Live Discussion with Dr Vicki Creanor - 19th June 2019

Dr Creanor will be hosting a live online discussion here on Wednesday 19th June, from 7.30 PM to 9.00 PM British Time or 2.30 PM to 4.00 pm 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. 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.

Please do note that, as per our guidelines, Dr Creanor will not be able to give personal medical advice including those about 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.

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Posted 13 Jun 2019 at 4:28 PM
  • 20 comments
  • 2 helped

Comments

  • Sleepio Member

    • 2 comments
    • 0 helped
    Graduate

    I am now in week 4 of the course with a SW of 5 hrs 15 min with a sleep efficiency now of 80+%. I’ve always considered myself to be a light sleeper – I tend to go to sleep quickly and then wake up frequently. What I notice from my Fitbit data is that my percentage of deep sleep is very low, for example, on one night when I even managed not to wake up only 6% of my sleep was deep sleep. Is there anything I can do to increase this?

  • Sleepio Member

    • 16 comments
    • 5 helped
    Graduate

    I have completed the 6 week course. On most nights I have no problem going to sleep. I tend to wake up after 5 hours and then by applying the QHR have to get up before my planned getting up time. This keeps my sleep efficiency high but isn’t lengthening the amount of time I sleep for. Bringing forward my bedtime by 15 minutes when efficiency is over 90% generally results in waking up earlier and therefore having to get up earlier so not certain what to do. In the evenings I am so tired I can almost fall asleep standing up so I’m sure I need more than 5 hours!

  • Sleepio Member

    • 1 comments
    • 0 helped
    in reply to Sleepio Guest
    Graduate

    I just did my 7th session and yes The Prof does suggest increasing the sleep window (or not).

    The session is short though with no “lessons” like in the first 6 weeks.

  • Sleepio Member

    • 6 comments
    • 5 helped
    Graduate

    I've completed the six weeks and, although helpful, was disappointed there was no information about how to sleep despite chronic pain--medications, mindfulness, alternative therapy all help a LITTLE, but at night, sometimes the pain is so bad, it's difficult to relax. There is some discussion of this in community chat, but not a lot. Can you offer any suggestions?

  • Sleepio Member

    • 8 comments
    • 0 helped
    Graduate

    Have you found statins have a negative effect on sleep?

  • Sleepio Member

    • 3 comments
    • 3 helped
    Graduate

    I graduated from the Sleepio programme several weeks ago and was doing really well (SE over 90% every day and getting to sleep within 10 mins – unheard of for me before I started Sleepio). Last Saturday I went away and my bedtime and wake time were slightly later. Ever since then my insomnia has relapsed (got only 1 hr sleep last night). I can't stop myself from panicking and getting upset which is making things so much worse. I feel like all my progress has been lost. Could it really have been a slight shift in my sleep window for 1 night that's caused the relapse? If so, will I have to stick ridgidly to my sleep window for ever?
    Thank you.

  • Sleepio Member

    • 1 comments
    • 0 helped
    Session 4

    I began the course last night and found great difficulty in recording my sleep statistics – I think that trying to be accurate actually kept me awake for longer! I understand from the Community forum that the statistics need not be completely accurate and that an estimation will suffice.

    I will be shortly be away for a week and my activities will not be my own (i,e, bed times etc.). As I have only just begun the course (one night thus far) I was wondering if I could safely pause the course until my return? I would really like to improve my sleep and need to do something but I know it will be extraordinarily difficult for me when I am away.

    Could you please give your thoughts on this, please?

    Thank you.

  • Sleepio Member

    • 3131 comments
    • 555 helped
    Expert

    Good evening and welcome to the live Sleepio discussion session. There seems to have been a little mix up with the time advertised for tonight's session – apologies about this – but I'll be here for the next 90 mins to answer any questions about sleep or the Sleepio course as best I can. Let's get started….

  • Sleepio Member

    • 3131 comments
    • 555 helped
    in reply to Sleepio Guest
    Expert

    HI there – thanks for getting in touch – looks like Tido has answered this for you. Thanks Tido!

  • Sleepio Member

    • 3131 comments
    • 555 helped
    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Expert

    Thanks for your post – I'm sure many people are in the same boat as you and are looking at increasing their deep sleep levels.

    We know that deep sleep is really important for consolidation of memories in the brain and helping to sort these out into the right place, while resting the body from the day's physical efforts. We often find that stress, anxiety and low mood can lead to poorer quantities of deep sleep, so if this is something that affects a person, it is wise to look at ways of getting support with these difficulties. Relaxation before bed can also help with these problems.

    We also know that people who nap during the day often struggle more with deep sleep because we need 'sleep pressure' to build up throughout the day to make it more likely to have a good amount of restful deep sleep – so if naps are happening, this reduces the sleep pressure.

    Other things that help include a good bedtime wind down routine, reduction of alcohol and caffeine and regular sleep patterns.

    Hope this helps?

