Live Discussion with Dr Vicki Creanor - 12th February 2020

Dr Creanor will be hosting a live online discussion here on Wednesday 12th February, from 8.15pm to 9.45pm British Time or 3.15pm to 4.45pm 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 Creanor 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.

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 keys or the F5 key
On Mac hit CMD and R

Posted 6 Feb 2020 at 1:44 AM
  • 25 comments
  • 6 helped

Comments

Show older comments
  • Sleepio Member

    • 4 comments
    • 0 helped
    Graduate

    I am in the first week of sleepio. What is advised re using antihistamines and doing the programme. I sleep only 3 hours without but reasonably well with. The sleep diary is unrepresentative of the problem with the meds.
    I would think other people have the same issue !
    If the meds do need to go, what is the best timing ? My mood drops if I don't get enough sleep.
    Many thanks

  • Sleepio Member

    • 1 comments
    • 0 helped
    Graduate

    During sleep restriction, if I set my alarm for 7am then promptly fall back to sleep again for an hour, and then get up immediately, how do I record this in my sleep diary? Do I record that I wake at 7 and get up at 8, or do I record 8 as my final waking time and the time I get up?
    Thanks.

  • Sleepio Member

    • 4 comments
    • 3 helped
    Graduate

    Hi Dr Creanor

    I too have a question about sleeping pills. I completed my sleep diary without sleeping pills. I’ve started the sleep restriction step, but occasionally take sleeping pills when I really need a good nights sleep. Will this prevent my brain from re-programming as desired?

  • Sleepio Member

    • 23 comments
    • 9 helped
    Graduate

    Hello, I graduated on Sunday. My SE had really improved and I am getting to sleep within 10 mins of going to bed every night, which is a massive improvement. I now have a 6 hour SW. However, for the last 3 nights I have been waking up and been unable to get back to sleep quickly, which is a change for the worst! I can't think of anything I'm doing differently. Is this normal? What can I do about it?
    Thanks

  • Sleepio Member

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

    I am having the same issue, gone from not being able to sleep at the start of the night to waking in the night and not getting back, a change for the worst as even if I allowed myself 2/3 hours to get to sleep before I would then have a good 7 hours! Be grateful for any advice or reassurance as 2 weeks of sleep deprivation worse than the original problem is taking its toll

  • Sleepio Member

    • 3131 comments
    • 555 helped
    Expert

    Hi and welcome to tonight's live Sleepio web session. I'm Dr Vicki Creanor, a clinical psychologist with a special interest in sleep. I'll be here for the next 90 mins to discuss any questions about sleep – let's get started…

  • Sleepio Member

    • 3131 comments
    • 555 helped
    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Expert

    Hi and thanks for getting in touch. Well done on completing the first week of sleep restriction – it's a really tough strategy to do, but we know that there are such good results that come from engaging with it. Like everything, there is a lot of variability from person to person. This depends on lifestyle factors, underlying levels of stress/anxiety and diet. Many people report that it takes longer than the first week, however, and people's sleep profile can be a bit inconsistent and interrupted by the process of SR at the beginning, so try to keep with it until results start to show.

  • Sleepio Member

    • 3131 comments
    • 555 helped
    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Expert

    Hi Eva,
    Thanks for your feedback about this. There are places within Sleepio articles (sleepio.com/articles/insomnia/what-is-insomnia) that address some of the reasons people develop sleep problems, but in reality these are wide-ranging. Sometimes it requires working with a health professional to understand the reason for someone's sleep problem. It can sometimes be as simple as a period of poor sleep starting after a bad cold – at other times, sleep problems develop as the result of another mental health problem. It's always helpful to know where we might be missing some articles, though, so I'll flag this up with the team. Thank you for raising it.

