Live Discussion with Dr Michelle Davis - 29th July 2020

Dr Davis will be hosting a live online discussion here on Wednesday 29th July, 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 24 Jul 2020 at 2:33 AM
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  • Sleepio Member

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

    Hi sleepmore99
    I’ve left you a message on your profile page whilst you wait the doctor's reply.
    Kurly :)

  • Sleepio Member

    • 1 comments
    • 1 helped
    Session 4

    Please could we have something on beginning the later bedtimes on SR, especially if you are generally an early to bed person and believe this is when you get your best hours. It seems so counter productive. Historically when I am overtired I never sleep well.
    Thanks!

  • Sleepio Member

    • 1 comments
    • 0 helped
    Graduate

    I really want to know how best to manage my toddlers 2 wake ups as it is wreaking havoc on my sleep schedule.

  • Sleepio Member

    • 13 comments
    • 0 helped
    Graduate

    Hi,

    I finished the Sleepio course, but my sleep problems still exist. I usually can fall asleep pretty fast (except on some nights when I take melatonin which I'll explain below). Most nights I wake up in the middle of the night and not being able to sleep well after. Some nights I wake up 10 times during the night.

    I've tried taking 1mg melatonin before bed, but sometimes it makes me not able to fall asleep fast vs not taking the melatonin. Is there any reason why? I thought melatonin is supposed to have the opposite effect of making me fall asleep faster. I don't know if it helps with my middle of the night awakenings either.

    What are your thoughts about melatonin in general? What are your thoughts about CBD oil? What other natural sleep aids would you recommend?

    Should I try SR again?

    Best,
    Jocelyn

  • Sleepio Member

    • 8 comments
    • 0 helped
    Graduate

    Before Sleepio I would typically have my sleep in two parts with an awake period of a couple of hours in the middle, or if a bad night not get back to sleep at all. Sleepio has been brilliant at consolidating my sleep and I am sticking with it. I'm just wondering whether theoretically there is any benefit to one block of sleep versus two shorter interrupted blocks? Thanks!

  • Sleepio Member

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

    Hi Lionheart,

    Glad to hear you’ve noticed some benefits! Thanks for the question, this is one that comes up quite often. I won't be able to advise you on your medication. You and your doctor will need to decide how to manage your sleep when it comes to medication (and whether or not you should take it). You do not need to change your medication in order to use Sleepio, and many people have successfully used the program while taking sleep medication.

    Here’s a community conversation about using medication alongside Sleepio that might be a useful resource:

    https://www.sleepio.com/community/discussion/using-medication-while-doing-the-sleepio-course/

    Also, you may not be aware that you can manually add tags to your sleep diary to indicate those days on which you use medication, if you’d like to track it. Information for how to do that is below:

    https://www.sleepio.com/library/article/how-to-use-the-sleep-diary-tagging-system/

    Hope this is helpful!

  • Sleepio Member

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    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Expert

    Hi inrain,

    Thanks for the question. First I just want to highlight that it is normal to wake up during the night – we all do it throughout the night, sometimes we just don't remember it.

    Typically if people are noticing that they feel awake after getting out of bed for the quarter hour rule, I would have them pay close attention to what they are doing once they get up. It’s very important to be in dim lighting (as light can get our brains very activated) and not to engage in any activities that are stimulating. Experimenting with different activities will be the best way to find a routine that works for you. Everyone is different, but some people find that a breathing or relaxation exercise works best for them, and others prefer to listen to music or an audiobook until they start to get sleepy. The point is to do something non-stimulating or even boring.

    Also, I assume from your message that you are actually getting up out of bed and not doing an activity while laying in bed- this is key!

    Hope this is useful!

  • Sleepio Member

    • 4 comments
    • 0 helped
    Graduate

    Any views regarding listening to sleep stories such as those on Calm app to help in getting to sleep as an alternative to getting out of bed as recommended in session 3 as part of 1/4 hour rule?

  • Sleepio Member

    • 2 comments
    • 0 helped
    Graduate

    Good evening. I have been doing the course for a few weeks now and I think the SR is starting to help and I have a question about diet.

    I noticed that the daily schedule has eating your main meal 3 hours before bed time. In my case, that would mean eating my main meal at 22:45 which seems quite late. Is there a scientific reason for this aside from allowing enough time to begin digestion and still not be hungry? In which case, could a light snack around then be equally successful?

    Thanks!

  • Sleepio Member

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

    Hi Lucy,

    Glad to hear it’s been going well overall! It can be so frustrating to have a difficult night after making great progress. Please keep in mind that worrying about sleep actually makes it less likely that you’ll attain good sleep. I know it can be challenging, but it’s helpful to remember that it’s very normal to have a poor night’s sleep sometimes. Even “good sleepers” occasionally have nights of poor sleep.

    That said, it’s great that you continued to do the QHR – this will be key. Remember to practice the QHR in dim light (as too much light can activate the brain) and engage in a non-stimulating activity.

    If you notice that the frequent awakenings continue, you might consider changing your sleep restriction schedule, but at this point I would not tend to recommend making changes unless you are implementing the QHR according to the guidelines and don’t see any improvements after several days.

    If you do opt to experiment with changing your sleep window, instructions for how to manually adjust it can be found here:

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

    I hope this is helpful!

  • Sleepio Member

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

    Hi Sleepmore99,

    Many times when people find that they are becoming MORE awake and activated as bedtime nears (after previously feeling sleepy), it can be due to something called conditioned arousal. When we worry about sleep (or lack of sleep), our brains can start to associate the bed (or bedroom, or bedtime) with wakefulness and worry (rather than sleep). This is the reason for sleep restriction and the quarter hour rule – to ensure that the time you are spending in bed is time that you’re asleep so that break the connection between being in bed and being awake.

