Live discussion with Dr Vicki Creanor - 14th October 2015

Dr Creanor will be hosting a live online discussion here on Wednesday 14th October 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 that, as per our guidelines, Dr Creanor won’t be able to give personal medical advice. Her 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' or the 'F5' key
- On Mac hit 'Command' or 'Apple' and 'R'

Posted 8 Oct 2015 at 4:15 PM
  • 22 comments
  • 2 helped

Comments

Show older comments
  • Sleepio Member

    • 4 comments
    • 1 helped
    Graduate

    I fall asleep easily but wake frequently during the night. Sometimes cramp wakes me up. I wear socks to keep my feet warm but I think sometimes it is simply the position my leg/foot is in which causes the cramp. Are there any ways of preventing cramp?

  • Sleepio Member

    • 38 comments
    • 3 helped
    Graduate

    Hello Dr Creanor; I graduated from the sleepio program several months ago. I have been using trazadone and zopiclone together for over a year and am now weaning off the zopiclone(5mg). Presently I am taking 1/4 of a pill at night. I have found however that with that lower dose , my sleep pattern of awakening in the middle of the night has recurred( approx 3am) . At times I can be up the rest of the night. I find as well, at times , I feel so exhausted that I extend the qhr to an hour or more. My mood also gets affected. Do you have any suggestions in assisting me to wean off the zopiclone? I have found it discouraging at times with the recurrence of the middle insomnia. Thanks Lew

  • Sleepio Member

    • 8 comments
    • 0 helped
    Graduate

    I am in week 8. I had a good run for 20 days with wonderful sleep, no problem falling asleep, pretty much sleeping through the night, but 1 bad night changed all that. Now for the past 2 weeks it's been about every other night for me. Last night I listed to relaxation audios for 1 hour and it still didn't put me to sleep. I'm afraid I'm going to end up worse than when I started, because at least when I started I had hope. Any suggestions.

  • Sleepio Member

    • 1389 comments
    • 225 helped
    Expert

    Hi everyone and welcome to the Sleepio live web session. This is a place to ask questions about the Sleepio course or the psychology of sleep. Any questions regarding medication or medical complaints should be taken to your medical doctor.

    Let's get started…

    I will answer the questions already posted just now but please interrupt me if you have a question!

  • Sleepio Member

    • 1389 comments
    • 225 helped
    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Expert

    Hi Jeddadee,
    Thanks for your question. It's pretty common for people who have struggled with their sleep to start feeling anxious before bed/when they get into bed given the negative association that's built up around that setting. Even when people don't feel anxious and don't notice any negative/anxious thoughts, there can be underlying anxiety around which may be first noticed in physical symptoms such as a racing heart. There are many techniques at the start of Sleepio which help with these physical symptoms (relaxation strategies) however it's also a good idea for people having these physical symptoms to think about what thoughts they are having and start noticing these in order to challenge them as described in the Sleepio course. Hope this helps.

  • Sleepio Member

    • 1389 comments
    • 225 helped
    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Expert

    Hi Graham,
    Thanks for your question. Many people at the start of Sleepio feel very overwhelmed before they start the course. That's why they've come to use the Sleepio programme. The course takes you through various different techniques to help people get back to a regular sleep pattern with an aim of increasing total sleep time too. I'm sure over the next few weeks you will learn a lot to challenge the way you're feeling just now. All the best with the course.

  • Sleepio Member

    • 1389 comments
    • 225 helped
    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Expert

    Hi Valbeastsixties,
    Thanks for your question. As this is a question relating to a physical complaint in the first instance, I believe it may be more helpful asking your medical doctor about how to help these cramps. I do know that those who have had restless leg syndrome (a tendency to move legs and feet in bed that causes broken sleep) have tried cutting down alcohol, caffeine and smoking to help this condition.

  • Sleepio Member

    • 1389 comments
    • 225 helped
    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Expert

    Hi Lew,
    Thanks for your question. As per our guidelines, we recommend that anyone looking to wean themselves off medication talks it through with their medical doctor to ensure it is done safely. It's not always a straightforward process so this is the best route to take to keep people safe.

  • Sleepio Member

    • 1389 comments
    • 225 helped
    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Expert

    Hi turquoise1209.
    I wonder if what has happened here is that the one night of bad sleep has produced an increase in focus on sleep each night and worry about it. When people have a lapse, they often believe it is a relapse (where they'll go back to the square one). Lapses, however, are very common when recovering from any problem. The aim is to see it as just this – a small blip. It can feel overwhelming when this happens as the worry can take over. What can often help is to go through the programme step by step again – one session at a time – so that the techniques can be put in place once again. People who start to worry about these lapses often benefit from the challenging of negative thoughts part of the course to get a more balanced view of how they are progressing, rather than seeing it as a completely negative situation.

