Live discussion with Dr Vicki Creanor - 15th November 2017

Dr Creanor will be hosting a live online discussion here on Wednesday 15th November, from 8:15 to 9:45pm British Time or 3:15 to 4:45pm US Eastern Standard Time.

She 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.

Please do note that, as per our guidelines, Dr Creanor will not be able to give personal medical advice, including that concerning medication. Her replies to questions will be made in such a way as to help as many people as possible who might have similar issues. If there are a lot of questions, she may not be able to answer all in the time available, but will try to answer as many as she can.

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Posted 9 Nov 2017 at 3:26 PM
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  • Sleepio Member

    • 3 comments
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    Graduate

    Hello!
    I was wondering about napping. I know i'm suppose to avoid it, but is it napping if I'm relaxing, but not actually sleeping? Like if i spent some quiet time, after lunch just listening to music for a little while?
    Thanks,
    S├ębastien.

  • Sleepio Member

    • 2622 comments
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    Expert

    Hello and welcome to the live Sleepio session. I see there are some questions waiting, but if anyone else is on live and wishes to ask something, please post it here…

  • Sleepio Member

    • 2622 comments
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    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Expert

    Hi there,
    I haven't read these articles but it looks interesting. At Sleepio we focus on the psychological elements of sleep but we acknowledge there are many factors that may impact a person's sleep, including diet.

  • Sleepio Member

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    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Expert

    Hi there – thanks for your post. I agree, there are lots of studies out there coming to light about various consequences of poor sleep. However we must be careful not to take them all at face value as some will be poorly constructed yet the media will run with the headline. We do know that sleep is important for good health, but as for how long a person needs to sleep to feel at their best, this will vary from person to person. And the research is definitely still ongoing into the link between health and sleep.

  • Sleepio Member

    • 18 comments
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    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Graduate

    Dolly2 has asked about hormones, I too am in my mid fifties so I am interested in your response to her question. Thank you.
    Sarah.

  • Sleepio Member

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    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Expert

    Hello – thanks for your post here. It is pretty common to feel like sleep has taken a step backwards when sleep restriction starts. It can feel unnatural and often people can become more aware of their sleep at this time. However, it is also one of the most effective ways people can alter their sleeping habits, so often when people persist with it, they feel the longer-term benefits.

  • Sleepio Member

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    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Expert

    Hi there – thanks for getting in touch.

    For many women who are experiencing a change in hormones – either through pregnancy or menopause – sleep will be affected. However, there is good evidence that the approaches used in the Sleepio programme can improve sleep despite these ongoing hormone changes.

    We do advise, however, that people should still seek advice from their medical practitioner if they have any concerns about their physical wellbeing or engaging in a self-help course such as Sleepio. Having your medical information, they will be able to advise you safely on your situation, which we're not able to do via email or on the website.

  • Sleepio Member

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    In reply to a deleted comment
    Expert

    Hello and thanks for the post. It's really important, when there are underlying medical/psychiatric conditions present, to speak to a medical practitioner who knows a person's medical history well if there are plans to alter or stop medication.

    It is not something we can advise on via a website as it is vital that the medical history of that person is considered.

    As I'm sure you will understand, this stance is taken with our clients in mind, to ensure the utmost safety.

  • Sleepio Member

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    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Expert

    Hi there – thanks for getting in touch with your question. Unfortunately we do recommend that people follow the suggestions about more strict sleep restriction because it is based in evidence that this is what is effective to reduce night time wakenings. It helps increase sleep pressure, which is needed to sleep in a solid chunk through the night. To offer reassurance, however, many people who have come through the course have commented that sleep restriction was incredibly hard, but effective in getting rid of the broken sleep throughout the night. And use of relaxation and challenging thoughts can also help break through the anxiety relating to sleep.

  • Sleepio Member

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    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Expert

    This is a very common picture. Anxiety is usually what drives or maintains insomnia in some respect, so the Sleepio course will, over the next few weeks, offer more techniques to combat this anxiety directly by looking at how to target the unhelpful thinking associated with anxiety as well as relaxation methods to help calm the body before bed.

  • Sleepio Member

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    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Expert

    Hi there, it sounds as if things are tough just now. With many people, sleep restriction does set things back a little and anxiety can become higher for a period. It sounds as if there is at least one technique that is helping just now which is good – sometimes it is trial and error as to what will help calm the mind when up during the night. I would say to anyone using things such as audio books in the middle of the night, though, to use these outwith the bedroom, during the quarter hour rule time, until they feel sleepy tired, then return to bed. There are also some downloadable tools on the course which may help to relax during this time – I'm not sure if these have been attempted?

  • Sleepio Member

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    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Expert

    Hi and thanks for your post. There are many things that cause middle of the night wakenings. Stress and anxiety are significant factors, illness or other underlying physical/psychological problems can often cause wakenings. Use of alcohol/recreational or prescribed drugs can also cause disrupted sleep and then there are factors such as diet that can be at play. If anyone suspects any of these problems may be present, they should contact a medical practitioner to seek advice. It could also be apnoea again so this is worth getting reviewed.

  • Sleepio Member

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    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Expert

    Thanks for your comment on this. I will take this to the team who set up the sleep diary and ask someone to look at this, as it seems important information to gather.

  • Sleepio Member

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    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Expert

    It is a very fine line between deep relaxation and sleeping. The only person who will know the difference is the person in question…often relaxation leads to (accidental!) napping, which as you rightly say is not advised on the course, so if there is a risk of falling asleep, it may be best to avoid this type of relaxation during the day and save it for bedtime.

  • Sleepio Member

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    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Graduate

    Thanks, Dr. Creanor – it's helpful to know those exercises are ahead.

  • Sleepio Member

    • 14 comments
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    Graduate

    Hi there

    I have had to adjust my sleep restriction schedule and move it back from going to bed at 1.45 for a 6 hour window to 1.15. But i am feeling slow and sullen in the office. Should I move it back to 12.45, or 12.30 even, and I guess if at the end of this week my sleep efficiency is high enough add on 15 minutes as well? Also because relaxation time is hard to start on time, I may start it later and then shorten pre-bed tasks time or go to bed later. i feel like I'm cheating. I think I had better stick to a schedule to establish a habit. Sorry to bombard you but it's all making me super anxious…

  • Sleepio Member

    • 2622 comments
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    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Expert

    Hi there,
    The daytime tiredness is not likely to be affected by the bedtime, more the time spent asleep and the sleep quality, however if it is hard to stay awake til bedtime, people can shift the sleep window earlier as long as this is then stuck to. Consistency is key, so moving it around a lot will be unhelpful and ineffective. Once efficiency reaches 90% then yes, 15 mins can be added to bedtime or rise time. Hope that helps?

  • Sleepio Member

    • 2622 comments
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    Expert

    That's all for today…thanks for the posts and speak to you all again soon.

  • Sleepio Member

    • 14 comments
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    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Graduate

    Yes. Thank you. That is helpful.

  • Sleepio Member

    • 1 comments
    • 0 helped
    Session 1

    I am waking up at about the same hour each night (2:00am or 3:00am). Why? Is this a REM thing?

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