Live Discussion with Dr Jen Kanady - 9th June 2021

Dr Jen Kanady will be hosting a live online discussion here on Wednesday 9th June 2021, from 8.00 pm to 9.30 pm British Time or 3.00 pm to 4.30 pm US Eastern Time.

They 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, they may not be able to answer all in the time available, but will try to answer as many as they can.

Please do note that, as per our guidelines, Dr Jen Kanady will not be able to give personal medical advice including those about medication. Their 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 3 Jun 2021 at 11:15 PM
  • 18 comments
  • 1 helped

Comments

  • Sleepio Member

    • 2 comments
    • 0 helped
    Graduate

    How do I access this please?

  • Sleepio Member

    • 63 comments
    • 18 helped
    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Graduate

    Just visit this page, at the time mentioned in the first paragraph above, this coming Wednesday. The chat takes place on this thread/page. You may type a question here before the session, or during the session. Questions are answered in the order they are asked.

  • Sleepio Member

    • 3 comments
    • 0 helped
    Graduate

    I started sleepio in early April, completed the course and found it very effective. I've tried to keep applying the sleepio techniques while extending my sleep window, but my sleep efficiency is dropping fairly consistently. There are increased stressors in my life and the efficiency drop has been fairly consistent with that. What can I do?

  • Sleepio Member

    • 385 comments
    • 120 helped
    Expert

    Hello Sleepio community! My name is Jennifer Kanady. I am a clinical psychologist with an expertise in sleep. I am here to answer any and all sleep-related questions for the next 1.5 hours.

  • Sleepio Member

    • 385 comments
    • 120 helped
    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Expert

    Hi Weffie,

    Nicolacat is correct (thank you). You can input your questions at any point and I will answer them in the order in which they were received.

  • Sleepio Member

    • 3 comments
    • 0 helped
    Graduate

    Hi Jennifer, I put my question up above earlier and would really appreciate a response please.

  • Sleepio Member

    • 385 comments
    • 120 helped
    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Expert

    Hi Snore2021,

    Congrats on all your progress and I am sorry to hear that your sleep has regressed.

    One thing I like to remind folks is that experiencing the occasional night of poor sleep is normal; in fact, it's to be expected. Everybody experiences poor sleep, even healthy sleepers. And during times of stress, it's not uncommon for sleep problems to start or reoccur. However, if you experience more than the occasional night of poor sleep, then it might be time to start re-applying some Sleepio techniques. Remember, if you tackled your sleep problem once, you can do it again.

    Now that being said, it sounds like you have been experiencing poor sleep more regularly, which I am sorry to hear. One suggestion I often give folks is reapplying sleep restriction. E.g., restricting the sleep window to the amount of time spent asleep and gradually increasing the window every week as sleep improves. As you have done sleep restriction before, I imagine you know that it can be challenging, but is also an effective way for getting sleep back on track.

    Another thing that may be helpful to flag is when to stop increasing the sleep window. I generally tell people that they should stop increasing their window if (a) they feel like they are functioning optimally during the day or (b) if their sleep problem has returned (this may indicate that the window has been extended too far).

    Best of luck moving forward and please follow-up and let us know how you are doing.

  • Sleepio Member

    • 385 comments
    • 120 helped
    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Expert

    Hi Snore2021. I just responded, please see above.

  • Sleepio Member

    • 3 comments
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    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Graduate

    thanks very much, Jennifer, that is very helpful.

  • Sleepio Member

    • 7 comments
    • 0 helped
    Graduate

    Hi Jennifer, I was diagnosed with non-restorative sleep insomnia over 6 years ago & wake up unrefreshed every day. I can sleep for 7-10 hours easily, have no issues typically getting to sleep but still wake up unrefreshed every single day. I've not been given any answers as to why other than the suggestion of this program, which I admit I'm skeptical about since it's not my thoughts that are causing me unrefreshing sleep yet I don't know what is. I know you can't give personal medical advice but do you know of any other place I can find more information on this disorder? I've had multiple blood tests, etc., trying to rule things out but still my sleep hasn't changed a bit. I haven't been able to find any information related to this over the years & have just seemed to give up & deal with it – though I would like to have a better quality of sleep & not have to depend on caffeine just to get thru the day.

  • Sleepio Member

    • 7 comments
    • 0 helped
    Graduate

    For reference, my “sleep efficiency” score on Sleepio is in the 80% or more range yet my sleep quality is a 2/10. I live a very healthy lifestyle, exercise regularly, have good sleep hygiene, no bright lights an hour or so before bed, etc., etc. but I feel nothing has helped me.

