Live discussion with Dr Vicki Creanor - 16th December 2015

Dr Creanor will be hosting a live online discussion here on Wednesday 16th December 8:15pm-9.45pm GMT.

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.

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Posted 10 Dec 2015 at 1:09 PM
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  • Sleepio Member

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    Expert

    Hi Masha87,
    Thanks for both of your posts tonight. The two concerns you raise (about the significance of post-concussion syndrome in sleep problems and sleep apnoea) are important ones to raise with a medical doctor. If anyone suspects they have sleep apnoea they should always contact their medical doctor to discuss it and perhaps be tested in a sleep clinic. Also with post-concussion concerns, a medical doctor is the best person to talk to about it. They will be able to examine you in person which sounds like it would be important for both issues you have raised.

  • Sleepio Member

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    Expert

    Hi Sag,
    The problem you describe is one of the most common in insomnia; the focus on not being able to get to sleep and the effort we put into trying to sleep actually make us sleep less and worse. Sleepio actually have quite a few techniques within the programme for this – you may not have come to these yet – including though stopping and paradoxical thinking. Meditation can also help, yes, and you could try this during the quarter hour rule to stay relaxed. Remember that you only return to bed once you feel sleepy tired (I wasn't sure if you thought you get out of bed for 15 mins only) which can take varied lengths of time.

  • Sleepio Member

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    Graduate

    Hi Dr. Creanor,
    I have been using the course principles consistently for almost a year now. For the most part I can get a solid block of 5 to 5 1/2 hours of sleep, but every time I try to extend my sleep window beyond 5 1/2 hours I am unsuccessful. I get out of bed for the QHR, but I am never able to fall asleep again. I feel better than I did during the day prior to starting the course, but nowhere near where I need to be. I know from earlier in life I need closer to 6 1/2- 7 hours of sleep to function well. Do you have any other suggestions that might help?

  • Sleepio Member

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    Expert

    Hi pmac,
    THanks for your post and well done on getting that solid block of sleep. When people raise this difficulty, not being able to get even more sleep, what we often recommend is extending the sleep window in both directions…do many people just try and extend the morning wake up time…it might be worth looking at going to bed earlier (only if tired at that time though) Other things to look at are lifestyle factors – as I was saying before in response to another post, try and go back over each week of the course and look at all the things mentioned to see if there's anything you could tweak but also look at how much caffeine you take, alcohol, nicotine etc. Have a look at what makes you wake up – whether you feel anxious about things taht wake you up that could be resolved via thought challenging. The other thing to bear in mind is that as we get older we tend to need less sleep, so being realistic in terms of how much we think we should be getting is sometimes helpful too.

  • Sleepio Member

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    Graduate

    Dear Dr. Creanor,

    I'm still in session 2 and when I fill up the sleepio sleep diaries and have been out of the bed between bedtime and last awakening (e.g. when following the 15 min rule), it is not reflected in the sleep efficiency. I there a way to add this information ? For example if I have been out of bed the (as a result of not sleeping) for 1 or 2 hours in the ~middle of the night…
    (Perhaps it will change from session 3…)
    Thanks

  • Sleepio Member

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    Graduate

    Hi Dr Creanor.
    Sometimes when i have a ( Blip ) and cant sleep i usually grab my quilt and go downstairs to my settee and usually find i sleep better. So as not to spoil my relationship with my bed and i find it works for me as opposed to doing 1/4 HR rule.is this ok.
    on the 1/4 HR I take 1/2 because of my tinnitus and it seems to be better for me. Does this also sound ok.
    i would like too say how helpful sleepio and the community have been for me .
    Thanking You .
    Trevor.

  • Sleepio Member

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    Expert

    Hi there,
    Thank you for your question. I have been asked this before and I sought advice from our technical team on it…would it be OK if I double checked that response and get back to you? I can post it on this page so others can see…there should be little blue question marks with each item in the sleep diary though which tells you exactly what info to enter, perhaps this helps in the meantime?

  • Sleepio Member

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    Graduate

    Dear Dr. Creanor,

    Is it OK to combine the sleepio CBT-I (from end of session 2) with Mirtazapine if taken acutely? (when getting occasional sleep onset insomnia as I am not fan of taking sleep promoting drugs chronically…)

  • Sleepio Member

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    Expert

    Hi Trevor,
    I'm so glad you've found it helpful, that's great to hear. Unfortunately we do recommend to everyone that they follow the quarter hour rule because whenever you sleep outwith your bedroom is does actually damage the sleep-bed connection as your mind starts connecting other places (not your bed) to sleep and so weakens the bed-sleep connection. Do you mean you say 30min instead of 15 due to your tinnitus?

  • Sleepio Member

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    Expert

    Hi there,
    We have many people using the Sleepio course alongside medication and this is OK.

  • Sleepio Member

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    Graduate

    Hi Dr Creanor.

    Yes that is correct it gives me 1/4 hr to get used to my tinnitus like winding down and bearing it.
    Thanks for the reply
    Trevor.

  • Sleepio Member

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    Expert

    HI there – yes I think the extra 15 mins in this case should be fine. Gauge it on how long it used to take you to get to sleep if you had the tinnitus at that time – for good sleepers it tends to take 15 mins to fall asleep hence why we recommend that time.

  • Sleepio Member

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    Expert

    I would add that it's often helpful for those prescribing you the medication to know about your engagement in CBT as well.

  • Sleepio Member

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    Graduate

    Hi, thanks in advance for double checking with the technical team ! Blue question marks are helpful in the meantime…

  • Sleepio Member

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    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Graduate

    Hi, thanks in advance for double checking with the technical team ! Blue question marks are helpful in the meantime…

  • Sleepio Member

    • 5 comments
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    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Graduate

    Hi, thanks in advance for double checking with the technical team ! Blue question marks are helpful in the meantime…

  • Sleepio Member

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    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Expert

    You're welcome…

  • Sleepio Member

    • 142 comments
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    Graduate

    Hi Dr C.
    Thanks for replying and il bear in mind what you have said. Thank you
    Trevor.

  • Sleepio Member

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    Expert

    That's all for this time folks – thanks for the great questions and all the best for now. Speak to you all soon – Sleep Biologist, I will get back to you…

  • Sleepio Member

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    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Expert

    Hi sleep biologist,
    Just replying to your query the other night. Looking at the sleep diary inputs you need, you should be asked how many times you wake up during the night. Enter this but be careful not to add in the final time you got up (even if it was 5am for example) for the day. You should then be asked how long these awakenings lasted in total…add up all the bits of time during the night that you were awake for however here it is important not to include the time you spent getting to sleep initially when you went to bed at the start of the night or the time you might have stayed in bed after wake up time (this is not recommended anyway). Also, include the 15mins you are awake for in the middle of the night before you actually get up for the QHR as this may be what's reducing the total time awake calculation? It may be that these little issues are creating a different sleep efficiency? Hope this helps, speak soon.

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