr Gwen Keenan - 5th March

Dr Keenan will be hosting a live online discussion here on Wednesday 5th March 7:00pm-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.

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 27 Feb 2014 at 11:08 AM
  • 50 comments
  • 2 helped

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  • Sleepio Member

    • 112 comments
    • 20 helped
    Graduate

    Hi there thank you for the reply re cherry active… Reading another post regarding 4pm slump and naps how do (sordid) the european countries who have (had) siestas deal with sleep at night?

  • Sleepio Member

    • 409 comments
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    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Graduate

    You need to press F5 on the computer Alan! That refreshes the page and you will see new questions/comments.

  • Sleepio Member

    • 112 comments
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    Graduate

    Does the program differ in any way for people have no difficulty falling straight to sleep when they first go to bed but wake early morning … than for people who go to bed and lie away not able to get off to sleep at all? I would have thought this would be treated differently

  • Sleepio Member

    • 344 comments
    • 79 helped
    Graduate

    Dr. Gwen, did you see my question?

  • Sleepio Member

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

    Hi Gwen,

    I am on the point of giving up on the sleepio programme as I do not think that it is appropriate for my sleep disorder which results from Restless Legs Syndrome (RLS).

    I was interested in your response to Caliman re sleeping pills. Sleeping pills have been prescribed for me by a neurologist/sleep specialist. I am not keen to take them but have found them to be more effective with less side effects than the other drugs that I have taken (including, dopamine agonist and anti-convulsants) – I have also tried all of the self help measures to no avail.

    I usually fall asleep naturally and only take medication when I'm woken by RLS and the symptoms are too severe to go back to sleep. Unfortunately this is most nights. I have attempted go to bed later but this seems to make me “overtired” and I find it really difficult to fall asleep (whereas I normally have no problems falling asleep). Once I've woken up I usually just take a sleeping pill and meditate until I fall asleep which usually takes about half an hour to an hour. Although I am awake in bed bed at this time, this is still a restful period and it is therefore totally counterproductive to take a pill and then go and sit downstairs waiting for it to take effect.

    It seems to me that in my case, sleeping pills and Sleepio are not compatible?? I am interested in your response.

  • Sleepio Member

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

    Hi there, great to hear about your improved week however sorry to hear about your son needing to go to ER- I hope he is okay! Expereincing increased anxiety after a night like you have had (son needing to go to ER) is very likely a normal response to a stressful situation and it should subside now that the stressful event is over. It is common for people with sleep problems to blame day time problems on lack of sleep and this causal attribution is not always correct and can cause the sleep problem to appear to be a bigger problem than what it is. This in turn creates increased anxiety about sleep! Try and be aware of the many different factors that can cause day time difficulties/ anxiety and not attribute it all to your sleep as it is likely caused or influenced by other factors. Let's not forget the other half of your post also- a great start to the week in terms of sleep- good for you!

  • Sleepio Member

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

    I would need to look into this however their working day differs to ours as do their eating patterns. Our working day tends to be 9-5 however in countries where the day gets very hot the working day is seperated to allow an escape from the heat. They then take their evening meal at a later time so I would assume they go to bed later too.

  • Sleepio Member

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

    That's a great question. This programme works for both difficulties and for many of our sleepio users they experience difficulties with both falling asleep and then staying asleep. First you learn about how to improve various lifestyle facots to improve sleep, then you learn a mixture of cognitive and behavioural strategies. A key component of the course that helps both of the difficulties you describe is strengthening the bed-sleep connection. The QHR and SR really help this and the aim is to increase sleep drive by building sleep pressure throughout the day and this helps people both fall asleep (reduce sleep onset latency) and stay asleep (improved sleep efficiency).

  • Sleepio Member

    • 105 comments
    • 24 helped
    Graduate

    There's a member who's just posted a problem in the session3 discussion. They seem to live in a bedsit with no couch, living on their bed. What advice can we give them?