  • Sleepio Member

    • 3131 comments
    • 555 helped
    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Expert

    Hi there, thanks for your question. I'm sure there are many people who also share these difficulties so I hope it is reassuring to them and yourself to know that the Sleepio course does also address fragmented sleep and non-restorative sleep. You may already have started (or at least read about) the sleep restriction strategy which is designed to help those with fragmented sleep. It aims to squeeze all the bits of sleep together into a solid chunk by delaying bedtime and reducing the sleep window (time asleep) thus increasing sleep pressure (the body's natural desire to sleep). In terms of non-restorative sleep (which often comes from lack of deep sleep), the strategies covered in the programme are also aimed at improving overall sleep quality as well as sleep quantity. Often this can take a little longer than improvements in quantity as the body adjusts to the new pattern, but with more consistent patterns over time, this usually improves too. I hope this helps to reassure you.

  • Sleepio Member

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

    That is incredibly reassuring. Thank you! :)

  • Sleepio Member

    • 3131 comments
    • 555 helped
    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Expert

    Hi there – first of all, welcome to Sleepio. I hope you've enjoyed the first week.

    In terms of using medication that aids sleep, you're right, it may affect how the diary looks. There is not a lot we can do here if the meds are taken some nights and not others – the sleep diary will likely look varied. However, the sleep strategies can be used whether someone is on meds or not – consistency is one of the most important elements of improving sleep, whether with meds or not.

    In terms of coming off any medication, this is a conversation for you and the person who prescribed it to you. In many cases, people may have to gradually reduce medication rather than simply stop. We would always advise people talk to their pharmacist or family doctor with such queries.

  • Sleepio Member

    • 3131 comments
    • 555 helped
    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Expert

    You're welcome!

  • Sleepio Member

    • 3131 comments
    • 555 helped
    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Expert

    Hello – I'd record that as the time you woke up and got up for the day, given you fell back asleep for the hour. Hope that helps!

  • Sleepio Member

    • 3131 comments
    • 555 helped
    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Expert

    I would also add that, during sleep restriction, if the alarm is set for 7am, you'd be wanting to get straight up at that time, rather than sleep on for an hour (as tempting as that is!). Having the alarm device positioned at the other side of the room can sometimes help avoid going back to sleep….

  • Sleepio Member

    • 3131 comments
    • 555 helped
    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Expert

    Hi thanks for getting in touch. So I'm sure many people do this, sometimes out of desperation for a good night's sleep. It will make the sleep profile look inconsistent, however much of getting one's sleep back on track is about learning good sleeping habits and sticking with them. This is the most important take-home message about the programme. Some people are on sleeping tablets throughout the programme and still see benefits from completing it.

  • Sleepio Member

    • 3131 comments
    • 555 helped
    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Expert

    I'm sorry to hear the last few nights have been difficult. Sometimes, it's the less obvious factors that cause us to be unable to get back to sleep as we have been doing. Even good sleepers will wake a few times per night as the sleep cycles come to an end, but it may be, for example, that very mild thoughts such as “I'm so pleased my sleep is improving – I hope it doesn't go back to what it was before” creep in subconsciously and so when we wake, we panic that this is what's happening (when in actual fact it's normal to wake briefly) – thus making us suddenly alert and unable to get back to sleep again. Perhaps there are smaller stresses ongoing in life that are making us less relaxed at bedtime. Sometimes it can be pain or the need to go to the toilet that can wake us and keep us awake. It varies – but worth having a think about anything you may be concerned about – often it is sleep itself that people are so tuned into that wakenings cause anxiety.

  • Sleepio Member

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

    Thank you. Can I ask, which of the Prof's strategies could be most helpful in this situation (other than the QHR)

  • Sleepio Member

    • 3131 comments
    • 555 helped
    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Expert

    You're right, QHR is really important when we wake through the night. But also think about the thought blocking, or thought challenging if it's negative thoughts that creep in at that time of night. Use of relaxation can be helpful here too.

  • Sleepio Member

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

    Thank you. I'll try all of the above!

  • Sleepio Member

    • 3131 comments
    • 555 helped
    Expert

    That's all for this week – thanks for the questions posted before the session and during – speak to you all soon and have a great week!

Return to top