Live Discussion with Dr Kirsty Horne - 4th December

Dr Horne will be hosting a live online discussion here on Wednesday 4th December 7pm-8pm (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 28 Nov 2013 at 2:13 PM
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  • Sleepio Member

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    Hi again Pierrette, thanks for your second question. I wonder if it has been reassuring for you to know that you are not alone and that many others your age are in a similar position in relation to their sleep? I'm pleased to hear that you and others are managing on less sleep. I wonder if you are doing less during the day as a result, or whether you are doing less during the day and sleeping less as a result (i.e. I wonder what came first)? It is true that sleep needs may decrease as we approach older adulthood, however, the amount required still varies amongst individuals and is partly dependent upon what you are doing during the day (how much physical and mental energy you are using) and can be affected by physical health, daytime napping and the time you retire to bed at, amongst other things. What time are you going to bed at just now? Are you getting regular exercise, eating well and getting out into the daylight and fresh air during the day? Are you continuing to implement the QHR and other Sleepio techniques? Could there be anything else affecting your mood and energy levels? You might find Professor Espie's article from the library interesting also: https://www.sleepio.com/library/article/is-it-true-that-people-need-less-sleep-later-in-li/

  • Sleepio Member

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    Graduate

    Hi Hopper,
    You might just find that the HRT gives you a new lease on life. It's also possible that the symptoms you are experiencing could be related to cutting down your medication to half a dose. It would be good to talk to your doctor about that. You might need to reduce more slowly.
    Angie

  • Sleepio Member

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    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Graduate

    Hi Hopper, it sounds like you have nothing to lose by giving it a go. Not everyone experiences side effects from all medications- I know I have been on many different medications and only ever experienced side effects once. Try to watch out for any negative thinking- especially catastrophising or jumping to conclusions and use the thought checker to challenge these. Worst case scenario, you try the medication and stop it again if it causes unpleasant side effects. Best case scenario, you might feel better and therefore sleep better too! Good luck in whatever you decide.

  • Sleepio Member

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    Thanks Angief.

  • Sleepio Member

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    Hi All. There are serious concerns about links between HRT and breast cancer

  • Sleepio Member

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    Graduate

    Here's a link to some research http://www.millionwomenstudy.org/study_progress/

  • Sleepio Member

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    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Graduate

    Hi Caliman, I think what you are referring to is Seasonal Affective Disorder (or SAD). The NICE guidelines recommend that this is treated in the same way as depression (with CBT or anti-depressants). Light therapy is also a popular treatment for SAD and may have a positive short-term effect; however, there is no strong evidence to support the long-term benefits of using this. Light therapy involves sitting in front of, or beneath, a light box for a 30-60 minutes early in the morning. It is thought to work by simulating the sunlight that is missing during the darker winter months. The additional light encourages your brain to reduce the production of melatonin (the hormone that makes you sleepy) and increase the production of serotonin (the hormone that affects your mood). Altering the levels of melatonin and serotonin that are released into your body during the winter months can help to ease your symptoms of SAD. However, this is based on the assumption that the condition is caused by a lack of light and the effect that this has on the hormones that are released in your brain. If anyone is considering this approach, I would encourage them to seek further advice from a medical practitioner or see www.sada.org.uk for more information. I would encourage getting out into the daylight too on brighter days or sit near a window to increase exposure to natural light. It is also worth noting that light boxes are not available on the NHS so if anyone wanted to go down this route, they would need to purchase one.

  • Sleepio Member

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    Caliman, in response to the second half of your second question, I'm glad to hear you have started using the thought checker and are putting the day to rest. Try to wind down and relax in the evenings also, and yes, regular exercise is important too. I would encourage you to continue practicing the cognitive techniques- they get easier with practice, as does relaxation. I can’t tell you how long it will take for your figures to improve as it will be affected by many individual factors- try to use the community for support when you are feeling discouraged- I’m sure there are many others who have been feeling the way you are now.

  • Sleepio Member

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    Thank you for your reply angie, helpful.as always, thats a good point about reducing sleep meds and possible reason for feeling rubbish…I will make an appointment asap. Thanks
    Tina

  • Sleepio Member

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    Thanks Polly Sleep- I wasn't aware of this and am not familiar with the research. I suppose, my advice would be to discuss any concerns about this with a medical practitioner, who will be able to offer further advice (based on all the available evidence).

  • Sleepio Member

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    Hi paulj, as you say, you have found the optimal amount of sleep you require to function well. Sleeping too much can have a similar impact as not getting enough sleep. You might find your sleep needs change depending on daytime activities, physical health and stress levels- so at times you may require more than 6 hours- listen to your body and use the way you feel during the day as a guide.

  • Sleepio Member

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    Yes, GemmaT, I’m sure many of us develop bad sleeping habits- I suppose there’s no need to change these unless they are impacting negatively upon our sleep (or in other ways). If you feel these habits are impacting negatively upon your sleep etc, then the Sleeio techniques will be really helpful for you in unlearning these bad habits. Finding other enjoyable and interesting activities to do in the evening might help and ensuring you have cosy slippers and dressing gown for when you need to rise in the morning might help also, good luck.

  • Sleepio Member

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    I wonder how others are feeling about the upcoming holiday period?

  • Sleepio Member

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    Can't wait for a rest from work and early starts!!

  • Sleepio Member

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    me too Polly Sleep!!

  • Sleepio Member

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    okay, that's us out of time for this evening. Thanks again for joining the session and sleep well, Dr Horne.

  • Sleepio Member

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    Not a problem here. I'm retired and we celebrate Hanukkah – tonight is the last night.

  • Sleepio Member

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    'Night all!

  • Sleepio Member

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    But, even though it's stress-free here, I know it isn't for lots of people. In fact, this is the hardest time of year for many, particularly those who are on their own or have no family. It's hard even for those who do have families as those get-togethers can bring out the best and the worst in people. It can also be a really lovely time though and I wish everyone on this forum who celebrates Christmas a peaceful, happy, stress-free holiday!
    Angie

  • Sleepio Member

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    This is a good website for menopause information. It is run by a doctor at my local NHS hospital.

    http://www.menopausematters.co.uk/

    Anne

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