  • Sleepio Member

    • 3131 comments
    • 555 helped
    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Expert

    Hi there and thanks for getting in touch. It's so frustrating – that feeling of wakening too early. You are doing exactly the right thing in implementing the Quarter Hour Rule, so well done for being so firm with this. What we often find is that daytime factors affect our night time wakening. It might be our diet (caffeine, alcohol, sugar, rich foods) that causes broken sleep. Sometimes it is stress/anxiety/mood problems that make us wake early. Sometimes it's our sleep environment. Sometimes it's just our bodies getting used to a new sleep pattern. I would suggest thinking about these factors – whether any apply to you. Also, if naps are happening, try and stop these so sleep is reserved only for night time.

    If there is underlying stress/anxiety, relaxation techniques before bed can be very helpful as can setting aside a time during the day to note down (and challenge) any negative thoughts that might be going through your mind to cause you to wake early. Often we find this causes many people to have early wakenings.

    I hope this has given you a few things to look at?

  • Sleepio Member

    • 3131 comments
    • 555 helped
    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Expert

    Hello and welcome to the live Sleepio discussion. i'm sorry to hear you're struggling with pain. It's certainly an ongoing area of research in terms of the relationship between pain and sleep as they affect many different aspects of each other. Something that has helped some people with pain and sleep problems is the autogenic training, a form of relaxation that is available in the downloads section – have you come across this before?

  • Sleepio Member

    • 3131 comments
    • 555 helped
    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Expert

    Hi and thanks for getting in touch. I'm not aware what the research has found about this, so I can't comment, however it may depend on which one a person is taking as to the potential side effects. It's always best to discuss these concerns with a medical practitioner.

  • Sleepio Member

    • 6 comments
    • 5 helped
    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Graduate

    Yes, I did download the doctor's audio file, as well as a free app from Google Play. I find it's hard to find a comfortable position and after the audio finishes, I'm back to tossing and turning trying to find some position that works. I find the 15 minute rule hard to apply--I seem to not measure the time well without looking at a clock. If I'm awake enough, I'll get up, stretch, use my massager, and then try again, but when I'm in a lot of pain, I go back to my old habit of taking a sleeping pill. Just wishing I could find something that worked besides a sleeping pill.

  • Sleepio Member

    • 3131 comments
    • 555 helped
    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Expert

    Hello and thank you for your question. We often hear of people having blips when they change bed/go on work trips/holidays etc. This is normal. It sounds as if your pattern has become regular and so your mind and body have got into a familiar routine with sleep. What has likely happened is that there have been subconscious worries playing on your mind when away – added to the fact the routine has changed – that have heightened your anxiety and led to poorer sleep. It sounds as if these worries have been reinforced by the actual result of poorer sleep (caused by worry) so it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. The best thing to do here is to acknowledge there has been a blip – which is entirely normal and short-term. Reassure yourself that sticking to a regular sleep pattern in your familiar setting will rectify this, alongside the other techniques you have learned over the weeks. Please be reassured in that this is just a lapse – rather than a full relapse. Use relaxation, thought challenging and a strict bedtime routine to combat the worry.

  • Sleepio Member

    • 3131 comments
    • 555 helped
    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Expert

    Hi there – some people find it easier just not to have a clock in the bedroom if it is too tempting to look at. It might be worth contacting your local physiotherapist to think about the best position for sleeping/using relaxation techniques based on what pain you are experiencing? Some people do use sleeping pills while doing Sleepio and have good results – this is personal preference and simply about what works best for that person. If it is at all possible, try to use the massager earlier in the evening as this is more likely to stimulate the body and wake it up more, which is less optimal for sleep. I wonder if warm compresses can also be taken to bed to ease pain at this time?

  • Sleepio Member

    • 3131 comments
    • 555 helped
    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Expert

    Hello and welcome to Sleepio! Firstly, please do not worry about the accuracy of the sleep stats – a guess is perfectly fine. Secondly, it's probably wise to pause the programme and straight forward to do: email hello@sleepio.com and put your request in writing in terms of when you wish to pause and restart the programme and this can be done! I hope you find the rest of the programme helpful.

  • Sleepio Member

    • 6 comments
    • 5 helped
    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Graduate

    Thank you for responding, I appreciate the reassurances that sleeping pills may be OK. I do try to limit their use. Interesting comment about massage being stimulating, I will try that earlier and see what effect that has. I was using heating pads in bed as well, but stopped using them when the Professor recommended a cool room. They don't shut off for two hours, too long to 'be cool', so your suggestion of warm compresses might be better. Pain is just such a problem, especially when trying to sleep. But the Sleepio suggestions do seem to help a little and any little bit helps.

  • Sleepio Member

    • 3131 comments
    • 555 helped
    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Expert

    You're welcome – I hope that provides some relief for you. I would also consult a physio as they may have further ideas.

  • Sleepio Member

    • 3131 comments
    • 555 helped
    Expert

    That's all for this evening folks – thanks for the posts to this session and I look forward to speaking to you again soon.

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