Live discussion with Dr Vicki Creanor - 10th June

Dr Creanor will be hosting a live online discussion here on Wednesday 10th June 8.15pm-9.45pm BST.

She will discuss as many topics as possible in the hour and a half and, as always, you’re welcome to ask any questions at all about sleep or the Sleepio program. Please do note however that, as per our guidelines, Dr Creanor won’t be able to give highly specific medical advice. She will however try to help as best as she can!

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Posted 5 Jun 2015 at 10:48 AM
  • 20 comments
  • 7 helped

Comments

  • Sleepio Member

    • 3 comments
    • 2 helped
    Graduate

    Is it possible to know what part of the insomnia problem is to due physical “malfunction” i.e. the biological clock being out of sync, and what part is psychological i.e. anxiety? I feel that I am anxious, but not enough to cause the continuation of my insomnia. I know that I have improved in regards to anxiety, and wonder how difficult it is to “fix” the biological clock. I have not found the SR to improve the situation much, at least not yet.

  • Sleepio Member

    • 28 comments
    • 2 helped
    Graduate

    Can you help? Even if it was a good thing, I have never been able to nap during the day – however tired. Why can I drop off to sleep when apparently wide awake and enjoying a favourite television programme, between 9-10p.m. Anything from between 2 – 10 minutes?!

  • Sleepio Member

    • 3 comments
    • 1 helped
    Graduate

    I am waking at 2, 4 and 6am every single night and have been for a few weeks. How can I break this pattern?

  • Sleepio Member

    • 17 comments
    • 3 helped
    Graduate

    I don't quite understand why the Sleep Diary's first question is “What time did you go to bed?” and the second question is “What time did you try to go to sleep?” Since we are not supposed to do anything in bed but sleep, isn't the second question redundant? Thanks.

  • Sleepio Member

    • 1426 comments
    • 247 helped
    Expert

    Hi all and welcome to the live web session. I'm a clinical psychologist and am here to answer any questions you may have on the psychology of sleep or the Sleepio course.

    If you have any questions specifically about medication, please contact your medical doctor, as they will be best placed to answer these queries.

    I will answer the questions posted already, but please ask away if you have any more burning questions….

  • Sleepio Member

    • 1426 comments
    • 247 helped
    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Expert

    HI there Barbichetta. Often, when people's body clocks are out of sync, they experience problems in sleeping when they are 'supposed' to sleep. So, they may find that they are not tired until the early hours of the morning, or they may find that they are tired very early and also rise early in the morning.

    Anxiety often causes people problems falling asleep in the first place or causes them to wake up in the middle of their sleep.

    There are ways to help both problems and part of it is finding out what type of sleep problem you have.

    I hope that helps clarify your query?

  • Sleepio Member

    • 3 comments
    • 0 helped
    Graduate

    I am on week 5 of the programme and already I am getting more regular sleep. However, I still wake up around 3.30am. Fortunately, I can now go back to sleep quite easily, whereas previously I would have been awake for some hours. Why do I wake up at 3.30am, and will this ever change?

  • Sleepio Member

    • 1426 comments
    • 247 helped
    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Expert

    Hi Blodwen, thanks for your question. I'm sure this is something many people identify with! I'm assuming you are talking about trying to go to your bed for a nap during the day and this has never worked?

    Often, when people develop sleep problems, they form a negative association in their minds about their bed as it usually reminds them of not being able to sleep/being anxious about sleep. Thus, as soon as they get into bed or even see their bed, they become quite alert and cannot sleep.

    Your armchair (again, I'm assuming this is where you were watching TV?) does not have these negative associations attached to it regarding sleep, so you're likely to fall asleep much easier there once your body has built up enough sleep debt (when it needs to sleep).

    Hope that explains things?

