Live discussion with Dr Vicki Creanor - 20th December 2017

Dr Creanor will be hosting a live online discussion here on Wednesday 20th December, 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, 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.

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Posted 15 Dec 2017 at 2:57 PM
  • 23 comments
  • 5 helped

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  • Sleepio Member

    • 14 comments
    • 0 helped
    Graduate

    My sleep efficiency has improved so that I can now extend my sleep time by 15 minutes. This is great news but my problem is that I still find it hard to relax beforehand. I know that the quality in my sleep is better when I relax with a book a good hour and half pre. Bed. I’m still trying to use an alarm clock to set the time markers but even slip up with that! Can’t seem to let go of what i’m doing. I have moved recently so get caught up with householdy jobs. Any advice gratefully received. Thanks in advance.

  • Sleepio Member

    • 2 comments
    • 0 helped
    Graduate

    Hi, Dr. Creanor. I just wanted to ask about the nature of sleep. Why when I force it to happen it flees away, while doing the opposite (or forgetting about it altogether) can let me sleep effortlessly? How the process of sleep is meant to happen? I hope I can get an answer this time, not to wait for the Prof :/

    Regards,
    Omar

  • Sleepio Member

    • 1 comments
    • 0 helped
    Session 4

    I have done the first two weeks and have so far not been given any advice specific to me – i feel like i have had to spend a lot of time listening to the very nice Scottish animation going through all the obvious stuff. I'm afraid It makes me reluctant to bother with my next session – for example, having to listen to each section on bedroom temperature, alcohol, smoking etc…...the first questionnaire should have deciphered my current regime and not be going through stuff that is obviously not related/relevant to me. I would have thought there are many users that have not come to purchase Sleepio as a first port of call – they have been trying all sorts of things for years – read books, gone on courses, breathing techniques etc – i had hoped that 'The Prof' would take me from where I am and not be starting from scratch.

    The other thing is that the sleep diary questions – are they being analysed ? How does anyone know how long they were awake during the night as they shouldn't be looking at the clock apart from when they wake up each time. So the length of time awake is a total guess. It doesn't have any option to write in what times I am waking up in the night – nor does it have any words on the list for bladder/bathroom stop for reason for waking….and that would be important to log. Final waking – is it relevant as to whether it is with an alarm or without ?

    I am purchasing a monitor so that i can input more data – could you explain what your system will do with the information and how that will benefit the analytics.

    Thank you.

  • Sleepio Member

    • 9 comments
    • 1 helped
    Graduate

    Hello Doctor – I have been doing really well with a SE of high 80's low 90's and a SW of 6.1/2 hrs (although I do struggle to stay awake in the evenings), however over the last week or so I've not been very well and on occasion have had to go to bed for longer than my 6.1/2 hrs. I've kept my sleep diary up to date but at times it looks slightly erratic with my SE and time spent in bed all over the place…my question is when we make personal notes about the nights sleep can these be seen by 'the prof' and his team so that you know there is a genuine reason why we may not be sticking to the recommended SW. Thanks in advance.

  • Sleepio Member

    • 4 comments
    • 0 helped
    Graduate

    I have now finished my Sleepio course and my sleep HAD improved – but now my sleep unfortunately has gone back to what it was. I still carry on with the Sleepio rules etc. but believe a 5/6 week course is just not long enough for someone who has had insomnia for over a decade – I now feel there is no support.!!!

  • Sleepio Member

    • 2 comments
    • 0 helped
    Session 1

    Dear Dr,

    It was my GP who prescribed promethazine sleeping tablets saying they are non addictive. I have stopped using them now after using them for nearly 12 days and they do make you sleepier. However i do not like to be on sleeping pills. My question to you is

    After much work, about 8 weeks into a sleeping problem my sleep has improved slightly and is improving. Instead of waking up (i had a traumatic experience 3 months ago and it seems this is the “trigger” put forward by my GP who seemed to think the stress of the ordeal caused the onset of sleep problems initially).

    Before this i usually slept like a log/baby with regular 8 hours sleep almost all my life.

    Initially i would goto sleep about 11pm and wake up at 1. Then stay away till 3 then goto sleep and awake at 4. then stay awake till 5 and nod off to sleep and wake up at 6.

    Some nights it would be 4am and i would nod off occasionally but it would seem i have been awake in the morning since that time.

    Now i goto sleep about 11:30pm and wake up at 2:50am. Then goto sleep (a little earlier) and wake up at 4am, then goto sleep and wake up at 5am.

    It is a slight improvement, i sleep for slightly longer and the gaps are getting shorter in regaining sleep.The biggest miracle happened the other night where i slept for 4 hours (from 12AM until 4AM). That was a 1st in such a long block for the past 8 weeks.

    Why does my brain keep awakening? I have tried pushing items out of my life accepting that the Cosmos acts on a balanced order , including our bodies and brains. This definitely helps, but i would be far from the usual pre-September 2017 Sleep i had since a child of going to bed at 12AM and awakening at 8AM.

    Any advice on shortening the gaps and increasing sleep appreciated. Thank you very much indeed.

