Live discussion with Dr John Cape - 30th Nov 2016

Dr Cape will be hosting a live online discussion here on Wednesday 30th November, from 7:00pm to 8:15pm British Standard Time or 2:00pm to 3:15pm US Eastern Standard Time.

He 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.

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

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 keys or the F5 key
On Mac hit CMD and R

Posted 25 Nov 2016 at 1:50 PM
  • 78 comments
  • 13 helped

Comments

Show older comments
  • Sleepio Member

    • 302 comments
    • 72 helped
    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Expert

    For people experiencing vivid nightmares, there are a few things we consider:

    -Could this be a side effect of medication? Some medications alter the pattern of sleep and increase the chance of dreaming.
 So for people on medications for who nightmares are a problem, this might be something to discuss with their doctor although, if you are already being prescribed medication for nightmares, I guess this is a discussion you have had already
    -Similarly for alcohol use: alcohol use suppresses rapid eye movement (dreaming) sleep in the earlier part of the night which causes a rebound (and so increased dreaming) in the second part of the night.
The advice of the Prof in Sleepio to avoid alcohol would then be especially important
    -How much sleep is the person getting in total across the whole day (adding up any naps during the day as well as sleep at night). If too much sleep, decreasing the total sleep time (e.g. by cutting naps) can reduce REM (dreaming) sleep and hence decrease the chance of nightmares happening. Sleep restriction, as set out in the program, can therefore be helpful for nightmares
 – Finally strategies to decrease arousal and worry before sleep can reduce the chance of bad dreams happening

    I hope these ideas are of some use

  • Sleepio Member

    • 302 comments
    • 72 helped
    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Expert

    A noisily snoring bed partner can certainly be irritating. But what adds to the problem, as I see from your post that you understand, is when you end up tuning into the noise of snoring and when you start worrying that you wont get to sleep because of the snoring. Both keep people awake beyond the disturbance of the noise itself and Sleepio has approaches to dealing with these in both sessions 4 and 5. But I see you have just started so do go thoroughly over the earlier sessions as these are important before you get to those specific approaches. Good luck with it. Of course there are also approaches to help people reduce snoring, but bed partners who snore may be reluctant to try then or they may not help them!

  • Sleepio Member

    • 302 comments
    • 72 helped
    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Expert

    Difficulty falling asleep is one of the most common sleep problems and is one that Sleepio is designed to help and studies show it does help. And if you have pain from arthritis, this inevitably makes things harder. All the approaches as you go through the programme are relevant to this. Many things can cause the problem in the first place, but once it settles into a pattern, whatever started the problem in the first place is usually not what keeps it going but the pattern of sleep habits and thoughts and feelings around sleeping that have got a hold. These are what Sleepio helps people change. In terms of sleeping medication, Sleepio works equally well whether people take sleeping medication or not, so this is a choice between you and your doctor. All the best with it.

  • Sleepio Member

    • 302 comments
    • 72 helped
    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Expert

    Another user posted a similar question about their mind chatter or racing mind. It is a big cause of sleep problems. So it is good you have identified it so clearly as a problem for you. As I posted earlier in reply to that user, the Sleepio techniques in sessions 4 and 5 address this problem directly, but all the approaches in earlier sessions are important too so we do recommend that people work through all the approaches in order even if they may seem less immediately relevant to their problem. People who have a tendency to dwell on things in the day will often have this problem worse at night because there are no distractions and sleep suffers.

  • Sleepio Member

    • 302 comments
    • 72 helped
    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Expert

    Hi. You ask what is the best headache medicine you can take that wont keep you awake. I am afraid we aren’t in a position at Sleepio to advise about medications, as what is appropriate medication will vary according to an individual’s medical condition, circumstances and history so this sort of question really needs to be discussed with a medical practitioner who knows all this for the person. Sorry I cannot help more

  • Sleepio Member

    • 302 comments
    • 72 helped
    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Expert

    What you describe is how with increasing sleep debt (increasing lack of sleep over days) sleep pressure builds up and eventually you get a good nights sleep. So you then get a sort of yo-yo sleep pattern. The problem with racing mind you describe has come up a few times in this live session and you will see from my previous replies that there are approaches in Sleepio designed specifically for this. What you describe about your mind switching on immediately your head hits the pillow is a great description of how the bed-sleep connection that promotes sleep in good sleepers has been replaced by a bed-racing mind connection. The Prof talks about this in the programme. Thank you for your question

  • Sleepio Member

    • 302 comments
    • 72 helped
    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Expert

    Thanks for the suggestion

  • Sleepio Member

    • 1 comments
    • 0 helped
    Session 2

    I have suffered with insomnia since childhood. I have tried many techniques including CBT. Is it possible that poor sleep, a busy mind and wakeful night becomes a routine over years and a routine hard to break.

