Live discussion with Dr Vicki Creanor - 18th February

Dr Creanor will be hosting a live online discussion here on Wednesday 18th February, 8.15pm-9.45pm GMT.

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 12 Feb 2015 at 3:05 PM
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  • Sleepio Member

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    Expert

    Hi MrsP,
    Thanks for your question. I would speak to your GP or the person who prescribed this for you if it's not your GP as this is more of a medical query. We focus on the psychology of sleep more on Sleepio and aren't medically trained, so the best advice would come from a medical doctor. Sorry I can't be of more help – hope you find your answer.

  • Sleepio Member

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    Expert

    Hi Les,
    Thanks for your question. There are a few things you can do to target restless leg syndrome. Most are lifetyle-related, but medication can be of help, too. You would need to speak to a medical doctor about medication, though. In terms of lifestyle factors, cutting down on caffeine and smoking can help as well as regular exercise. The Autogenic Training may also help you – I mentioned this to Flick earlier, but it could be helpful for you, too?

  • Sleepio Member

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    Expert

    In terms of acupuncture, I am not aware of the research behind it. Cognitive behavioural therapy does have a wealth of research behind it so this is why it is offered as a first port of call. Hope that helps? Is the medication you are already on helping any?

  • Sleepio Member

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    Expert

    Hi denised,
    Thanks for your post. First of all, going to bed earlier…I realise you're not at the sleep restriction part of the programme yet, but when you get there, it will become more clear that we don't actually want you to go to bed until you feel tired. Th reason for this is that, if you go to bed feeling awake, you will likely take a while to fall asleep, which is unhelpful for your sleep efficiency. So I would wait until this part til you read more about the theory behind this as it will make sense about staying up til you're tired.

    Secondly, wind down techniques. These are very varied, depending on the person, but it helps to make sure you set aside time – preferably at the same time each night, to engage in a routine. This helps the body learn that it is time to get sleepy! It might be worth asking those in the community to make suggestions as this is usually more helpful as these people have tried out these things…..anyone got any suggestions?

  • Sleepio Member

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    Hi Finola,
    As tempting as it is to have a bit more sleep, when you're working on your sleep using sleep restriction, it is actually really important to stick to the window. If you go beyond this window, you may risk affecting your sleep efficiency and it may take longer to get your sleep back on track. Sorry – probably not what you wanted to hear (!), but this is what the evidence suggests.

  • Sleepio Member

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    Hi Lindos,
    Sorry to hear this – sounds like you are distressed by this. Firstly, yes it could very well be linked to the flu-like bug you had…illness can kick start a person's insomnia just as it can cause a blip after treatment. Secondly, I think one of the most important things to remind yourself about in this situation is that this is likely to be simply a blip…it is very common to have these after you feel like things are back on track. remind yourself that you have the tools to get back on track and that you've done this before…and use the tools just as you did in the first place to straighten things out again. And be as rigid as you were before regarding the tools. Hope this helps?

  • Sleepio Member

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    Hi holiday,
    I can imagine it being very disheartening when you've worked so hard to get things back on track. Blips will definitely happen along the road, so if we are prepared for them and know what tools to use – and see it as just a blip rather than getting very anxious about it – things can get back to where they were again.

  • Sleepio Member

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    Graduate

    Thanks for the reply. Let's hope it's a short blip. I don't want to have to struggle with feeling dreadful again. It really frightens me.

  • Sleepio Member

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    Expert

    Hi there elital,
    Thanks for your post. First of all, regarding hypnic jerks, these can be reduced in some people by reducing caffeine, alcohol and smoking and increasing exercise – are any of these things you feel would be relevant for you? There are also some medications that can help if these don't.

    Second, I was wondering if you mean you are mainly dosing at the start of sleep? If so, you will learn about something called the quarter hour rule which asks that you get out of bed after your perception of 15 mins (and that you don't look at the clock as this raises anxiety, which in turn reduces the chance of sleep) so that you increase your sleep efficiency. This will make more sense when you get to this part…

  • Sleepio Member

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    Expert

    Hi Lindos,
    Yes it will be frightening and disheartening but I think that's why it's so important to view it as a blip so that you remain positive about your ability to tackle it.

  • Sleepio Member

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    Graduate

    Looks like a life of blips for me Dr Vicki lol, I seem to go from an improved position and back down again quite frequently and yes it is disheartening but, I no longer get over anxious about it I know I have a problem and deal with it best I can resorting to going back to basics, not easy.
    The difficulty I have is advising others how to deal with blips who suffer the trial maybe more than me, hard to do when I struggle myself, I don't feel I will pass much encouragement on at the same time as seeking help myself.

  • Sleepio Member

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    Expert

    Hi denised,
    I think explaining our difficulties is quite a personal thing – there is no perfect way in which to do this as it depends on your interactive style generally but also your audience. You might explain things differently to your best friend compared to your colleague/client. In my experience as a psychologist, when people start talking to their friends/others in their life about their difficulties (in as much or as little detail as they feel necessary) it can often help and lift a weight off their shoulders.

  • Sleepio Member

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    Expert

    Again, this has to be your decision based on how you would feel mentioning it to your class and what benefits this would bring. It can be daunting talking about your problems at times, too, so it has to be the right time as well.

  • Sleepio Member

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    Graduate

    As a psychologist, do you have any simple tips for living with anxiety (not necessarily insomnia related). I am really suffering at the moment.

  • Sleepio Member

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    Expert

    Hi Lindos,
    It depends whether you feel your anxiety came first, or is caused by the sleep problem? Many of the techniques on Sleepio will actually help anxiety too, but often we suggest that the problem that occurred first is treated first – do you know what came first?

  • Sleepio Member

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    Graduate

    I've had them both so long, I don't know which came first.

  • Sleepio Member

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    Expert

    With the anxiety, the relaxation techniques found in Sleepio can help, as can the cognitive strategies to target unwanted negative thoughts. Setting aside time to do your worrying can also help in anxiety. If you feel you need more help with your anxiety in particular, however, it would be important to have a full assessment completed to enable someone to know how best to target your specific presentation, as everyone presents differently. You can get advice from your GP about where to get some help with this.

  • Sleepio Member

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    Graduate

    Thank you very much!

  • Sleepio Member

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    Expert

    You're welcome, Lindos.

  • Sleepio Member

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    Expert

    That's us for just now – thanks for all the questions and posts. All the best until next time….

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