Live discussion with Dr Vicki Creanor - 12th November

Dr Creanor will be hosting a live online discussion here on Wednesday 12th November, 8.15pm-9.45pm GMT.

She 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.

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Posted 7 Nov 2014 at 2:00 PM
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  • Sleepio Member

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    You're welcome LesleyAG

  • Sleepio Member

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    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Expert

    You're welcome LesleyAG

  • Sleepio Member

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    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Graduate

    Hi Dr. Creanor,
    Thx for the reply. So should I skip the SR for now and continue with the following session? And as I described on my reply to anniem, should I skip as well sleeping temporary on a separate room? Thx

  • Sleepio Member

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    Hi LesleyAG,
    Sorry I should have replied to all your questions at once! As for your other two then…
    1) sleep restriction (SR) scares most people who are going through sleep treatment. You come for treatment to get more sleep and we say….restrict your sleep! Doesn't seem fair! However, there's lots of evidence as to why this works and that it does work. What poor sleepers tend to do is have restless nights when they either take ages to fall asleep and/or when they fall asleep, they keep waking up through the night. What SR does is it takes all the small bits of sleep you are getting and puts them altogether to make sure you get as much of a solid sleep as possible. Thus, if you only get 5 hours of sleep a night by adding up all the bits of sleep you normally have, we ask that you set your window for 5 hours initially. This helps your body crave the sleep which helps you stay asleep.
    2) We recommend that you stick to a regular window – what you could do is stick to 1115-6am every day so it fits with your husband's shifts too?

  • Sleepio Member

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    Hi Cahuita,
    Sorry I was going through the questions in order I see them so hadn't seen your reply yet – apologies for that. I would say SR will be tricky and hard to be consistent with just now, so I would focus on the other techniques, yes, til your son is more reliable in pattern. As for separate rooms, this is up to you really – if you are getting a better sleep in a separate room at the moment, it might be wise to keep this up while you have the opportunity.

  • Sleepio Member

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    Graduate

    Hi doctor Vicky, I am currently on week 2 of sr my sleep window being 12.15 till 5.30 am before starting on the programme I would be in bed by 10.30p.my problem is relaxing in order to wind down without dosing off on the sofa any ideas please.

  • Sleepio Member

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    Hi Karen P,
    Thanks for your question. We would always recommend that no naps are taken at all. The reason for this is that it can impact on sleep restriction and can undo the work done using this technique. It may seem like it's different given the circumstances, however any sleep – however short the dose – taken outwith the night time window should be avoided to increase the likelihood that your body will be ready for sleep at night time.

  • Sleepio Member

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    Hi Debbybabe,
    Thanks for your post – I've been asked this many times before and have found great ideas from the people within the community. The trick is to find activities that aren't too strenuous but that relax you and keep you awake enough to not dose off. If the sofa makes you sleepy, avoid the sofa and walk around/sit on the floor/watch some film/TV/read a book (as long as it's not too stimulating an activity). There is a good list of ideas in this part of the programme in terms of passive and active activities you could use. However, it's a good idea to ask your fellow Sleepio community members for some tips as they will have experienced it first hand.

    Any ideas folks?

  • Sleepio Member

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    Graduate

    Thanks Vicki--I was hoping to count it as “sex” rather than as a nap I'll just try to stay awake.

  • Sleepio Member

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    Hi Karen,
    Unfortunately any sleep, no matter when or where taken, would count in terms of a sleep restriction programme. It's tricky when it impacts on other lifestyle factors, however once your sleep has improved for a while, there's no reason why this can't be re-introduced, as long as you watch the impact on your sleep at night time.