  • Sleepio Member

    • 302 comments
    • 72 helped
    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Expert

    Really interesting question. Thank you. There isn’t anything specific in Sleepio or the community as far as I am aware on insomnia caused by abuse in childhood. In so far as sleep at night is interfered with now by thoughts or nightmares associated with the trauma of past abuse, then specific help and treatment for trauma may be needed. Although memories of abuse and trauma of course never go away, people can be helped in dealing with them as I am sure you are aware. I would be interested in any thoughts you have as to what would be helpful

  • Sleepio Member

    • 302 comments
    • 72 helped
    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Expert

    Hi, good to hear that your sleep has improved with improved sleep hygiene. So far so good. I see you are at session 3 of Sleepio which is where the more powerful approaches of sleep scheduling (sleep restriction) and sleep-bed connection (quarter of an hour rule) start, then followed by various other helpful approaches in sessions 4 and 5. All these help with sleep maintenance (sleeping longer). All the best with it

  • Sleepio Member

    • 302 comments
    • 72 helped
    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Expert

    Thanks for your contribution

  • Sleepio Member

    • 6 comments
    • 0 helped
    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Session 2

    You are right, I don`t think thyroid problems are taken seriously enough. I`m just starting week 2 so long way to go. Can`t get much worse than it was so onward and upward!!! K

  • Sleepio Member

    • 302 comments
    • 72 helped
    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Expert

    Hi. You describe perfectly what happens. Over years poor sleep, a busy mind and wakeful nights becomes a routine and a routine that is hard to break. But the routine can be broken with the right approaches – approaches from cognitive behaviour therapy that have been known now for decades but are little used and which have been included in the Sleepio programme so people can help themselves. I hope you find it helpful

  • Sleepio Member

    • 302 comments
    • 72 helped
    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Expert

    Hormonal problems at menopause can certainly be a cause of poor sleep. This indeed is one of the main questions people ask us about in live sessions. But like most physical/bodily causes that interfere with sleep, they are not the only or even the main reason that leads to sleep becoming a persistent problem. The main cause is a pattern that develops, for some people the same unhelpful sleep routine each night, for others one that varies. And it is these patterns that Sleepio is designed to help people change. All the best with the programme

  • Sleepio Member

    • 4 comments
    • 0 helped
    Graduate

    I have a hard time blocking noises what can I do

  • Sleepio Member

    • 302 comments
    • 72 helped
    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Expert

    Thanks for your clear question. Great that you have made the progress you have, even though you do feel rather stuck now. In terms of the option of going to bed later and shifting your sleep window forward accordingly, you could try more arousing activities earlier in the evening to keep yourself awake, such as going for a walk or doing chores around the house, before moving later in the evening to your wind down routine. Watching TV and reading as you have found are not activating and it is easy to fall asleep doing them if you are sleepy tired. But it also sounds like you could do with a more effective strategy when you wake up early in the morning to get back to sleep, as you find getting up after a quarter of an hour you never get back to bed. Not quite sure I understand why going back to bed is tricky for you and this is something you are welcome to come back and clarify. But it may also be helpful to review the techniques in sessions 4 and 5 as these can be helpful for people when they are unable to get back to sleep.

  • Sleepio Member

    • 302 comments
    • 72 helped
    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Expert

    Hi. I guess you may not be able to stop the noises (although ear plugs work wonders for some people), but peoples reaction to noises (becoming sensitised to them, being irritated, wondering how long they are going to go on for, etc) can also contribute to keeping them awake and this can be helped by the various approaches in sessions 4 and 5 of Sleepio which I see is where you are now.

  • Sleepio Member

    • 302 comments
    • 72 helped
    Expert

    We have gone quite a bit over time today as there were a lot of questions, but it is time now to stop. I think I have replied to everybody, but if not o you have further questions, do come back and post for the next live session who will be next Wednesday as always

  • Sleepio Member

    • 5 comments
    • 0 helped
    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Session 3

    Many thanks

  • Sleepio Member

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

    Thank you for your support. I am only two weeks into the course and am finding it helpful. I am reminded of the Egyptian pyramids, built so long ago, but still standing. The course is giving me a solid base upon which to build. I am also assessing my thought processes so I do not blame everything on poor sleep! I am confident I will get there. I want to control my sleep without any need for zopiclone or circadin. I am beginning to think that I will win.

Return to top