Live discussion with Dr Vicki Creanor - 16th January 2019

Dr Creanor will be hosting a live online discussion here on Wednesday 16th Jan, from 8:15 to 9:45pm British Time or 3:15 to 5:45pm US Eastern 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 10 Jan 2019 at 11:13 AM
  • 12 comments
  • 2 helped

Comments

  • Sleepio Member

    • 1 comments
    • 0 helped
    Graduate

    Hello Dr Creanor – I believe that I may have started waking up before the alarm in order to avoid being shocked awake by it (it's soft music but it still startles me). The sleep restriction makes me so stressed and exhausted at all times that I feel very shaky and can't think well, though I'm not falling asleep during the day. What do you suggest?

  • Sleepio Member

    • 17 comments
    • 4 helped
    Graduate

    I am really struggling to fill in the thought checker. I've been over the Prof's instructions but I can't find anything positive to say. Can you give me any more ideas on what to fill in please? Feeling very frustrated, angry and exhausted.

  • Sleepio Member

    • 7 comments
    • 2 helped
    Graduate

    Hello – I am extremely sleepy on sofa downstairs and as I go to bed, I struggle to sleep. I have tried progressive relaxation and 15 mins rule, but doesn’t seem to work. I am on sleep restriction at the moment.
    Is it OK to sleep on sofa downstairs? I’m running out of techniques and it’s stressing me out a bit. Thanks

  • Sleepio Member

    • 1 comments
    • 0 helped
    Session 1

    How much sleep does an adult need?
    Does it change as we get older?
    Is it the same for male and females?
    Can you “catch up” on sleep?

  • Sleepio Member

    • 1 comments
    • 0 helped
    Session 2

    I've tested high for Cortisol, the stress hormone. My morning cortisol is low and my evening cortisol is high, exactly opposite of what it should be.
    I've tried to limit blue light in the evening with Blue Blocker glasses, however I'm not sure how much they actually block.
    Can you discuss how high cortisol affects our sleep and some ways to reduce it? Are there any supplements that can help?
    Also, is there a certain type of blue blocker glasses that are better then others? Amazon has hundreds of different kinds for sale but I'm not convinced they are all the quality they should be and I don't know how to actually test them for quality (i.e. how much blue light is really being blocked).

  • Sleepio Member

    • 2510 comments
    • 383 helped
    Expert

    Hello and welcome to the live Sleepio session today. I see there are some questions waiting so let's get started. Any new questions, please get in touch! I'm here for the next 90 mins…

  • Sleepio Member

    • 2510 comments
    • 383 helped
    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Expert

    Hi and thanks for your question. Sleep restriction is one of the trickiest parts of the Sleepio course. Often, we feel a little bit worse before we feel better after we start this technique. I wonder if you have tried any relaxation strategies before bed or upon wakening?

  • Sleepio Member

    • 2510 comments
    • 383 helped
    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Expert

    Hi there – sorry to hear you're struggling at the moment. It can be tricky to find positive things to think about when we're in a bit of a negative patch. often people who find this section difficult find the tips helpful in the library article 'How To: Use the Thought Checker' – in particular, the reference to the true/false statements in the session 2 info may be helpful here as ideas on how to challenge the negative thoughts? Another thing that can help, if people are comfortable to do so, is to share concerns with close family/friends who are more able to take that step back and find positives for you?

  • Sleepio Member

    • 2510 comments
    • 383 helped
    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Expert

    Hello and thanks for getting in touch. The guidance within Sleepio, as based on evidence-based theory, is that sleep should only take place in the bed. The rationale behind this is that we are trying to help people strengthen the positive association between sleep and bed. This is weakened if people then sleep elsewhere. Of course, it is not a prescriptive course so people can choose to follow what guidance they wish, but this is what is recommended to support people to get the best possible sleep.

    Often when we become more alert as we approach bed it's due to the negative associations we have between bed and sleep when sleep is poor. An idea may be to look at the thoughts that occur at bedtime and find a time (during the day and not close to bedtime) to challenge these as described in the thought checker technique. This may help alleviate some of the anxious thoughts and help make sleep in bed less anxiety-provoking.

  • Sleepio Member

    • 2510 comments
    • 383 helped
    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Expert

    Hi and thanks for getting in touch – all great questions that are commonly asked! There are actually a couple of great articles on these topics in the Sleepio library that you may find interesting….

    'Is it true that people need less sleep in layer life' and 'Should you try to make up for lost sleep on subsequent nights?'

    I hope you find them interesting. Neither addresses the male/female question, but in my clinical experience, I haven't seen any difference between their sleep patterns, apart from the fact that women's sleep is often affected by menstrual cycles/the menopause.

  • Sleepio Member

    • 2510 comments
    • 383 helped
    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Expert

    HI there. So as you rightly say, cortisol is related to stress levels, so this pattern indicates that evenings are more stressful than mornings (possibly due to anxiety around sleep before bed?). Relaxation techniques (breathing, muscle relaxation, use of imagery) often help to reduce stress levels, as can things such as having a bath/listening to music/reading.

    In terms of blue light filters, there are many options out there however I'm afraid I don't have any evidence regarding the best ones – the best way to reduce blue light at night is, of course, to not use screens in the evening to avoid this affecting Melatonin release.

  • Sleepio Member

    • 2510 comments
    • 383 helped
    Expert

    A quiet session today, but thanks for the questions posted – speak to you again soon.

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