Live discussion with Dr Simon Kyle - 15th October

Dr Kyle will be hosting a live online discussion here on Wednesday 15th October, 7pm-8.30pm.

He will discuss as many topics as possible in the hour and a half, starting with the most popular questions with answers being given in a way to give the most benefit to the general Community.

To have a say in which questions are answered, either:
+ 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.

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' or the 'F5' key
- On Mac hit 'Command' or 'Apple' and 'R'

Posted 9 Oct 2014 at 4:56 PM
  • 23 comments
  • 4 helped

Comments

Show older comments
  • Sleepio Member

    • 1692 comments
    • 341 helped
    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Graduate

    Hi Geonurd,
    Sleep training for babies is a contentious issue ( not so for adults! ) and that is what is recommended on babysleepsite. I know its very popular among some parents but unfortunately it goes against normal infant development and needs. It is normal for babies to wake at night, however it seems to be a Euro/North American expectation that babies sleep at night. In most cases, they will do so when developmentally ready. Any interference in normal infant sleep behavior will have consequences, not always intended. Research on sleep training doesn't show that babies sleep any better, just that they don't cry out anymore for someone to come. Not a good way to develop trust.
    anniem

  • Sleepio Member

    • 107 comments
    • 43 helped
    Graduate

    Hi Dr Kyle,
    I joined sleepio in August 2013, and graduated around a year ago. Over that time, my sleep problems have improved a lot, and although I still get very down when I have a bad night, I no longer experience the extreme distress I used to feel over my insomnia.
    ....However, I am still having problems. About 4 – 5 months ago I stopped filling in my sleep diary, because I was aware that I was becoming obsessive about trying to reach an average of 6 hrs per night, and every time I got close to it, I had a really bad night of about 2 hrs sleep, which caused my average to slump again. From that point of view, not filling in the diary helped.
    Over the past few months, I seem to have settled in to a pattern of 2 – 3 nights of 'good' sleep (good sleep for me =being able to get off to sleep within 15 mins, even though I wake up sometimes 4 – 5 times a night, I'm able to get back to sleep again within 15 mins.) – followed by a really bad night, where I get about 2 – 3 hrs. Following the bad nights, I really struggle to stay awake the following evening, but always try to limit myself to no more than 7 – 7.5 hrs sleep the following night.
    I'm aware that, for many people, this wouldn't seem like too bad a problem, but I'm finding that the bad nights are still affecting the quality of my life, and I still don't feel as in control of my sleep as I want to be.
    On the bad nights, I'm aware of not feeling sleepy, and it doesn't seem to matter what I do, nothing seems to make me feel sleepy enough to get off to sleep – until around 4 – 5am. I wonder whether my age is a factor in this – I'm 61?
    I'm pretty active most days – dog walking, gym etc, so exercise isn't a problem, and I stick to good sleep hygiene rules.
    Any help you could give me with eliminating my bad nights would be greatly appreciated.

  • Sleepio Member

    • 1 comments
    • 0 helped
    Session 2

    Hi Dr Kyle,

    I am currently taking Sertraline for anxiety and depression, however I am still struggling with my insomnia. I have tried mirtazapine, but it didn't suit me, is there another type of AD that may help with my sleep? Thanks

  • Sleepio Member

    • 18 comments
    • 2 helped
    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Graduate

    Anniem,

    I was not intending to be contentious or promoting sleep training. The references I shared give guidance on bed routines (sleep hygiene for babies), and nap/bedtime schedules that help me tremendously. Some (certainly not all) nightwaking in toddlers can be related to being overtired or under tired. I've learned how to adjust my son's wind down routine and schedule to help him overcome some nightwakings and sleep past 5am. Now, I just need to get me to sleep as well as he sleeps!
    Geonurd

  • Sleepio Member

    • 1 comments
    • 0 helped
    Session 1

    Hi Dr Kyle,
    I've always been a really light sleeper. I wake up multiple times throughout the night and recently when I purchased a jawbone UP, it showed that I have very short (30mins or less) intermittent deep sleep cycles. Most of the time I spend in bed (>70%) is under 'light sleep'. I think this could be 1 reason I often wake up tired. Is there a way i can become a heavier sleeper and wake up less during the night?
    Chris

  • Sleepio Member

    • 1692 comments
    • 341 helped
    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Graduate

    Hi Geonurd,
    No, the issue is contentious all by itself! Anyway, I understand where you are coming from and of course, we all want to help our fellow parents. The information I posted is from https://www.isisonline.org.uk/how_babies_sleep/sleep_training/ which is a site that reviews the research on sleep training as well as provides information on infant sleep.
    anniem

  • Sleepio Member

    • 2 comments
    • 0 helped
    Graduate

    My 14 year old daughter has begun to complain that she has difficulty falling to sleep-she says it often takes her up to an hour. Then, she reports that she wakes up several times during the night. She goes to bed at 9:00 and wakes at 6:20. She has been a good sleeper in the past. What should my next steps be to support her sleep health? She has a very demanding school day and 3-4 hours of nightly homework. She WANTS a full nights' rest. Thank you!!

  • Sleepio Member

    • 2 comments
    • 0 helped
    Graduate

    I use the Fibit to measure my sleep patterns. Initially I set the sleep monitor setting to normal. My results were exciting; wakings were 1- 3 times per night, and my sleep efficiencies were in the mid-90's. I then set my monitor to sensitive, and boy did my results plummet!! Recording now have me waking 15-19 times per night with sleep efficiencies in the 60's. What setting do you suggest I use? Please explain. Thank you!

