Live discussion with Dr Vicki Creanor - 13th May

Dr Creanor will be hosting a live online discussion here on Wednesday 13th May, 8.15pm-9.45pm BST.

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 May 2015 at 9:38 AM
  • 35 comments
  • 6 helped

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  • Sleepio Member

    • 16 comments
    • 2 helped
    Session 4

    Wow – I find you and all the professional help at Sleepio so incredibly vague and unwilling to actually help. I ask simple questions that should be easy to address without any risk of actually giving me direct medical help. Just general questions that any professional can and should be able and willing to answer in any general sense and without any risk to you. Come on! You should be ashamed to call yourself a professional – how much money does Sleepio pay you to pretend to help and waste my time!

  • Sleepio Member

    • 6 comments
    • 1 helped
    Graduate

    Yes, I am. I've been in therapy for the last 8 years and I'm a lot better than I was when I started :)
    But this problem with my sleep remains, and as I said I usually wake up exhausted. Is there anything else I can do to improve this?

  • Sleepio Member

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

    Hi Lizzbrown,
    Thanks for your question. When we talk about people with Delayed Sleep Phase Syndrome, it is typically people who do not get sleepy til later and who, once asleep, do sleep well. One of the recommendations is use of a light box, so yes it makes sense to use this if you wish to reset the body clock to fit with what works better for you. As for sleep restriction, it can also be helpful when treating DSPD to make sure that the person only uses bed for sleep – the quarter hour rule comes in here too. This ensures that the mind knows that bed is for sleep and can help with retraining the body to get sleepy when you see your bed.

  • Sleepio Member

    • 10 comments
    • 0 helped
    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Graduate

    Hi Dr Vicki
    Thank you for your comments. I think I am concerned whether taking Zopiclone before 'social events' is bad for my sleeping in the long term and just perpetuates the idea that I can't cope without medication. I also feel rather guilty when I take them, as if I'm failing.

    I do stick to the sleepio programme mostly. I don't always follow the qhr. SometImes unsure if I'm awake or asleep. I do avoid social situations a lot when I haven't slept and feel far more anxious generally. I do meditate regularly. I don't find relaxation techniques useful at all after I wake up in the middle of the night.

  • Sleepio Member

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

    I'm glad to hear that you have support with the PTSD element too and that you have seen improvements there. There are a couple of things that may help. Have you thought about factoring in scheduled worry time? Sometimes, people find that a scheduled period of time during the day allows them to think about or note down what they often worry about at nighttime. This way, it is dealt with before sleep. I dont know if the stress you mentioned was related to the nightmares or with sleep, but if it is the latter, this may be worth trying.

    You will likely have done some cognitive restructuring in terms of your support for PTSD, but it may be worth doing so about your sleep if this is an additional concern…ie if you are having thoughts about your quality of sleep.

    Do you have a consistent wind down routine? Also, I'm wondering, when you wake up from the nightmare, what do you do? Do you stay in bed for a while, fall back to sleep quickly?

  • Sleepio Member

    • 47 comments
    • 17 helped
    Graduate

    R57 – you seem pretty tightly wrapped. No wonder you cant sleep. Everyone here is frustrated to one degree or another – but it is not appropriate to take it out on those who are trying to help

  • Sleepio Member

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

    Hi 2springers,
    That is often the argument I hear people make when they are debating taking medication or not. Some people prefer to work on their sleep without medication to ensure they are only reliant on themselves but it is very much a personal decision. If you do decide to come off it, make sure you speak to your medical doctor as it has to be done properly.

    A couple of points…I would revisit the qhr and monitor the effects of this as it is known to be an effective technique. Some people find that making another room in the house comfy and more inviting helps if they need to use this during the night. As for meditation, you can use this as your relaxation if it works for you.,.there is no hard and fast rule about which relaxation techniques to use…as long as they relax you! And as for the anxiety, I would suggest going back to the challenging your thoughts section as this technique works for anxiety in general, as well as sleep-related anxiety.

    Hope that helps?

  • Sleepio Member

    • 16 comments
    • 2 helped
    Session 4

    Really Glider – don't get me started. Sleepio is a scam!

  • Sleepio Member

    • 6 comments
    • 1 helped
    Graduate

    Thank you :)
    I usually have a consistent wind down routine where I'm lying on the sofa listening to audiobooks, but not today as I just found out about that you where answering questions today :)
    I have tried setting of some worry time like described in the Sleepio course, but that made me even more stressed, but I will try to do it earlier in the day.

