Live discussion with Dr Vicki Creanor - 19th April 2017

Dr Creanor will be hosting a live online discussion here on Wednesday 19th April, from 8:15 to 9:45pm British Time or 3:15 to 4:45pm US Eastern Standard 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. 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 13 Apr 2017 at 10:52 PM
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  • Sleepio Member

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    Graduate

    Great! Thank you so much!
    One last question, do you know the longest time it's taken for someone to get completely better?

  • Sleepio Member

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    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Expert

    Hi there,
    Sorry to hear you're feeling miserable. We hear quite often that people's mood has many ups and downs throughout treatment (as in any psychological treatment). After 5 weeks, there may be some improvement but it often takes a bit longer to get things settled emotionally as well as behaviourally on the sleep front. Many people have struggled with sleep for a long time, so it's important to give the body and mind timee to reverse the negative habits and patterns of old and learn new tricks. This definitely takes time and is usually emotional, however when people get to the other side, they are glad they stuck with it. It's always really important to talk to someone (professionally or within one's own social circle) if someone's mood becomes low, so we always suggest talking this through when things get difficult.

  • Sleepio Member

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    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Expert

    I'm afraid that's hard to answer based on the fact that we would be asking for people's subjective views of whether they feel completely better or not, which is never too accurate given the huge variability regarding what 'completely better' means…one person who had insomnia in the past may still wake up twice night (which is normal for good sleepers too) yet they might regard this as not completely better, while someone else in this same position may feel completely free of insomnia. Hope that makes sense?

  • Sleepio Member

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    Expert

    I'm afraid this is a question for a pharmacist or medical doctor, sorry I can't help this time.

  • Sleepio Member

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    Graduate

    It does make sense, thank you so much for you help! :)

  • Sleepio Member

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    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Expert

    Hi there,
    This sounds very tricky and frustrating. Based on the info given here, it sounds like panic to me. This is a form of anxiety that comes from having particular thoughts that then cause extreme physical reactions as mentioned here. If the body is on high alert through panic, it will not rest well and sleep will be much harder to achieve. In such cases, I would recommend speaking to a family doctor/GP about the symptoms and seeking help for this side of things.

  • Sleepio Member

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    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Expert

    You're very welcome…

  • Sleepio Member

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    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Expert

    Hi there,
    It's quite common for those who have seen improvements to have little blips along the way – we see it in most forms of treatment for various difficulties. Often when graduates experience this, I recommend that they go back through the techniques they learned one at a time to make sure they're being followed as recommended (it's very easy to start doing something ever so slightly differently and this can then affect sleep). Look at things such as diet, caffeine, activities close to bedtime etc and make sure this is all optimal for sleep. Look at medication, any underlying emotional difficulties that may be leading to wakefulness. Think about any external noises that may be causing wakefulness at a particular time (ie. does the neighbour come home from night shift at 2am?) and how can this noise be reduced…also, ensure that the bedtime routine is regular, wake time is regular and that the quarter hour rule is followed consistently once awake. Hope that helps…

  • Sleepio Member

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    Expert

    Hi there,
    Interesting question and thanks for raising this. These tips are good ones so far…for those experiencing this difficulty in getting out of bed straight away, other tips may be:
    – to place an annoying/loud alarm at a distance in the bedroom that forces the behaviour of getting out of bed
    – have a light box at the bedside to use immediately after wakening to wake the brain
    – tell the body what to do…'OK legs, swing over the side of the bed…stomach, pull my torso upright…' – have someone help you out of bed if available – ask them to bring you coffee!

    Perhaps others have some different ideas?

  • Sleepio Member

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    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Expert

    Hi there,
    It is perfectly OK and effective to continue with meds so we suggest that people have a chat with their medical doctor to discuss starting Sleepio with them, but ultimately, we have people using sleep aids and others who discontinue their sleep meds (with professional advice on how to do this) so it is a personal choice.

  • Sleepio Member

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    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Expert

    Hi there,
    I believe this is a question regarding medication, however sorry if I picked that up incorrectly. With regards to medication, it's very important, as mentioned, to be talking to a family doctor about this issue and to let them know if one is about to start Sleepio. In terms of taking medication or not, this is a personal choice. Some people do take it at the same time as doing Sleepio, while others do the programme without medication. There is no right way to do it, it's whatever makes that person feel more comfortable. Success can be experienced either way.

  • Sleepio Member

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    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Expert

    Hi there,
    Thanks for your post. Much of this question is diet-related and is not, I'm afraid, my speciality. I wonder if talking this through with a dietitian would be more appropriate? I know that when we are tired we do tend to crave carbs more, but beyond this I am not familiar with the literature on low carb diets and their effect on sleep. Sorry I can't help too much there!

  • Sleepio Member

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    Expert

    Hi there,
    A very interesting question. I don't think I've ever heard this discussed, so I will check this out to see if there is a maximum and get back to you if that's OK?

  • Sleepio Member

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    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Graduate

    Thank you anyway Dr Creanor….some food for thought there !

  • Sleepio Member

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    Expert

    Nicely done…!

  • Sleepio Member

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    Graduate

    Hi,

    I've just 'graduated' from Sleepio, and am on a midnight-6am schedule and nearly at the magic 90%! But one day next week I have to be up at 0300 – to keep my sleep as good as possible should I try to nap the day before, go to bed extra early (2100 to still have a six hour window), make it up the next night, or just live with one night of short sleep?

    Thanks!

  • Sleepio Member

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    Graduate

    Sure, that's OK. Perhaps the individual figures this out according to their own situation?

    Also, would it be better to not “accept” an additional 15 min. to a sleep window from the Prof (when achieving the opportunity to do so) if one is not regularly sleeping to the end of their current sleep window?

  • Sleepio Member

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    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Expert

    Hi there,
    Things like this will occur from time to time, but what I might suggest is to prepare for that night and the few nights later being slightly impaired/different and don't get too worried about it. If people need to be up earlier, be sensible and yes, perhaps go to bed earlier to aim for the same sleep window, especially if lack of sleep the next day will be dangerous/detrimental to work/other commitments. I'd avoid naps, and I'd avoid 'catching up' the next night as the body will automatically catch up on the bits of sleep that were lost previously – not in terms of length of sleep, but by giving you more of the types of sleep you need. Hope that makes sense…

  • Sleepio Member

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    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Expert

    HI there,
    Yes that sounds sensible – if, after a prolonged attempt, the sleep window is not being reached by quite a bit then perhaps stick at the current window and aim to achieve this first – if one is only waking early by 10mins or so it would be OK to extend window I would think.

  • Sleepio Member

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    Expert

    That's all for today – thanks for the posts and I shall speak to you again soon. Take care.

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