Live discussion with Dr Vicki Creanor - 1st March 2017

Dr Creanor will be hosting a live online discussion here on Wednesday 1st March, 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.

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 24 Feb 2017 at 8:14 PM
  • 22 comments
  • 1 helped

Comments

Show older comments
  • Sleepio Member

    • 7 comments
    • 3 helped
    Graduate

    Please advise me how long I need to continue with the sleep window of 6 hours. I'm pleased to say this is working for me but is a strain to do indefinitely. Due to the Sleepio rescheduling, I'm going to bed much later then I usually do and forced to awaken far earlier then I would like to. Should 6 hours be my new normal length of sleep for life? Please let me know how I progress from here?

  • Sleepio Member

    • 2 comments
    • 0 helped
    Session 3

    Why is it that, after a restless night, when I eventually fall into a profound, dream-filled sleep around 5 a.m., I don't resurface until after 9 a.m., feeling as though I am being dragged from a deep pit, with a heavy, drugged sensation that lasts until after I emerge from a long shower? I am 68 years old, but not taking any medication!

  • Sleepio Member

    • 1 comments
    • 0 helped
    Session 3

    While doing the sleep restriction should I continue taking my medication (lorazepam)?

  • Sleepio Member

    • 5 comments
    • 1 helped
    Graduate

    I have a real problem getting back to sleep when I wake in the night – sometimes 3 or 4 times. If I wake about an hour before my get up time then it's particularly impossible to get back to sleep as my worry clock starts up that I will sleep past alarm, even though I've never done that in my life! What is your advice for the best thing to do when you wake up to try and get back to sleep immediately and stop the brain working? (That last hour is the difference between getting an ok amount of sleep and feeling like a zombie.)

  • Sleepio Member

    • 38 comments
    • 2 helped
    Graduate

    Hello dr creanor ,
    Hope you are well. I am still struggling with SR – my window is 12.30-5.30 am . My sleep efficiency is poor approx 10% . I am trying desperately to implemaent all the strategies learnt so far as I'm quite sure that everything sleepio teaches is well researched and right. However still struggling to stay awake till 12.30 and often fall asleep on the couch for an hour prior to this and then when going to my bedroom am awake , sometimes all night.
    I know I must stay awake till 12.30 but how can avoid this little nap? Also, I am concerned that I'm Harding sleeping so the Sleep window of 5 hours is quite a lot. Is it realistic to think I will ever sleep 5 hours again ?
    Thank you

  • Sleepio Member

    • 2 comments
    • 0 helped
    Graduate

    I have found that sleep restriction is the most effective part of the Sleepio Program for me, but cannot stop the feeling of panic I get some nights when I wake up, which can escalate to beyond reason and the consequent low mood and feelings of failure the next day, having had very little sleep.

  • Sleepio Member

    • 2622 comments
    • 417 helped
    Expert

    Hi and welcome to the live Sleepio session. I see there are some posts waiting however feel free to ask any sleep related questions if you're logging in live too…

  • Sleepio Member

    • 2622 comments
    • 417 helped
    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Expert

    Hi there,

    Thanks for raising this question. The sleepy-tired rule refers to only going back to bed (after waking in the middle of the night) when one is sleepy-tired, which means the point we get to when our eyes get heavy and we feel we can no longer stay awake.

    As for cheating on cold nights, I'm afraid it can heavily impact the sleep-bed connection if people stay in bed longer than they should – it weakens the link in the brain between the bed and sleep, which is what we are trying to strengthen throughout the course.

    Hope that helps.

  • Sleepio Member

    • 2622 comments
    • 417 helped
    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Expert

    Hi there – good question. The sleep window is only really a starting point to squeeze all the fragmented bits of sleep together to make sleep occur more in one chunk at night. From here, when people see their sleep efficiency rising to around 90% (ie. they are sleeping 90% of the time they are in bed), it can be increased by 15 mins, and this continues until a longer sleep window is achieved.

  • Sleepio Member

    • 2622 comments
    • 417 helped
    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Expert

    Hi there,
    This feeling is quite common and occurs even in good sleepers – it can take a while to properly waken for some. Things that may be affecting it, though, are the body's need for catching up on deep sleep…if this eventually happens late in the night, the body will be less able to wake at 9am (I presume with an alarm) after not much sleep. It is quite often the case that a restless night means it's very hard to wake up properly and quickly – very common in those with sleep problems. we find that when sleep starts to get back on track, this feeling reduces and it's easier to wake in the morning.

