Live discussion with Dr Vicki Creanor - 16th July

Dr Creanor will be hosting a live online discussion here on Wednesday 16th July, 8.15pm-9.45pm.

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 10 Jul 2014 at 2:24 PM
  • 34 comments
  • 5 helped

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  • Sleepio Member

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    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Expert

    Hi Lexi's mum thanks for this question. Firstly, well done on the 95% efficiency!!! Wow. That's fantastic. I suppose I would start with suggesting that you look at whether the wakenings are solely driven by needing the toilet (in which case watch your fluid intake and perhaps reduce it in the evening) or something else that needs targeted. Anxiety, for example can wake us, so it may be a case of targeting this.

    I would suggest waiting until your efficiency is consistently over 90 before adding time to your sleep window – perhaps 10 consecutive days? It's frustrating I understand however this ensures it's becoming a pattern. You can still increase the window if you're having night wakenings, just base it on your efficiency and make sure the QHR is in place during these wakenings.

  • Sleepio Member

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    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Expert

    It's always easier noticing these things as an outsider – when you're living it, it's tricky to see the causes of things. Hope that helps though – remember that good sleepers do have these poorer periods of sleep – they just don't matter as much to them. So this is what you're aiming for – brushing off the bad nights and focussing on the next night.

  • Sleepio Member

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    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Expert

    Hi Tazzie, welcome to Sleepio. It's a good point you raise and we see lots of people who struggle with sleep due to irregular work patterns. When you work different night shifts, it will be hard (impossible) to have a regular rise/bed time. I wonder if the best thing for you to do is focus on the other techniques that improve the quality of sleep? Unfortunately, it may be that your sleep is still disrupted due to the nature of these shifts (the treatment programme and its effectiveness is based on implementing regularity as this is an optimal situation for good sleep) but elements of it may improve despite the inability to obtain regular waketimes.

  • Sleepio Member

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    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Expert

    Hi FredHK, welcome to Sleepio and thanks for your post. Yes, Sleepio is aimed at increasing the quality of your sleep and the efficiency. I wonder about these dreams, however. Vivid dreams are often caused by things such as anxiety, medication and high temperatures. It may be worth looking at these to see if any of these apply and could be looked at to help reduce the vividness of the dreams. There will be techniques throughout the programme that will help you increase your sleep quality, so I hope you find success in these.

  • Sleepio Member

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    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Expert

    Hi jmcknz – welcome to you too! Lots of new members on today.I have seen this happening in people who oversleep (sometimes in depressed patients), in that they feel more tired as a result of this. I'm not sure if this applies to you, though.

    As for the herbal supplements, I would seek advice from where you purchased them/were prescribed them in terms of coming off them, but Sleepio will equip you with method of improving sleep that usually do not require medication/supplements.

  • Sleepio Member

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    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Expert

    Hi ROBINSONP. Congratulations on graduating and on the brilliant success you've had with your sleep improvements. You obviously worked hard to achieve that so well done.

    What you may have heard that might require a trip to the GP is to assess for narcolepsy (when you can't control these 'sleep attacks'). It's worth doing, just to make sure, although it sounds as if there is a pattern to these, in that they only happen on your days off. I wonder if you could take a note of when this happens (a diary) so that you can pre-empt them and do an engaging activity that absorbs you to prevent them from happening?

  • Sleepio Member

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    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Expert

    Hi again, Tazzie. Have a look at the article in the library called 'Shift work and Sleep' – there are some additional ways of working in there that may be of help to you.

  • Sleepio Member

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    Expert

    It's pretty quiet out there – anyone on live want to ask any burning questions or have thoughts about something they want to start a group discussion about?

  • Sleepio Member

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    Graduate

    I can't think of anything else at the moment, no doubt I will later!

  • Sleepio Member

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    Graduate

    Hi Dr Creanor

    There was an article in Sunday’s Observer about the Sleepio app and the use of the Jawbone UP wrist band. Do you have any thoughts on how useful these are?

  • Sleepio Member

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    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Expert

    it usually happens that way, ally!

    well I am here til 9.45pm (BST) to answer any questions…

  • Sleepio Member

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    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Expert

    Hi there jwelford, I'm afraid I didn't see that article and I don't have any experience with the Jawbone UP wristband, so I wouldn't like to comment. The Sleepio app will be based upon the same principles as the main Sleepio programme (CBT) which has a lot of evidence behind it in terms of high effectiveness for sleep problems. What is the Jawbone UP wristband?

  • Sleepio Member

    • 111 comments
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    Graduate

    What is it about anxiety that has a negative impact on sleep, apart from triggering a racing mind? Is it to do with raising cortisol levels and 'fright, flight' response so you. Tense up rather than relax – or am I totally off kilter?

  • Sleepio Member

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    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Expert

    Good question – it's complex. It can affect sleep in a number of ways. It can hype up the body with cortisol and adrenalin so, yes, the body physically gets ready for action, rather than relaxing. It also affects our thoughts – so we worry about sleep and get anxious about it. Good sleepers do not think about sleep, so it happens to them, passively. As soon as we get anxious about something, we think about it a lot (this is an evolutionary way of making sure we sort out what is making us anxious in case it is a real threat to life), so we therefore are not letting sleep 'happen to us', rather, we focus so much on every element of sleep that it keeps us awake. we are also primed to notice any blips in our usual sleep, rather than shrug it off, so this anxiety can keep the problem going as we get so caught up in it and notice every tiny detail, which good sleepers, again, do not do

  • Sleepio Member

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    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Graduate

    Hi there

    Thanking you.

    The Observer article describing the wristband begins as follows: “The band tracks movement and sleep, information that’s stored in your smartphone and online in your Sleepio account. etc.” But it can apparently monitor other things, such as diet and your activities.
    The Jawbone website is here:
    https://jawbone.com/up

  • Sleepio Member

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    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Expert

    Oh sounds interesting. Thanks for this info – will have a wee look at it. There are a number of tools that can now track sleep. I don't know about this particular one, but I recall one that was used when I was doing my research for my doctorate and they were somewhat unreliable as they measured physical movement rather than sleep – if you think about it, you may lie awake in bed (not putting into place the QHR!!) for hours, very still. The particular device I knew about therefore recorded you as sleeping through the night, when in fact you were wide awake! Hence the need for various sleep measurements.

  • Sleepio Member

    • 111 comments
    • 17 helped
    Graduate

    I can't ever imagine not thinking about my sleep! I will keep using techniques Sleepio has given and you never know I might prove myself wrong on that point. My sleep is so much better and I recognise my anxiety levels have reduced, perhaps my next goal is to reduce my anxiety further, think they may be higher than I acknowledged!

  • Sleepio Member

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

    Sometimes distraction helps or mindfulness. If you are absorbed in an activity when you usually think about sleep, this might naturally stop you thinking about sleep until one day sleep doesn't feature as significantly in your mind.

  • Sleepio Member

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    • 225 helped
    Expert

    That's the end of the session today everyone – thanks so much for your interesting questions and for joining me. Take care.

  • Sleepio Member

    • 4 comments
    • 1 helped
    Session 5

    During my numerous awakenings every night, I have gotten into the habit of turning on the radio and listening to a news programme, while trying to avoid my incessant thinking!! After reading Dr Simon Kyle's article on 'What accounts for unrefreshing sleep' I'm wondering if I'm 'knocking out' slow wave sleep (because the sound of the radio is shifting my brain into lighter phases of sleep) – hence causing my limited sleeping hours to be unrefreshing anyway, and resulting in problems concentrating the next day. If so, I hope I will get some helpful hints on how to cope with my nighttime awake hours.

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