  • Sleepio Member

    • 13 comments
    • 2 helped
    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Graduate

    like you Leo-UK I've wakened after a few hours then taking over an hr to get back over. One key factor is not to get anxious about this however I'd welcome any tips to help get back over quicker.
    One i found online today and and which I aim to try tonight is to do the following;
    breathe out, then breathe in for 4 through your mouth, hold for 7, breathe out through your mouth for 8… repeat for 4/5 occasions

  • Sleepio Member

    • 2622 comments
    • 411 helped
    Expert

    Hi and welcome to the live Sleepio session….I see there are already a few questions waiting so let's get started…

  • Sleepio Member

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

    Hi there and thanks for your question.

    Noise desensitisation is something that can be used for people who are distressed by particular noises. In the sleep field, we often talk about it because many people report that they are woken – or kept awake – by certain noises in the environment. Typically a noise that disturbs the person is recorded and listened to at repeated intervals throughout the day while doing calming exercises such as breathing. There are no set rules as to how often people should listen to the noise – this will vary on a case by case basis. In terms of how long the process takes, this also varies from person to person, just like any other therapeutic intervention. Usually the technique should be done in a controlled environment, leading up to listening to it in the bedroom or wherever the noise occurs.

    Hope this helps.

  • Sleepio Member

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

    Hi there,
    It is often a tricky time over the holidays to continue with all aspects of the techniques people are doing. There is the option to pause the programme until after the holidays but some people do make adaptations. Which adaptations are, however, a personal choice and will obviously alter depending on the family environment. Perhaps something to think about in the lead up to the holidays – whether to pause for a while or whether to make those adaptations…

  • Sleepio Member

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

    Hi – sorry should have tagged this answer onto the last…

    Again, it is about personal choices. Sleepio is simply a guide to help people challenge their sleep but is not prescriptive in any way. The reason 15mins is added after people achieve 90% efficiency in their sleep is because at that point, the new sleep pattern is starting to be consolidated and they are sleeping for most of the time in bed. If more time is added to the sleep window when people are still awake for chunks of the night, this is not likely to help the problem. However, saying that, people sometimes do feel as if they require more time in bed and this is completely up to them.

  • Sleepio Member

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

    HI and thanks for your post. Well done in your progress so far! It is completely OK to read a book before bed and tends to be a relaxing activity for many. We often suggest that this is done outwith the bedroom to ensure the sleep efficiency is kept high but again, it is a personal choice as to what keeps people relaxed. Often when we find it hard to relax, it can be helpful to schedule in the jobs that we tend to do at night time to earlier in the day so that there is more time and space to relax in the evening.

  • Sleepio Member

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

    Thanks for your question! It is a strange thing but a very common phenomenon you describe here. If we think about good sleepers, they don't think about sleep. Sleep happens TO them. They are passive in the process. As soon as we start thinking about the automatic process that is sleep, we engage in a level of awareness that makes sleep trickier. Putting effort into sleep means that it will be harder. When we find that our sleep starts getting poor, we usually start to focus on it. We analyse every bit of it and then find it hard to switch off and be passive about it, which is when it happens best. Hope that makes sense?

  • Sleepio Member

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

    Good question- I'm not sure to be honest, but will find out for you. What I do know is that, when we are ill, we can pause the programme by emailing the team (hello@sleepio.com) to request this. This may help in the future? I'll find out about the notes and someone will get back to you!

  • Sleepio Member

    • 14 comments
    • 0 helped
    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Graduate

    Thanks. As a follow up question. I am going abroad for Xmas and will have jet lag. What should I do. Keep to my 6 hours sleep window or wait till i’m through the jet lag?

  • Sleepio Member

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

    I'm sorry to hear you're struggling just now. Often the teaching part of most therapeutic programmes are quite short and most of the work happens after this point, when the person works on the techniques for weeks/months/years afterwards. However sometimes we do need extra support and this is when we would recommend people talk to their GP/family doctor about where best to get this from. Often they can refer you on to someone who can offer more intensive support.

  • Sleepio Member

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

    Hi – have you seen our guides? There is one all about jetlag…here is the link…

    https://www.sleepio.com/articles/jetlag/

  • Sleepio Member

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

    Hi there – sorry to hear you're struggling at the moment. The pattern you describe will be familiar to many who are starting out on the course. The good news is that, over the next few weeks, there will be several tips and techniques offered to people to use if they wish to try and squeeze out all the little bits of sleep they get through the night and make it into one longer stretch of sleep instead. What I would always say to those who have also experienced trauma, is that it is wise to seek support from the family doctor/GP as well in case there are unresolved elements from this/these event/s.

  • Sleepio Member

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

    Hi there – some graduates find that it is helpful to go back over each of the techniques one by one to find the one that they need to work on for their particular current problem? For middle of the night wakening, sleep restriction and the quarter hour rule would be particularly helpful to review.

  • Sleepio Member

    • 2622 comments
    • 411 helped
    Expert

    That's all for this session…happy holidays and speak to you again next week…

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