Live Discussion with Dr Michelle Davis - 15th April 2020

Dr Davis will be hosting a live online discussion here on Wednesday 15th April, from 8.30pm to 10.00pm British Time or 3.30pm to 5.00pm 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 Davis 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 10 Apr 2020 at 12:05 AM
  • 9 comments
  • 0 helped

Comments

  • Sleepio Member

    • 4 comments
    • 2 helped
    Graduate

    Staying awake in the early evening, when you're exhausted. Then finding it not easy to get to sleep in your sleep window.

  • Sleepio Member

    • 453 comments
    • 181 helped
    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Graduate

    Hi Suellalan, a few of us have left comments and ideas for you on your profile page :)
    Kurly

  • Sleepio Member

    • 4 comments
    • 0 helped
    Session 3

    Hello Dr Davis, I have been feeling ill for a few weeks and completed Session 3 yesterday. I was givwn a reduced sleep time window of over 8.5 hours, which I think is a lot because before then, I maybe was getting 5 or 6 hours tops and I think the course will plan to increase it.

    I contacted support and they said if you recommended changing the time they could do so through engineering.

    thank you,

    Charlotte

  • Sleepio Member

    • 242 comments
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    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Expert

    Hi Suellalan,

    Thanks for the question! If I’m understanding correctly, it sounds like you’re having difficulty staying awake in the early evening (i.e., feeling really tired), but then when it’s time to sleep, you have difficulty falling asleep?

    If so, it sounds like you might be experiencing what we call “conditioned arousal”. This is when the bed has become associated with wakefulness, or even anxiety. The more time we spend awake in bed, the more our brains begin to form associations between the bed and being awake.

    The good news is that sleep restriction (combined with the quarter hour rule, i.e., getting out of bed if you’re unable to fall asleep within a quarter hour) is a powerful tool for breaking conditioned arousal and reassociating the bed with sleep (by minimizing the time you are in bed awake).

    I see that you are on week 4 of the program – this can be one of the most challenging times, as you are still in the sleep restriction phase, but most people find that it tends to get better with time. Hang in there!

    In the meantime, there are techniques for managing worry and stress that you can try that may be helpful for conditioned arousal – these are presented in sessions 4 and 5. Additionally, progressive muscle relaxation, which you’ve already learned, can be a helpful tool.

    I hope this is useful information, and I hope you notice some improvements soon!

  • Sleepio Member

    • 23 comments
    • 9 helped
    Graduate

    Hi Doctor Davis, I've been doing Sleepio since the end of January and I'm beginning to lose confidence in it. At the beginning I was falling asleep at night within 15 minutes, which was a massive, positive change for me, now it's taking me a lot longer. My SW starts at 11.30 and I'm tired! I'm also really struggling with a racing mind and not knowing whether I'm awake or asleep at night. Even if I am asleep – it's not refreshing!!
    I currently have an 8 hour SW. Please advise!

  • Sleepio Member

    • 242 comments
    • 53 helped
    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Expert

    Hi Charlotte,

    Thanks for the question. I won’t be able to make specific recommendations about what your sleep window should be (you and/or your medical provider will be in the best position to make this decision, given your knowledge of your sleep and medical information). However, because the most important thing is that you stick to a sleep schedule that works best for you, you’re able to manually adjust your sleep window on your own in line with your preferences and needs.

    I’ve pasted below a link to an article that explains how to manually adjust your sleep window, should you decide to do so.

    https://www.sleepio.com/library/article/how-to-shift-your-sleep-window/

    If you have any technical difficulties with this process, our support team should be able to provide troubleshooting at hello@sleepio.com at any time.

    Hope this information is helpful!

  • Sleepio Member

    • 242 comments
    • 53 helped
    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Expert

    Hi LizK,

    Thanks for the question. I’m sorry to hear you’ve been struggling with unrefreshing sleep recently – I’m sure that’s very frustrating! It’s admirable that you’ve been sticking with the program for a few months.

    A few things to note here – first, an 8 hour sleep window may not be an optimal length for everyone. It will take some experimentation to figure out what sleep window works best for you – some of us find that we feel most refreshed after 6 hours of sleep, others need closer to 10. It varies widely based on the individual.

    For that reason, if someone has completed sleep restriction and is still experiencing difficulty with their sleep, my general recommendation would be to try restricting the sleep window again to 1) readjust their sleep again and 2) find their optimal window.

    If you decide this might be a good option for you, you can manually adjust your sleep window on your own by following the instructions below:

    https://www.sleepio.com/library/article/how-to-shift-your-sleep-window/

    Next, you noted struggling with a racing mind and not knowing if you’re asleep at night or not.

    How I would typically address a racing mind at night is to 1) make sure there is a good, relaxing wind-down routine in place, 2) make sure the person is practicing the techniques in sessions 4 and 5 for stress and anxiety, and 3) recommend exercise. Getting some physical activity in (not too strenuous, and not too close to bedtime) does wonders for relaxing the mind.

    Additionally, people often report that it is distressing to them to not be aware if they are awake or asleep at night. I point this out because it’s important to know that this is very common. We all wake up at various points throughout the night, many people just don’t remember waking up.

    Generally, if people notice that they are awake at night, my recommendation would be to try not to worry about it (easier said than done, I know!), by remembering that awakenings are not considered to be problematic unless they are for longer than 15 minutes, or are causing a lot of disturbance during the daytime (e.g., excessive sleepiness and fatigue). I also recommend continuing to practice the quarter hour rule, as difficult as it can be, and getting out of bed if awake for longer than approximately a quarter hour (estimating this time, not looking at the clock) so that they're not forming an association your bed and being awake.

    It can be really discouraging to experience a set-back like this, so I’m glad to see that you wrote in and that you’re still working on it! Best of luck.

  • Sleepio Member

    • 23 comments
    • 9 helped
    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Graduate

    Thank you

  • Sleepio Member

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

    I understand, thank you very much for your advice. I think that option can only shift it, rather than shorten it so I will see if support can help me with that.

    Thank you very much!

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