Live discussion with Dr Vicki Creanor - 18th April 2018

Dr Creanor will be hosting a live online discussion here on Wednesday 18th April, 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.

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 keys or the F5 key
On Mac hit CMD and R

Posted 12 Apr 2018 at 12:17 AM
  • 26 comments
  • 0 helped

Comments

Show older comments
  • Sleepio Member

    • 3 comments
    • 2 helped
    Graduate

    I'm into my 2nd week of sleep restriction and although my sleep efficiency has improved I'm getting fewer hours of sleep per night than before I started. I wake up too early so although I'm allowed to increase my hours in bed, if I go to bed earlier I'll wake up even earlier. But if I opt to wake up later it just doesn't work.

  • Sleepio Member

    • 11 comments
    • 0 helped
    Graduate

    I am being treated for PTSD and anxiety due to traumatic events that have sent me into a tailspin. The events are too new, and therapy has just begun. I can't turn my mind off, especially at night when memories come flooding back. I exercise, have a good diet, and follow the guidelines of the program, but I can't get through the nights. Has anyone ever had to deal with this, and how did you successfully get a good night's sleep?

  • Sleepio Member

    • 3 comments
    • 0 helped
    Session 5

    I've been practicing restricted sleep window (established in session 3), and it helped me get rid of awakenings in the middle of the night.
    I managed to stick to the window for four nights. It was rather difficult, as I was getting sleepy during the day. However, the quality of my sleep improved.

    On the fifth night, I've slept 45 minutes beyond my wake up time. Then, on the following two nights I had much worse sleep, and middle of the night awakenings came back.

    How should I get on track again? I've watched session 4 that allows loosening up the sleep window. Shall I loosen it up, or stay in tightest sleep window further?

  • Sleepio Member

    • 1 comments
    • 0 helped
    Session 2

    Hello, I am following the Professor's recommendations for healthy sleeping, like exercise, no caffeine etc. I am often very sleepy at bedtime after reading for a few minutes, but as soon as I turn off the light my mind becomes active again and despite trying relaxation techniques I often don't get to sleep until 2am or later. I then sleep well but not enough. Any thoughts? Thanks.

  • Sleepio Member

    • 3 comments
    • 0 helped
    Graduate

    I am over 65 and still have hot flashes which awake me two or three times a night. I notice the process starts with awakening, 30 seconds later I sense an intense dry mouth sensation and then maybe after another 30 seconds the flushing begins. Could you discuss in general what is happening in the brain to trigger this arousal and whether there is anything that can be done to dampen it. I find myself able to sleep after the earlier night time flushes, but not after the one which starts around 4 or 4:30 in the morning. I take no medications other than a statin drug at present. Thanks so much.

  • Sleepio Member

    • 2510 comments
    • 384 helped
    Expert

    Welcome to the live Sleepio session. Here, you can post questions about sleep or the Sleepio course and I will answer as many as I can in a way that might also help the wider Sleepio community. Let's get started…

  • Sleepio Member

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

    Hi there, thanks for your question. It is often the case that people who cannot sleep become slightly fixated on the clock. It can be difficult to resist checking in with it – usually to see how long you've been awake for. I would actually advise not having a clock in the room if it is causing anxiety and has become a focus at night time. It often leads to more anxiety about sleep/lack of sleep. It can be hard to estimate when one falls asleep and how long one has been asleep for – and this can raise anxieties around the sleep diary. However, I would recommend that an estimate is still made rather than clock watching. Some people find it helpful – if they have a smart phone – to take a brief screen shot of their phone when they wake up in the night – this will capture the time in the photo gallery for diary entry the next day but is less intrusive than checking the clock as it can be done without looking at the time on the phone. Hope this helps.