    I would recommend reviewing some of the information in earlier sessions on the bed-sleep connection, and really honing in on the techniques for managing worry and stress that are presented in sessions 4 and 5. Progressive muscle relaxation can also be a helpful tool.

    It can definitely feel frustrating and challenging – I hope with some time, and sticking as closely as you can to the program guidelines, you’ll notice improvements.

  • Sleepio Member

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

    Hi Hanbex,

    Thanks for the question! The reason for delaying bedtime in sleep restriction is to build up your “sleep pressure”, or your body’s natural drive to fall asleep. If I’m understanding correctly, it sounds like you’re asking if you can shift your bedtime earlier?

    Many people do opt to manually adjust their sleep window to fit more with their natural rhythms and/or schedule. You may want to consider shifting your sleep window earlier (i.e., both making your bedtime earlier, and waking up earlier), so that you still have the same number of hours. I would recommend not making huge adjustments quickly (i.e., start with shifting the window 30 minutes to an hour earlier) and 2)

    Please also remember that the sleep restriction phase, though challenging, does not last forever. Slowly as you start to notice improvements you can start to increase the duration of your sleep window.

    If you do opt to experiment with changing your sleep window, instructions for how to manually adjust it can be found here:

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

    Hope this helps!

  • Sleepio Member

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

    Hi Mrs Emore,

    We have a guide specifically for new parents (or parents of young children), which I think you might find helpful.

    https://www.sleepio.com/articles/parent-sleep/

    The guide is primarily around helping children to sleep consistently and with a routine, but I think it’s important to remember that 1) many new parents and people with young children have still been able to successfully use and make great improvements using Sleepio, and 2) even if parents are unable to stick to the specific recommendations in Sleepio exactly, they can still make great improvements by doing what they can to tailor the program recommendations to be suitable for their lifestyle.

    I hope this information and resource is helpful to you!

  • Sleepio Member

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

    Hi Jocelyn,

    While your doctor will be the best person to speak to regarding whether taking melatonin, or any other sleep aid, is a good option for you, I can let you know that many people react differently to different sleep aids. For some, melatonin can have the opposite effect (making them more alert rather than sleepy). I won’t be able to advise you on sleep aids – this will be a question for your doctor.

    I can say that many people have completed Sleepio more than once and found it to be beneficial. Trying sleep restriction again (and ensuring that you’re sticking as closely as possible to the program guidelines) may be a good option.

    Hope this is helpful!

  • Sleepio Member

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

    Hi StephenCurle,

    Thanks for the question! While I’ve not used Calm myself, I’ve heard good things about it from others, and it seems in theory to be a nice, non-stimulating activity to do during the quarter hour rule. However, it will be extremely important to actually get out of bed when you wake up and move to another location. The reason for this is to start to retrain your brain to associate your bed with sleeping – we don’t recommend doing any activities in your bed aside from sleep and sex.

    Hope this helps!

  • Sleepio Member

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

    Hi Gjsykora,

    So glad to hear that the sleep restriction is starting to help! Great question – you’re absolutely right that when we eat can impact how we sleep – we don’t want to eat too close to bedtime, but also not so early that we are hungry in the night. As with all recommendations for Sleepio, the goal is for you to experiment with the guidelines to find a schedule and routine that works best for you. If that meal time seems to late for you, you can move it earlier, or as you suggested, have a light snack – both seem like great options!

  • Sleepio Member

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

    Hi Lillybet,

    Great question! Theoretically there is a benefit to sticking to one block of sleep (though not possible or preferable for all people) because having an interrupted block can be overly stimulating (making it difficult to get back to sleep). If you do decide you’d like to have two shorter blocks of sleep based on your own preferences, it will be important to pay close attention to the activities you are doing while you are awake. You want to make sure to stay in dim light and engage in non-stimulating activities (like listening to an audiobook or music, or doing some relaxation exercises).

    Hope this is helpful!

  • Sleepio Member

    • 8 comments
    • 0 helped
    Graduate

    I prefer my new Sleepio routine but find myself thinking wistfully back to the old days. I kind of liked that middle of the night quiet BUT agree that I ended up often doing wakeful things which could really interrupt my sleep and impact me negatively the next day.
    It's interesting to hear both types of patterns can be valid.

  • Sleepio Member

    • 28 comments
    • 3 helped
    Graduate

    Thanks for your advice, Doctor, I will revisit the previous sessions again.

    Is it a good sign that I am feeling sleepy in the afternoons and evenings about 9pm? However, after I've done my wind down routine, i.e. wash, get ready for bed, do stretches, PMR, and meditation, then I get into bed at 12am and don't feel sleepy.

    Which means I then get out of bed for QHR, in dim light, I do more meditation, or knit, or sit and stare at the ceiling. I do feel sleepy quite quickly doing this, but when I do back to bed, I am not sleepy again. And so the night goes on.

    I think I am doing SR,QHR right though my sleep has not improved, it's only the last few weeks that I am not feeling sleepy in bed, making me very confused. Is it a stage that I have to go through before it gets better?

    Mostly I am not worrying about it, just try to get on with it. At times I do get some negative thoughts but I try to let them pass, and do “The The”.

  • Sleepio Member

    • 28 comments
    • 3 helped
    Graduate

    Oh, I am happy with my SW 12-6am, but do you think changing my SW will help?

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