Live Discussion with Dr Michelle Davis - 26th August 2020

Dr Davis will be hosting a live online discussion here on Wednesday 26th August, 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 20 Aug 2020 at 11:56 PM
  • 16 comments
  • 1 helped

Comments

  • Sleepio Member

    • 2 comments
    • 0 helped
    Graduate

    Hello

    Having had sleep problems for approximately 4 months, once things improve, how long does it take to start to feel back to normal? Also if you have a bad night once in a while ie 1 to 2 times a week, will this affect your recovery to such an extent that you will always feel fatigued?

    Many thanks

  • Sleepio Member

    • 4 comments
    • 1 helped
    Graduate

    Hi. I do go to bed early to read or watch TV, I don’t have negative thoughts about my bed, in fact I love being in bed and look forward to being there. I’m not frightened about going to sleep, in fact most times I fall asleep quickly. However I do wake up 3-4 times per night. Years ago it was just waking up, now I tend to go to the loo. Most times I fall asleep fairly quickly afterwards. Because I am positive about being in bed, will the Sleepio programme help me? Thank you.

  • Sleepio Member

    • 10 comments
    • 0 helped
    Graduate

    Dear Dr Davies,

    I am returning to the Sleepio program for a third time. My fist time doing it was highly successful. I went from about 5 hours a night to 7 hours and I was very happy. But over time I slipped back into old sleep habits and along with certain stresses in my life have fallen back into poor sleep. A few years later I tried again and this time it was not effective. Now I'm trying again and was wondering if you had any comments or suggestions.

  • Sleepio Member

    • 1 comments
    • 1 helped
    Graduate

    Dear Dr Davies,

    I have just started the Sleepio programme. I find it difficult to fall a sleep and waken several times each night. I often listen to a podcast, audiobook or radio chat shows, which normally does send me to sleep. Is this a good idea.

  • Sleepio Member

    • 2 comments
    • 0 helped
    Graduate

    Dear Dr Davies,

    I would like to know how to input in the sleep diary “the quarter hour rule “ when we do the sleep retriction methodology. Should we put that we went to bed the first time we do or the ultimate one ? For instance, if we went ot bed at 1:00 but didn't fall alseep until 1:15AM so we woke up and came back at 1:30 and finally fall asleep at 1:45, should we input that we went to bed at 1:00 or at 1:30 ?

    Thanks for your time and help

  • Sleepio Member

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

    Hi UllAses,
    Welcome to Sleepio! I’ve left you a message on your profile page regarding the times to put in your sleep diary.
    Kurly :)

  • Sleepio Member

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

    Hi Gail18,

    Thanks for the question! When you say “back to normal”, I assume you mean once your sleep has improved, how long does it take for daytime functioning (i.e., feeling refreshed and alert) to improve? The answer is a tricky one because it can vary from person to person, but in general, daytime functioning should improve alongside sleep. If you find that your sleep has improved for a number of weeks and you continue to feel very fatigued, it would be important to check with your doctor about whether there may be another cause for daytime fatigue.

    I’m glad you asked the second question – having a bad night once in a while is completely normal – in fact many people who do not struggle with insomnia or sleep problems will have bad nights of sleep from time to time. A night or two of bad sleep should not impact your overall recovery, and is in fact to be expected. My personal view is that worrying about a bad night of sleep may be more detrimental than the sleep loss itself.

    Here’s an article by Dr. Colin Espie on daytime sleepiness which I think you may find insightful:

    https://www.sleepio.com/library/article/i-feel-sleepy-during-the-day/

    Hope this is helpful!

  • Sleepio Member

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

    Hi Archergirl,

    Great to hear that you don’t have negative thoughts about sleeping and find it easy to fall asleep – this is the case for many people who struggle with sleep problems, and many people who use Sleepio. Sleepio is designed to help with all aspects of trouble with sleep – not just falling asleep more easily, but also frequent awakenings. So while I can’t say definitively that Sleepio will work for you, it is designed to help with the type of problem you’re describing.

    Regarding “negative thoughts about your bed”, I believe you may be referring to stimulus control, or the idea that we develop associations between our beds and certain activities. Even if you don’t have negative thoughts about sleep or your bed, and find it easy to fall asleep, if you are waking up frequently and not getting out of bed (i.e., not following the quarter hour rule) there is still a chance your brain is forming an association between being in bed and being awake. The sleep-bed connection is not always something we are consciously aware of. For that reason, it’s really important to follow the quarter hour rule if you are having frequent awakenings so that your brain associates the bed with being asleep (not waking up and being unable to fall back asleep).