  • Sleepio Member

    • 1192 comments
    • 306 helped
    Expert

    Good evening, all! welcome. let's get started….

  • Sleepio Member

    • 1192 comments
    • 306 helped
    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Expert

    Hi pdlung, many congratulations on your baby twins!
    This is very sound advice below from anniem. An unbroken sleep window is very unlikely with young babies but there are a few things that you might want to consider. If possible and relevant, sharing “night duties” with a partner to help you achieve the odd night of full sleep may be a welcome help. Given the high likelihood that you will be woken-up during the night, then giving yourself a more liberal sleep window would also be a good idea. Indeed in these early phases, consistency of the sleep period might also have benefits for sleep. mothers do often nap when their child naps during the day – if you do feel this is necessary then shorter naps before 4pm are the best option. So, in summary, have a more liberal sleep window (although try and ensure consistency of bed and final rise times across the nights) and try and not put too much pressure on yourself – as anniem points out this is an entirely normal experience to go through. Do keep us updated each week on how you (and your twins) are doing. One final thing is to remember that the brain can also “catch-up” to some extent (reflected in the intensity or depth of sleep), not always in length or duration of sleep.

  • Sleepio Member

    • 1192 comments
    • 306 helped
    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Expert

    HI Megan – many congratulations on your improvements.
    This pattern of good and poor nights can be very common. After ensuring that you are still applying the techniques (acquired through sleepio), it is worth considering what factors may be associated with the poor nights. E.g. activity, light exposure, stress-related, night-before a particular event. This may guide you to a possible solution. How do you typically manage these “bad nights”?

  • Sleepio Member

    • 1192 comments
    • 306 helped
    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Expert

    Hi Samym78 – there are many antidepressants that could help or indeed hinder sleep, so worth discussing with with your GP. I also see that you are just starting sleepio – it might be worth seeing how your sleep changes through the programme. Certainly, CBT evidence indicates that sleep can be improved even when other medications are being taken, but always best to discuss with health professional if you are concerned.

  • Sleepio Member

    • 2 comments
    • 1 helped
    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Session 5

    Great, thanks Dr Kyle (and everyone who responded)
    It's good to know I can tinker with the sleep window a little – I was dreading starting it tonight. I'm lucky because my twins normally sleep well and my husband pulls his weight. It's just when they're poorly (like now) that things get very tough – twice the likelihood of it happening, twice the duration and twice the amount of night wake-ups. There's no way my husband can cover the whole sleep window when they're like this as his job is just too demanding. It's very unlucky that they're ill just as I'm about to start sleep restriction! Urgh!! It's good to hear from anniem that there's some cognitive assistance later in the course that might help with the wake-ups – thanks! And finally re:naps – I've never ever managed to drop off (except when I was on beautiful post-birth painkillers haha) Thanks!

  • Sleepio Member

    • 1192 comments
    • 306 helped
    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Expert

    thanks Geonurd and anniem for discussing these issues. This is certainly a very active and important area of research

  • Sleepio Member

    • 1192 comments
    • 306 helped
    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Expert

    Hi Chrissirise – thanks for your message. a couple of points might be relevant here. I would be careful not to place too much attention on the fitbit interpretation of light and deep sleep (as far as I know these algorithms have not been validated against objective sleep measurement). The other point is that I see you are just starting out on the programme – each week, “The Prof” will introduce new techniques to help improve the quality of your sleep.

  • Sleepio Member

    • 1192 comments
    • 306 helped
    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Expert

    thanks Chrystal – this links to my earlier point about the validation. I would not place too much importance on these metrics because of the lack of validation. the best guide is how you feel on awakening.

  • Sleepio Member

    • 1192 comments
    • 306 helped
    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Expert

    Hi Chrystal, it is very common for the teenage body-clock to delay during adolescence, making it hard to fall asleep earlier. this usually happens gradually and hence teenagers want to sleep later and rise later. winding down after homework, and avoiding stimulating activities (electronic devices included) is important. stress can also lead to early morning awakenings, so it's worth discussing this with your daughter and the best way to address any stressors that may be present. All this said, the odd night of poor sleep is normal and the brain and body can accommodate this, so worth understanding the level of persistence.

  • Sleepio Member

    • 107 comments
    • 43 helped
    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Graduate

    Hi Dr Kyle,
    Thanks for your reply. Typically, during a bad night, I will go into the spare room and read (in bed). sometimes this may make me feel sleepy, but if I put the light out, I often wake up again, and lose the sleepy feeling. Another type of 'bad'night is when I do actually get off to sleep, but only for a short time – around 30 mins at most, then wake up again, and am unable to get back to sleep. Sometimes this happens 2 or 3 times before I finally feel wide awake, which then lasts for 4 – 5 hrs.

  • Sleepio Member

    • 1192 comments
    • 306 helped
    Expert

    Thanks Megan – I think it might be worth considering going into another room but avoiding a bed if possible, knowing that when you do feel sleepy again you will return to your usual bed/bedroom. it might also be helpful to consider the relaxation exercises and avoiding “forcing” yourself back to sleep – do you find that your mind is quite busy on these nights? also wanted to say that keeping expectations realistic might be helpful too. the odd bad night in a week is common and not abnormal. responding as best we can to that – and you do a great job by not giving into temptation the next night (to go to be early) – helps limit the impact and adjusts our approach to sleep.

  • Sleepio Member

    • 1192 comments
    • 306 helped
    Expert

    thank you all for joining tonight. “chat” next time!

Return to top