  • Sleepio Member

    • 385 comments
    • 120 helped
    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Expert

    Hi awrun,

    Thanks for reaching out and I am sorry to hear that you are still struggling with nonrestorative sleep, that is very frustrating. A couple of thoughts here:

    1. Nonrestorative sleep was actually removed as a symptom of insomnia (or an insomnia subtype) in the most recent version of the DSM (DSM-5). And to my knowledge, unfortunately, there is not a lot of research on the treatment of non-restorative sleep nor does research often look at measures of non-restorative sleep. This may help explain why you are having a hard time finding information. Again, so frustrating.

    2. That being said, there are reasons to believe that cognitive and behavioral techniques for insomnia (like what is taught in Sleepio) may be helpful for non-restorative sleep. E.g., as sleep becomes more consolidated, sleep can feel more restful. Moreover, keeping a regular sleep/wake schedule (by way of sleep restriction) can help promote optimal circadian functioning. Our circadian rhythms function best with regularity and when we are consistent with our sleep times and rise times, that can help with how refreshing sleep feels and how we feel during the day. Finally, the cognitive techniques in Sleepio may be helpful for addressing any worry you have about non-restorative sleep.

    3. It's great that you are talking to your medical provider about this because nonrestorative sleep can be (but not always) a symptom of other medical conditions, which your doctor will be able to help you pinpoint.

    4. Some other things that can be helpful for functioning and alertness during the day (in addition to caffeine) is exposing oneself to bright light and exercise. And the exercise doesn't have to be intense. Even taking a walk around a neighborhood can help increase alertness.

    I hope some of this has been helpful and please feel free to reach back out with any additional questions.

  • Sleepio Member

    • 63 comments
    • 18 helped
    Graduate

    I have a question about pain and sleep. I fractured my humerus one month ago, and since then pain has frequently interfered with my sleep. I started PT yesterday, and should be pain-free in a few weeks. So this is a temporary problem.

    None of the medicines available to me helped more than a little.

    Is there anything you recommend in this situation? I just ended up deciding to get sleep when I could, and I’ll return to my sleep compression program when my pain has reduced enough. What this means in practice is getting as much sleep at night as I can, not using my alarm, and taking a nap during the day if needed. With all of this, I’m still getting to sleep within 20 minutes most nights and sticking to my regular bed time. I still apply QHR at the beginning of the night if I don’t nod off fast enough.

    This is kind of a “soft” question, in that it’s quiet today, so I figured I’d ask, because you might have some wisdom to offer. Or maybe I’m doing the right thing and in this circumstance I have to do what I can. I do need to be alert enough to drive myself to physical therapy, and yes it is legal in the state of Connecticut to drive with a fractured humerus!

  • Sleepio Member

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

    Thank you, Jennifer. I do keep a regular sleep schedule every day as I know it's important to go to sleep & wake up at the same every day. I'm only a week into the program but is that what you meant by sleep restriction? I typically sleep 8 hours a night but I've noticed at times in the past when I've slept maybe only 6 or 7 hours I sometimes feel a little different – not significantly refreshed just a little better. However, I don't think it would be healthy to regularly restrict or only sleep 6-7 hours a night as I know that's not the recommendation. Thank you for the other tips as well.

  • Sleepio Member

    • 385 comments
    • 120 helped
    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Expert

    Hi Nicolacat,

    In situations like these, I like to remind people to be nice to themselves. I generally push for folks to adhere to Sleepio guidelines as best as possible, but there are certain situations that call for leniency. For example, when you are sick or when you are struggling with pain. In these situations, I think a fine approach is sleeping as needed (e.g., taking naps, spending longer times in bed) and then getting back to more of a “strict” adoption of techniques once you're on the mend.

    I am sorry to hear about your fracture, that sounds very painful and uncomfortable. Wishing you a speedy recovery.

  • Sleepio Member

    • 385 comments
    • 120 helped
    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Expert

    Hi awrun,

    I am really glad you flagged that concern. What is interesting is that sleep need actually differs from person to person. For adults, the general recommendation is to get between 7-9 hours of sleep per night. But some folks need as little as 6 hours and others need closer to 10. So that magic “8 hour” number we are all familiar with is actually an average. It's interesting that you noticed feeling different on days when you get less sleep. That's usually what I suggest folks do. E.g., experiment with how much sleep you get and note how you feel during the day. This can be a nice way to figure out your sleep need. I might suggest conducting some mini experiments and playing around with your schedule.

    Keep us posted!

  • Sleepio Member

    • 63 comments
    • 18 helped
    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Graduate

    Thank you for the support, and the reassurance that I'm doing the right thing.

    It's actually not that painful during the day, but since I can't put my arm where I want to at night, it's hard to get comfortable. This has improved with time.

    I didn't want to start taking sleep meds that I would have to wean myself off of, and in any case that would have meant going to see yet another doctor.

  • Sleepio Member

    • 385 comments
    • 120 helped
    Expert

    OK all, signing off now. Thanks for the great questions. Wishing everyone happy and healthy sleep!

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