    Hope this is helpful!

  • Sleepio Member

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

    Hi ShaneD,

    I’m impressed to hear how dedicated you are to improving your sleep (having already completed Sleepio twice). While I can’t say for sure why it didn’t help the second time around, I think you may have landed on part of the cause when you described “certain stresses” in your life. Oftentimes our sleep is heavily influenced by the stressors in our lives – perhaps the second time you completed Sleepio, there were other influences that impeded your progress? If so, it may be helpful to focus on stress management alongside sleep improvement. For stress management, I would typically recommend experimenting with relaxation techniques or cognitive techniques (these are introduced in sessions 4 and 5 of Sleepio) for stress reduction. Some moderate intensity exercise (not too close to bedtime) can also be extremely helpful for stress reduction.

    I hope this is helpful information, and I hope your 3rd time around gives you the results you’re looking for!

  • Sleepio Member

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

    Hi 4Cottage,

    Congratulations on taking the first step and starting Sleepio. I think you’ll find as you go through the program that there are a number of different strategies presented in Sleepio that are designed to help both with falling asleep more easily and reducing awakenings at night. One that is important to focus on first is the bed-sleep connection, or the ways we can help our brains to form an association between being in bed and being asleep. It’s very important to get out of bed if you find that you are awake for longer than 15 minutes, so that your brain isn’t associating laying in bed with being awake. This is called the quarter hour rule and one of the things you’ll learn first in Sleepio. That said, listening to podcasts or audiobooks is often helpful for many people, but if you find that you’re spending a lot of time in bed awake listening to them, my general advice would be to move out of your bed and do them in another dimly lit location until you get sleepy enough to try to resume sleep.

    Hope that is helpful and excited for you to get started with the program!

  • Sleepio Member

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

    Hi UllAses,

    Great question, though I’m afraid I don’t have a one-size-fits-all answer. The sleep diary is designed to be used flexibly, so you have some choices here. First, it’s important to remember that the sleep diary is used to calculate adjustments to the sleep window for the following night. So, in the example you presented, if you were to enter your bed time as 1:00AM, your sleep efficiency is going to be rated as lower and your recommended sleep window might stay the same. If you enter 1:30, your sleep efficiency might be rated as higher, and your sleep window may shift. The most conservative, or strict, approach would be to enter the time you got in bed (i.e., 1:00AM). The most important thing to remember is that whichever way you choose to log your sleep, to do it consistently each night (i.e., fill it out the same way every time).

    I’ve pasted below some library articles on this topic which may be helpful:

    https://www.sleepio.com/library/article/how-is-my-sleep-efficiency-calculated/

    https://www.sleepio.com/library/article/how-accurate-does-my-sleep-diary-need-to-be/

    https://www.sleepio.com/library/article/how-should-i-record-brief-nighttime-wakings-in-my-/

    I hope this is helpful!

  • Sleepio Member

    • 1 comments
    • 0 helped
    Graduate

    If following the programme,doing everything suggested, for 3 weeks doesn't seem to help, what should I do?

  • Sleepio Member

    • 2 comments
    • 0 helped
    Graduate

    All my life I have never been able to fall asleep within fifteen minutes, thus I'm really struggling with the quarter of an hour routine. A little more guidance would be helpful

  • Sleepio Member

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

    Hi Derk,

    Thanks for the question. It seems you are on session 2. Session 3 (your next session) is the session where you'll be given a sleep schedule and start what many consider as the most helpful piece of the program. I'd encourage you to stick with it, but if you ever need more help than a self-help program can offer, reach out to your doctor or medical provider.

    Hope it goes well!

  • Sleepio Member

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

    Hi Jester_0714,

    Thanks for the question. It might prove useful to experiment with your bedtime, or wind-down, routine. Making sure you are in low light conditions in the hours before bedtime and doing a relaxing, non-stimulating activity can be quite helpful.

    If after experimenting with a number of different activities you are still having difficulty, you might consider shifting your bedtime slightly later if possible (and your wake time slightly earlier, if you want to keep the same sleep window) to fit more closely with your body's natural preferences.

    I hope this is helpful.

  • Sleepio Member

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

    Hi
    Thank you for the reply. Most of the time I fall asleep within 15 mins of waking up, so can I be said to have a subconscious that associates bed with being awake?
    Having said all that I am trying the programme and continuing with the sleep diary.
    Thank you

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