  • Sleepio Member

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

    Thank you Dr. Creanor – I believe that is exactly what happened. I am so focused on sleep now and as I sit here my heart is beating faster just thinking about it! I will go through the program again. Thank you for saying it is just a small blip. To me it seems like the end, but thank you for encouraging me to put my perspectives back in order.

  • Sleepio Member

    • 1389 comments
    • 225 helped
    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Expert

    It's often important to hear that blips are very – very – common. What matters is getting yourself back on track as quickly as possible and knowing that you're much further on now than square one. All the best, turquoise1209.

  • Sleepio Member

    • 1389 comments
    • 225 helped
    Expert

    It's gone a bit quiet – if anyone has any more questions please post away…

  • Sleepio Member

    • 2 comments
    • 0 helped
    Graduate

    Hi Dr Creanor,
    Doing the Sleepio programme is helping me-this is week 6, and I'm on holiday , so am taking a short break from the sleep restriction . The community is really helpful-but I don't see so many people whose main problem is to get to sleep . That has been my main difficulty, and as a musician, my problem is always worse if I'm performing. The entrenched habit is not so much to worry about the performance, but the almost phobia kind of worry that I just won't sleep-and then I don't-unless I take half a Zopiclone . I so want to give up sleeping pills, and I'd so love to be less anxious in those nights.I don't nap during the day, and can stay up very late-just a bit scared to give up sleeping pills. Can you help, with any extra advice? Many thanks, Ruthie

  • Sleepio Member

    • 58 comments
    • 8 helped
    Graduate

    Hi. How important do you regard the QHR to be? When I tried it , it just made my insomnia worse as I was getting increasingly anxious. What I've been doing is following sleep restriction, but not getting out of bed. I tend to feel quite relaxed while lying in bed awake for an hour or so and feel much better the next day as a result. The problem is that I would still like to get more sleep as I'm only getting around 4.5 – 5.5 hours a night and seem to have reached an impasse. Many thanks.

  • Sleepio Member

    • 1389 comments
    • 225 helped
    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Expert

    Hi Ruthie,
    Thanks for your post. Although it may seem staying asleep is the main issue of those people you've seen in the community, getting to sleep is a huge problem for many people with insomnia. For those people, thoughts are often what keeps them awake as they try to get to sleep. The thought blocking technique is a good one for this, to help block out any thought about sleep (the 'the the' technique). Having a good wind down routine is also helpful and watching out for amount of caffeine being consumed can help make sure the brain starts to wind down properly at night time and isn't too stimulated. Relaxation techniques come in useful here, too. Making sure that one gets up after 15 minutes of trying to sleep is very important so that the brain doesn't associate bed with lack of sleep in too much of a severe way (this is the quarter hour rule). These along with sleep restriction and making sure there is a regular bed and wake time is also important in helping 1) increase the sleep pressure at bedtime and 2) getting the body and mind into the habit of sleeping when you get into bed. Hope this helps?

  • Sleepio Member

    • 1389 comments
    • 225 helped
    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Expert

    Hi Peter123,
    I regard the quarter hour rule to be very important. Although it may seem more relaxing to stay in bed (who would want to get out of bed most of the time??) it's very damaging to the association we form between bed and sleep. If you stay in bed while awake, your brain starts to associate your bed with being awake. This can lead to problems later down the line when one gets into bed – the brain learns to stay awake rather than fall asleep as it links bed to wakefulness. Hope that helps to explain why it really is an important element of the programme.

  • Sleepio Member

    • 58 comments
    • 8 helped
    Graduate

    OK thanks for the reply. Perhaps I'll have more luck if I try it again, but it didn't help much when I tried it the first time. I guessing it doesn't work universally, so perhaps I'm just one of those unlucky few.

  • Sleepio Member

    • 1389 comments
    • 225 helped
    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Expert

    It's worth saying that it's a really difficult technique to do – so many people struggle with it. It's so counterintuitive to get out your warm bed when you're comfy and a bit dosy – especially when it's cold outside! But there's lots of evidence to say it's a very useful part of the treatment. You're right, though, not everything will help everyone. However I do think it's worth trying it again. You can set up another warm room other than your bedroom (some people have blankets and warm lighting on) to help encourage you into another room.

  • Sleepio Member

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

    Yes, this is helpful, thanks. I just wish that I don't “know” without meaning to which nights are going to be a problem, even by midday-but after 40years of some sleep problems, I guess it's going to be a while before I can sleep confidently. I do love the permission to stay up, as I used to feel guilty that I'm a night bird, and often just don't feel tired at midnight. Getting up early-that's another matter! Thanks for your help with our probs ,
    Ruthie

  • Sleepio Member

    • 1389 comments
    • 225 helped
    Expert

    That's the end of today's session – thanks for the questions and I'll speak to you soon.
    Vicki

Return to top