Live discussion with Dr Vicki Creanor - 21st March 2018

Dr Creanor will be hosting a live online discussion here on Wednesday 21st March, from 8:15 to 9:45pm British Time or 4:15 to 5:45pm 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 Mar 2018 at 12:02 PM
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  • Sleepio Member

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    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Expert

    Here you go…

    https://www.sleepio.com/articles/sleep-science/can-you-think-youre-awake-when-actually-youre-asle/

  • Sleepio Member

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    Expert

    Sorry to hear this is a tricky part of the programme for you. I see you're at session 2 – can you provide any more info so I can perhaps talk about a particular part of the programme/offer more advice?

  • Sleepio Member

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    Expert

    Hi there thanks for your question. As far as I know, there are a few possible treatments for sleep apnoea however whether a person can be considered for these is to be determined by medical professionals who know their medical history. So it's worth speaking to your medical doctor about this.

  • Sleepio Member

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    Expert

    Hi thanks for getting in touch with your question. So most good sleepers will wake up once or twice a night (sometimes to go to the toilet) and then fall back to sleep pretty quickly. It's actually a normal pattern. If you can fall back to sleep within 20 mins, I wouldn't count this as particularly problematic. If it regularly becomes much longer that that, then it could be something to tackle using the Sleepio techniques.

  • Sleepio Member

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    Expert

    Thanks for raising this point because I imagine many people here will share similar concerns. I do come across it a lot – not just with sleep problems, but any mental health problems I work with people on. Often, when any type of therapy starts, there is a spike in symptoms because in the assessment phase of any treatment there will inevitably be more focus on the the problem. So it's very normal and usually once techniques to combat it start, it reduces. Distraction can help, relaxation methods and challenging any difficult/negative thoughts during the day (way before bedtime) can help to reduce night time worries. Hope that helps.

  • Sleepio Member

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    Expert

    Hi – this is a common issue and part of what keeps the cycle of poor sleep going. Using relaxation methods just before bed and sometimes in bed can help, using distractions like thinking about something that relaxes you can help too and using a calming breathing exercise often works to distract, shift focus and relax the body.

  • Sleepio Member

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    Expert

    Hi there, thanks for getting in touch. As a new parent, of course it is important that you are there for your baby whenever they need fed (especially up to 6 months). In that time, they will be up through the night and this is usually unpredictable. So sleep restriction may not be possible in full at this time. Other techniques, such as a good bedtime schedule and relaxation are OK to use, though. By 6 months, babies do not require to be fed through the night physiologically, so it may be at that point you are more able to look at sleep restriction as babies can settle more easily into a night time routine of their own at that point.

  • Sleepio Member

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    Expert

    Hi – sorry to hear you're struggling just now. The idea of the quarter hour rule is that it is applied when people are lying in their beds wide awake for more than 15 mins – so that they do not strengthen the association between their bed and lack of sleep any further. Returning to bed should occur when the person feel sleepy tired – ie their eyes are starting to close. If this does not occur, however, it may be worth looking at what is happening through the night during this time awake. Make sure no fluids or food are consumed and no stimulating activities are done at this time so that the body has the best chance of becoming sleepy again. If it is racing thoughts that are keeping the body and mind awake all night, this can be tackled using relaxation, distraction and also by challenging the negative thoughts during the day so they are less likely to occur at night.

  • Sleepio Member

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    Expert

    Hi – I'm wondering if you've seen the guide “Managing your sleep as a new parent”? It has some tips in it to help babies over 6 months sleep through the night. Again, as I mentioned to another new parent earlier, it is more tricky when there are babies in the house whose sleep is unpredictable and may affect yours. Might be worth looking through that guide to see if it could benefit the whole family.

  • Sleepio Member

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    Expert

    HI thanks for getting in touch. I have certainly known many people who have reduced or managed to come off their sleep medication by using sleep therapy techniques, so it can be done, but in terms of whether it is helpful for any particular individual needs to be discussed with that person's medical doctor/psychiatrist. This is because we all have individual needs and what is achievable for one person may not be for the next person.

    Whenever I am asked about medication, I always add that, if anyone is seeking to reduce medication or stop taking it, this must be done under the medical advice of someone who knows that person's medical history, otherwise it can be very risky.

  • Sleepio Member

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    Expert

    Thanks for your post. Sleepio is a self-help programme so it is a personal decision whether or not it is for that person or not.

    What I must say, however, as per our guidelines, is that we cannot give advice on medication. This must be done by a medical professional who knows your medical history well. Medication should never be changed/increased/reduced/stopped without seeking professional advice as it can be very risky to do so without professional guidance.

  • Sleepio Member

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    Expert

    Thanks for getting in touch. Sometimes this is known as Delayed Sleep Phase Disorder (DSPD) and there are still various ways to help if, indeed, it is desired to shift sleep to different times of the night. This Sleepio article may be worth a look….

    https://www.sleepio.com/library/article/what-is-delayed-sleep-phase-disorder/

  • Sleepio Member

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    Expert

    Thanks for your question about this. This is a type of sleep therapy specific to this particular problem. Although there are some things tat can be taken across from the programme here, it would require some additional support to take you through that work. Asking your family doctor/GP is the best route forward for this in my opinion so they can direct you to the best support.

  • Sleepio Member

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    Expert

    Hi – welcome to Sleepio, first of all.

    So firstly, there will be various theories out there about naps, as there are with everything, however when it comes to cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) for insomnia upon which Sleepio is based, it is recommended that naps are not taken at all (unless there is a medical reason for taking naps or if that person requires naps as they are driving long distances/operating heavy machinery etc). this is because, rather than seeing daytime sleep and nighttime sleep as separate entities, sleep should be viewed as a 24-hour cycle. So, if naps are taken during the day, there is less 'sleep pressure' (tendency for the body to fall asleep due to tiredness) at night time, making night time sleep harder.

    Secondly, to answer your question about skewed results if naps were taken, yes – the results would be skewed with regards to total sleep time because, again seeing sleep as a 24-hour cycle, the nap would add to total sleep time taken but not actually be recorded.

    Hope that makes sense?

  • Sleepio Member

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    Expert

    Hi – sorry you've had a hard week. Not sure if you're joining us live tonight but if so, can you provide any more info? When you say you go to bed tired then wake up, is this a middle of the night wakening?

  • Sleepio Member

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    Expert

    Thanks for all the great comments left tonight. That's the end of the session for now – speak to you all again soon.

  • Sleepio Member

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    Graduate

    Hi Dr Vicki, thanks for that advice. I'm going to try the 15mins earlier to bed and earlier to rise in the morning. The first week on sleep restriction was the hardest but it gets easier. I feel I am more aware of my body's reaction to tiredness and can identify when I'm ready for bed to fall asleep. I've had sleep problems for many years so don't expect it to be sorted over a few weeks but I'm making progress and am determined to make my insomnia a thing of the past.

  • Sleepio Member

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    Graduate

    Thank you so much, that's very helpful! I'll try to avoid naps then in the future.
    Thanks again,
    David

  • Sleepio Member

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    Graduate

    I created 2 sleep tags, “nap, slept” and “nap, not slept”. The second is for those times i try to nap but can’t fall asleep. Then, in the notes, I write the time and duration of the nap.

  • Sleepio Member

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    Graduate

    Thanks Auntie Hoho that's helpful!

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