  • Sleepio Member

    • 2622 comments
    • 417 helped
    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Expert

    Hi there,
    A common question, thanks for raising it. In terms of medication, some people remain on it during sleep treatment; others come off it. What is vital is that any changes made to medication are done so after talking to that person's GP/family doctor and following their medical advice.

  • Sleepio Member

    • 2622 comments
    • 417 helped
    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Expert

    Hi there,
    This is very frustrating when the body wakes up just before the alarm. A few things may help:
    – schedule in some worry time during the day (not close to bedtime) about things that may be contributing to anxiety/worry (early wakenings are often a sign of anxiety) so that these can be worked through ahead of night time
    – have a regular, consistent wind down routine to relax before bedtime – this also reduces worries
    – upon wakening, say 'the the' over and over as a thought blocker technique
    – remove the clock from anywhere near bed to avoid clock watching if wakening occurs
    – test the alarm sound before bed as part of the bedtime routine and put it out of reach – this way it will be known that the sound is loud enough to cause wakening but can't be checked easily during night – it will lead to a level of belief that the alarm will be enough to cause a wakening at rise time if it's a consistent routine

  • Sleepio Member

    • 2622 comments
    • 417 helped
    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Expert

    Hello again,
    Thank for your post. First of all, yes – I do believe even those with very very little sleep can sleep well again after consistent use of these techniques. Secondly, re your question of staying awake, it's really vital that this nap doesn't occur, so one of the best things I believe can help is to get fresh air and do something that is stimulating enough to stay awake, but not too stimulating to keep us awake all night! Standing by window will help – warm, dark rooms are dangerous when trying to stay awake when tired! So get fresh air in some way and things like crosswords, pacing, light yoga type exercise can help stay awake when very tired. Other people on here may have great suggestions too for what they've tried?

  • Sleepio Member

    • 2622 comments
    • 417 helped
    In reply to a deleted comment
    Expert

    Good question. Obviously the aim is to be as consistent as possible, however life cannot simply completely stop when working on our sleep, so, I would suggest sticking to the same rise time even on weekends, after social evenings etc and yes, use the QHR as normal when wakenings occur. SO, even if the bedtime is altered due to a night out, stick to same rise time and this should help remain consistent. Evidence shows that the more consistent we are, the easier it is for our sleep to get back on track.

  • Sleepio Member

    • 2622 comments
    • 417 helped
    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Expert

    It can be very distressing when we feel panic upon wakening. A few things can help this, such as building in relaxation to the daytime and wind down routines, having a consistent bedtime routine and using the thought challenging techniques to look at the thoughts that occur when this panic happens. Scheduled worry time can also help during the day to have a chunk of time dedicated to worrying so it doesn't occur at night. However sometimes there is an underlying anxiety/panic issue that needs addressed alongside the sleep work, so it may be that support for this would also be beneficial.

  • Sleepio Member

    • 95 comments
    • 54 helped
    Graduate

    Hello Dr. Creanor-- I have read somewhere recently that the body requires a certain amount of energy to fall asleep, and when people experience being “too tired to fall asleep” --that state of being completely exhausted but not able to sleep-- it may be that they simply don't have enough 'energy' to fall asleep. Have you heard of this, and do you have suggestions for dealing with such a state? Thank you.

  • Sleepio Member

    • 2622 comments
    • 417 helped
    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Expert

    HI there,
    Thanks for your post. I'm afraid I haven't seen the research behind this…as with all things, there are a number of theories around what reduces the ability to sleep. In my clinical experience and knowledge of the psychological research in the area, I believe it more to be about the anxieties behind going to bed and fear of not sleeping well that contributes to keeping people from falling asleep, as well as the body falling out of sync with its clock. Not to say this energy theory does not contribute, it's just not something I've seen much about.

  • Sleepio Member

    • 95 comments
    • 54 helped
    Graduate

    Here's another question… is it okay to occasionally adjust the sleep window by 15 min. earlier (or later) so long as the rise time is adjusted by the same 15 min. earlier (or later), while most of the time sticking with the designated sleep window? I understand the need to be consistent with the schedule, but is tweaking it at little bit from time to time really going to mess things up?

  • Sleepio Member

    • 2622 comments
    • 417 helped
    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Expert

    If it's moved about too often then yes it can affect things. The reason we keep it consistent is to help the body get back into a rhythm – if it moves about too much even by 15 mins, it can confuse the body.

  • Sleepio Member

    • 2622 comments
    • 417 helped
    Expert

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

Return to top