  • Sleepio Member

    • 1 comments
    • 0 helped
    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Session 2

    Where are you? I can't seem to access your presentation even though I've logged in and followed all the prompts. – Simon Zalkind

  • Sleepio Member

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

    Sorry to hear you've hit a blip. I'm encouraged that you're calling it a blip, though as this indicates some optimism about being able to sort it! You're right – travelling is tricky when trying to get sleep back on track. It sounds as if you've recognised that bad habits are back again so i wondered if you'd tried going back over the techniques individually and putting them into place one by one again? So setting a good bedtime routine that is the same every night, using relaxation, challenging the negative thoughts that arise about travelling, sleep restriction, the quarter hour rule? Sometimes as graduates, it can be a muddle to know how to fix something but if we go back to the start it can helpful to take a technique at a time, just like before.

    The best way to deal with travelling, is to get into the new time zone as soon as possible (eating and sleeping when the locals do) while getting plenty fresh air and sunlight during the daytime hours and making things darker and cosier in the evenings.

    I would also encourage you to challenge the negative thoughts in saying that you've dealt with this issue before and managed to get sleep back on track – so you know it is possible for you to do so.

  • Sleepio Member

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

    Hi there – welcome to the session. There is no presentation – this is a question and answer session via comments. So no video! If you refresh regularly you can follow the thread and post questions…

  • Sleepio Member

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

    Hi there,

    I'm glad you've found the programme helpful in terms of targeting bad habits.

    What you describe is likely non restorative sleep – see the article in the library called 'How to get a good night's sleep'. It is quite common and often maintained by factors such as low mood, anxiety, stress and medication. It may be worth looking at what could be underlying this and causing unrefreshing sleep? The good news is that the techniques within Sleepio can help with this type of problem as well.

  • Sleepio Member

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

    HI there,
    Although I cannot comment on individual medication issues, there are people who have completed the course while on medication. It is a personal choice but one that should also be discussed with the person who prescribes this medication to you.

  • Sleepio Member

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

    Hi – this is a tricky question – and a common one. Like I was saying previously this evening, it's a bad habit to fall into if we check the clock a lot in the night. It can add to anxiety. So, although it will not always be accurate, it's advised to give your best guess. You can briefly look at a clock, or take screenshots on a smart phone that will record wakenings and their timings

  • Sleepio Member

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

    Hi and thanks for your question. This is best discussed with your medical doctor/the prescriber as medication can affect everyone differently. They will be better able to advise you on how to approach the medication and behavioural work given they know you personally.

  • Sleepio Member

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

    HI – you may actually want to try going to bed earlier if you are being offered an increase to your sleep window? For some people it does help in that they get to bed earlier yet they still wake up at the time they'd been waking before – it is not necessarily the case that sleep will last the same time every night. However, that said, it is common for total sleep time to take a while to play catch up – it's really positive news that the sleep efficiency is on track.

  • Sleepio Member

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

    Hi – so sorry to hear that you're going through a very difficult time. I'm wondering if your post was intended for this session or for the wider community discussions?

  • Sleepio Member

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

    Thanks for your question. It tends to be the case that, when we hit around 90% efficiency, the sleep window can be extended by 15 mins – either at the start or end of the sleep time. So it's quite a structured extension rather than a general 'loosening' of the sleep window and it should only be done once sleep efficiency is at this level. Sleeping beyond the suggested sleep window is not recommended as it can affect the system negatively. Try and stick to the same wake time every day to avoid this so the body can get into a consistent pattern.

  • Sleepio Member

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

    Hello and welcome to Sleepio. I see you're new and in session 2? This is a common pattern for many people who access the programme, so rest assured that, over the next few weeks, you will be shown various techniques that will help with the racing mind and the wakefulness until the early hours. The techniques target different parts of sleep problems but all work together to promote healthy sleep.

  • Sleepio Member

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

    Hi there – thanks for getting in touch. This sounds more like a physical health issue that is having an effect on sleep? It would be my recommendation to speak to a health professional who knows your medical history in the first instance to discuss what may be causing these and to look at potential solutions. If physical causes are ruled out, it may come down to anxiety, which also can cause dry mouth and fluctuating temperature. Either way, it would be sensible for anyone experiencing these symptoms to contact their family doctor/GP to discuss.

  • Sleepio Member

    • 2510 comments
    • 384 helped
    Expert

    That's all for this session – thanks for the posts and speak to you again soon.

Return to top