  • Sleepio Member

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    Thanks Vicki. I have a more general interest question if you have time to get to it (don't worry if not). I've read that the “natural” sleep pattern included a period of waking in the middle of the night--so a first and second sleep period. Does that fit with our current knowledge? And could it explain why some of us have a night waking? I'm not sure how it fits with the circadian rhythm bits I read on the library.
    Thanks, Karen

  • Sleepio Member

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    Hi Karen P,
    We know that most good sleepers will wake once or twice during the night, so this is regarded as a 'normal' event. What's different between good and poor sleepers is that, for good sleepers, they are able to get back to sleep pretty much as soon as they wake up…because they don't worry about sleep (or lack of it). Poor sleepers, on the other hand, are so tuned into any disturbance in their sleep, that a wakening that is actually ''normal'' worries them enough to waken them up further, leading to more time awake…and the cycle continues.

    As for circdian rhythms, our body clocks are controlled by melatonin, a sleep hormone. This increases as it starts to get dark and reduces when it gets light, so daylight and melatonin help the body clock tick along and help you sleep when you're 'supposed' to sleep. Which is why it's harder for shift workers with poor sleep to get back on track.

    Hope that helps answer your question?

  • Sleepio Member

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    Graduate

    I'm thinking more of the segmented sleep research.

    For example, off a BBC webpage (just the first I could find quickly) http://www.bbc.com/news/magazine-16964783

    “It took some time for their sleep to regulate but by the fourth week the subjects had settled into a very distinct sleeping pattern. They slept first for four hours, then woke for one or two hours before falling into a second four-hour sleep.

    Though sleep scientists were impressed by the study, among the general public the idea that we must sleep for eight consecutive hours persists.

    In 2001, historian Roger Ekirch of Virginia Tech published a seminal paper, drawn from 16 years of research, revealing a wealth of historical evidence that humans used to sleep in two distinct chunks.”
    “For most of evolution we slept a certain way,” says sleep psychologist Gregg Jacobs. “Waking up during the night is part of normal human physiology.”

    “The idea that we must sleep in a consolidated block could be damaging, he says, if it makes people who wake up at night anxious, as this anxiety can itself prohibit sleeps and is likely to seep into waking life too.

    Russell Foster, a professor of circadian [body clock] neuroscience at Oxford, shares this point of view.

    “Many people wake up at night and panic,” he says. “I tell them that what they are experiencing is a throwback to the bi-modal sleep pattern.”“

    Just wondering what you think about this research.
    Thanks, Karen

  • Sleepio Member

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    Thanks for sharing that Karen. It sounds really interesting and I remember I heard about this a while back on the BBC website too. Although I read the story, I haven't read the research study papers so I don't know what the evidence base is like – ie how solid the findings are. I suppose what most people are looking for is sleep that fits into their work lives, which is likely why most people like to sleep for a large chunk of time during the night. Interesting article though – I will see if I can get my hands on the research at some point.

  • Sleepio Member

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    Graduate

    Thanks for your reply, I already watch TV, have tried to read but find my eyes sting rather a lot, i just cannot keep my eyes open have only been having the problem for the last 4 nights, when I go up stairs I am then sometimes wide awake (strange) I will ask the lovely community for tips. Thanks again.

  • Sleepio Member

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    Just an additional thought – it ties in with what I was saying earlier about it still being relevant how people interpret their night wakenings. The good sleeper wakes up, does not feel anxious as they know it's what happens in their normal sleep and expect to get back to sleep, which they do. Poor sleepers interpret the wakening as a failing of staying asleep and, in turn, this increases their anxiety about sleep. Those who think about sleep, find it harder to sleep. Those who do not think about their sleep, tend to be the good sleepers. It sounds as if this is recognised in this research too.

  • Sleepio Member

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    Hi Debbybabe,
    Yes please do ask as they are a very helpful bunch :) Have a look at the other activities too as you may find one there that helps. As for why you are suddenly awake when you see your bed again, this is because your brain has built up a connection with your bed and NOT sleeping, as this is what's it's got used to. It's specifically why the Quarter Hour Rule (which you may not have covered yet in SLeepio) is so important in retraining your brain to link your bed with sleep.

  • Sleepio Member

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    Expert

    That's all for tonight folks – thanks for your company and great questions! See you again soon.

  • Sleepio Member

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    Graduate

    Thank you – here's to a good nights sleep for everyone!

  • Sleepio Member

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    Graduate

    Thanks so much for your time.

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