  • Sleepio Member

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

    Hi Dr Gwen
    Thanks for replying. I don't know if I'm doing the right thing but once I reach the quarter of an hour guideline I tend to get up. So my sleep efficiency is still quite high. I am at least not developing a bad association with my bed and I do look forward to going to bed at night, knowing that I will likely fall asleep without much problem. I have tried the thought blocking but while I got into the monotony of the repetition, I started to wander again into work issues. I tried the notepad thing too but like I said earlier I don't have anything really bothering me or any to do lists to think of so my list was very small! I will try tonight to write out the putting the day to rest in a more formal manner. It might force me to think about the positives of my day as well as the negative association with a to do list. After completing Sleepio I will resume mindfulness to see if I can help to control my thoughts and emotional response to them. Sleepio has definitely been of benefit to me and for that I'm very grateful.

  • Sleepio Member

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

    Hi Twinks, I am sorry to hear you feeling discouraged just now and I would encourage you to stick with the programme as it will have lots of helpful advice for you. My response to Caliman in relation to the use of sleeping pills was relating to people who have primary insomnia (insomnia not related to a medical, psychiatric or environmental cause) and not those who have a medical condition that disrupts their sleep. In your case I do not see why you cannot continue to implement aspects of the programme and use your medication as required. Why do you think they will not be compatible? The Sleepio programme can be viewed as a set of tools all of which help to improve sleep and the distress caused by poor sleep. Some aspects of the programme will be more relevant to your difficulties than others so focus on what helps. Have you seen the following library article about restless leg syndrome- it might have information you find helpful.

    https://www.sleepio.com/library/article/what-is-restless-legs-syndrome-rls/

  • Sleepio Member

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

    I was about to suggest Mindfulness- that's a great way to let thoughts pass on by without them causing distress. This can be implemented as part of the Sleepio programme.

  • Sleepio Member

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

    Thanks for your response Gwen – Looks like we're nearly out of time on this discussion.

    I take your point that it will be worthwhile to continue with the course and to select those aspects of the programme that seem to be useful. I have read the article that you suggested.

    Thanks again. With best wishes.

  • Sleepio Member

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

    Globrite. Would recommend the website Headspace for excellent mindfulness meditation

  • Sleepio Member

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

    It is difficult to answer this fully without the individual describing to me specifically what their difficulty is however I can have a go with some general advice. My advice to this person would be to try and create some kind of differentiation between using the couch as a place to sit through the day and as a place to sleep at night. The difficulty this person might experience is that the bed-sleep connection is poor. I would suggest during the waking period having the couch set up as such- without a sheet and pillow, removing the duvet, perhaps putting a throw on it and some cusions. Try not to lie out on it during the wakeful period. Once wakened, open the curtains, get some fresh air into the room and create a wakeful environment. Is there a chair and table area where they could sit? Once night time comes, convert the sofa to a bed- take out the duvet and pillows and then adjust the light levels to create a bedroom environment. I hope that offers some help!

  • Sleepio Member

    • 409 comments
    • 91 helped
    Graduate

    Okay, that's us out of time! Thanks for all your comments and for the support and advice you have been giving one-another- great work!

  • Sleepio Member

    • 105 comments
    • 24 helped
    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Graduate

    Thanks for that Dr Gwen. I'll pass that on to them. And suggest they come to this discussion next week. Bye x

  • Sleepio Member

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

    Please do pass that on- I think I have seen the comment in the discussion forum and I think they would benefit from the advice given but also coming along to the next session for some more detailed advice. Thanks for bringing it to my attention!

  • Sleepio Member

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

    Can you elaborate on the fact that this sleep pattern is at night for me, no daytime napping. I often go to sleep at night, wakeup after 1 to 2 hours, followed by a period of wakefulness, then my second sleep is longer usually. Is this okay? Internet seems to say it is less of a problem as long as I get at least 6 hours of sleep.

  • Sleepio Member

    • 2 comments
    • 1 helped
    Session 5

    Hi Dr Gwen

    I am surprised at how much energy I have with the SR program but think it helps. I have an unusual problem where a good part of the night I don't know if I am asleep or awake. It feels like I am awake and can control thoughts, dreams etc but time has passed so I wonder if I am sleeping. I think I may not be going into a deep enough sleep. What do you suggest?? Thank you

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