  • Sleepio Member

    • 1426 comments
    • 247 helped
    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Expert

    Hi Naomifrances,
    Well done on your success so far – that's really encouraging to hear that your sleep is much more regular and that you can get back to sleep easily now – sounds like you've conquered two of the main sleep problems most people experience! As for this wakening, try not to get too fixed on it as it sounds pretty normal. Good sleepers will also wake once or twice a night – that's just a normal occurrence – but when you've had insomnia, you can really focus on these brief wakenings and worry about them more than you need to. As long as you can get back to sleep quickly, this is OK. It may be that this is just the time of night you have a brief wakening, but as long as you see it as normal, it is unlikely to cause anxiety and worry.

  • Sleepio Member

    • 1426 comments
    • 247 helped
    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Expert

    Hi Lindaquilter,
    Thanks for your post. I see you are a graduate so you will have covered all the techniques in the course now. The best way to target frequent nighttime wakenings is by working out your sleep window like you did before and then using the sleep restriction technique to help squeeze all the sleep you usually get into one block. Also, when you do wake, the quarter hour rule should be used to prevent the negative associations between bed and sleep becoming stronger.

    I hope that helps?

  • Sleepio Member

    • 1 comments
    • 0 helped
    Graduate

    I can understand the need to avoid stimulating activities before going to sleep but cannot understand why it's wrong to read IN bed. I do so for about 10 minutes and then want to sleep.I find it an essential switch off from my own thoughts.

  • Sleepio Member

    • 1426 comments
    • 247 helped
    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Expert

    Hi Geojude,
    Thanks for your comment…yes, it should be as you are right, bed should be kept for sleeping. However that question is there because not all people go straight to sleep – sometimes they do have routines such as reading/watching TV, so it's just to make sure we capture that rather than assume everyone does the same thing and tries to go to sleep straight away.

  • Sleepio Member

    • 1426 comments
    • 247 helped
    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Expert

    Hi Brig,
    Thanks for your comments. This is something that does come up now and again so thank you for raising it for discussion. In treatment, it's a given that we do have to be flexible in line with individual differences among different people. The advice on not reading in bed is based on the theory that, if people are struggling to fall asleep, the purest way to help is to eliminate all other activities from the bed other than sleep (and sex). This would, therefore, include reading. This is to help strengthen the association between bed and sleep.

    Having said this, if people do not have a problem falling asleep (perhaps they struggle to stay asleep during the night instead) then reading is probably OK. Does that make sense?

  • Sleepio Member

    • 1 comments
    • 1 helped
    Graduate

    I do enjoy reading and have always read in bed. I still read in bed before “lights out” despite the advice given on the course. I also find it can take my mind off negative thoughts about being awake during the night. I just avoid anything too stimulating. Historical stuff or motor racing magazines are fine, I find.

  • Sleepio Member

    • 1426 comments
    • 247 helped
    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Expert

    Hi Chris36 – thanks for sharing this. Yes that's a good point – it has to be appropriate reading material, too.

  • Sleepio Member

    • 1426 comments
    • 247 helped
    Expert

    It's gone a bit quiet – any more burning questions?

  • Sleepio Member

    • 1426 comments
    • 247 helped
    Expert

    Thanks for the comments and questions this evening – speak to you again soon on another live session.

    Take care

    Vicki

  • Sleepio Member

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

    Yes, I'll try that. Thanks very much.

  • Sleepio Member

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

    Many thanks for your reply. No, I have never gone to bed to try and nap when tired, even when pregnant , years ago. However, I do understand your comments about the negative association with bed as opposed to being relaxed/distracted in front of the television. The obvious solution is to get up and walk about I suppose. What to do about it is the question, as there is no warning before falling asleep! B

  • Sleepio Member

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

    How can I determine which of the 2 I suffer from? And, is the Sleepio method appropriate for both? I find that I awake at 4am and cannot break that.
    And, I have seen “specialists” who have asked me to keep a sleep diary and then recommend the sleep restriction. So, I've done SR for a while, even before Sleepio, but have not seen a change.

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