    When I wake up from nightmares I go and cuddle with my rabbit, it calms me down to see that he is calm and relaxed. And once I've calmed down I'm usually I'm able to fall asleep again in just a few minutes unless it's a really horrible one that scares me so much that I'm unable to go back to bed (I often dream that I wake up several times and then something horrible happens, and when I finally wake up I get scared that I'm not actually awake). But luckily I don't have these nightmares every night, but always every night I dream that I get chased or are trying to get to something I'm never able to get to, or I just have completely random dreams that make no sense and this makes me really exhausted when I wake up

  • Sleepio Member

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

    Hi JackM,
    Thanks for your question. The first thing I would say is that what you are describing is very much a common part of poor sleep. In fact, part of the reason sleep problems continue is because we became so distressed about sleep and so think about it all the time, when in fact it is something our bodies know how to do without our need to get so involved. So please be reassured that it is not a sleep phobia per se but a very common part of insomnia. There are ways to deal with this…very much so. I'm not sure if you will have reached this part of the programme yet, but there is a section on challenging your thoughts and paradoxical intention. These are cognitive techniques which, along with all the other techniques, are designed to target this sleep anxiety you mention and get your sleep back on track.

    As for your question about medication, yes you can use medication alongside the Sleepio programme-many people do.

    Hope this helps.

  • Sleepio Member

    • 10 comments
    • 0 helped
    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Graduate

    Not really but thank you anyway.

  • Sleepio Member

    • 6 comments
    • 1 helped
    Graduate

    When I think about it now I should probably bring up my exhausting dreams and nightmares a lot more in my therapy to get to the bottom of this. Thank you for answering my questions and getting me to think :)

  • Sleepio Member

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

    Gosh, it sounds like a pretty exhausting time for you, tinytyranid. Sorry to hear this. But you are doing the right thing in terms of when you wake up after a nightmare. I'm pleased to hear you have something you find instant comfort in after such horrible dreams. And the fact you remain there until you feel sleepy again is exactly as I would recommend. It may be worth shifting that worry time to see if that has an effect…if it is done too close to bedtime, our minds can still be active when we retire, so an earlier time is best. However, I would also say that if this increases the flashbacks or distress in general, to stop this and use cognitive restructuring for PTSD-related distress as this is underlying the nightmares.

  • Sleepio Member

    • 47 comments
    • 17 helped
    Graduate

    Dr. Creanor,

    I started the course in January and have good success, I like the live session as it occurs during my lunch hour here in Arizona. I am about 90% of where I want to be in my recovery from insomnia. I exercise a lot and do yoga. I've cut wine to one glass with dinner. The only habit I have not dropped in coffee. I usually cut it off at noon. But, if I am honest , I probably have at least 5-6 cups. Thoughts on whether that is too much?

  • Sleepio Member

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

    Hi mascott,
    Thanks for your post. What you describe is actually quite common…a person has very good sleep most of their life, then things change and it is hard to see why. Insomnia can start for a number of reasons and it is different for every person. It may well be, as you hypothesised, that the medication had an effect on your sleep and it may also be that you began noticing your sleep more that you ever used to because it was changing. This is pretty common-that increased awareness of sleep is often what maintains insomnia or makes it worse. The techniques within the Sleepio programme are designed around the best evidence available in terms of what works to get sleep back on track and I have worked with many, many people whose sleep has, indeed, gotten back to what it was like in the good 'ol days…hope that reassures you.

  • Sleepio Member

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

    Hi glider guy,
    Thanks for your comments and question. I'm so pleased to hear that you have made so much progress-it sounds as if you have changed a lot of things to make it work for you so well done for this success. Caffeine, being a drug, can stick around in the system for a while and although it is great that you no longer have any after lunch, 5-6 cups is still quite a bit of caffeine in a short space of time. It could be that, in the afternoon, your body is trying to deal with how much was consumed in the morning. Again, it would always be worth doing a trial of reduced intake, in my opinion, to watch the effects. It is also worth bearing in mind that other foods and drinks contain caffeine that may be upping your intake more…tea, energy drinks and chocolate are among some of these.

  • Sleepio Member

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

    Yes, thank you for the reassurance. My first bout of insomnia was in Sept 2014. Sleep stopped for me again last month. Could the longer days cause me to fall out of sync with my sleep? I hate that I think things are getting better and then I have a night of no sleep.

  • Sleepio Member

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

    Hi mascott,
    Yes sometimes the change of the clock/change of season can affect people but in good sleepers this tends to adjust. Again, it is possible that the thinking about sleep is the maintaining factor here. I'm so sorry but this is the end of the session so sorry to cut this conversation short when we are just getting started it seems! Please join us again for the next one.

  • Sleepio Member

    • 1426 comments
    • 247 helped
    Expert

    Thank you all for your comments and questions. That is the end of the session but I will speak to you again soon. All the best.

  • Sleepio Member

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

    Hi R57. I don't think it's a scam – it is a tool that can work for some people. It sounds like you have a specific diagnosis and that more individual therapy and/or medical intervention is what you need, rather than a generic programme like Sleepio and arms length support from CBT practitioners (who are not medically trained and are not approaching poor sleep from a medical perspective, but rather from a CBT perspective). Obviously that's likely to cost more than Sleepio – but maybe it will be more appropriate to your needs. Good luck with finding the right support. I hear your frustration and desparation, but I think your anger is inappropriate.

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