Live discussion with Dr Vicki Creanor - 22nd April

Dr Creanor will be hosting a live online discussion here on Wednesday 22nd April, 8.15pm-9.45pm BST.

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Posted 16 Apr 2015 at 9:54 AM
  • 20 comments
  • 0 helped

Comments

  • Sleepio Member

    • 37 comments
    • 3 helped
    Graduate

    The problem is that I never feel sleepy tired when I go to bed. I have always been like this. I never fall asleep in front of the TV. I often seem to feel more awake as the evening progresses. I have friends who fall asleep in front of the TV and I used to think “oh I'm glad I don't do that” but actually it would be much better if I did because then I would be much more likely to fall asleep when I go to bed. Have just had an awful nights sleep and ended up taking a sleeping tablet out of desperation as there is a walk I want to go on today. It is always when I particularly want a good nights sleep because I am doing something the next day that I cannot sleep. When I first started sleep restriction I did feel sleepy in the evening because I had to stay up until 12.00 to go to bed but now i still continue to go to bed at 12.00 but do not feel sleepy tired at all when I go to bed and am feeling fed up. I am a graduate so should know what to do?

  • Sleepio Member

    • 6 comments
    • 3 helped
    Graduate

    Hi there, I started the sleepio course in January (after a year of horrific insomnia leaving me unable to get to sleep until 5 in the morning and/or relying on every sleeping drug available) and by mid February I was sleeping really well. This continued until two weeks ago when I was upset about something and couldn't sleep the night it happened. Since then I can feel all the old bed time anxiety creeping back and I'm back to taking 4-5 hours to get to sleep again. My rational mind knows what I need to do to get back on track with all my tools that sleepio has given my but I am so flippin tired again that rational thinking has long departed. What should I do? Help!!

  • Sleepio Member

    • 3 comments
    • 1 helped
    Graduate

    Hi, Just wondering if you could advise me whether it is a good idea to continue with sleep restriction as I am in the early stages of adrenal fatigue and suffering from stress and need to rest. The prof says to continue unless you are worried about your health, so I am not sure. Thanks, Doonies

  • Sleepio Member

    • 25 comments
    • 11 helped
    Graduate

    Can you advise on this idea “FIRST AND SECOND SLEEPS” ?
    see: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-16964783 .
    It suggests that before the industrial revolution there are lots of references to a natural wake-up for an hour or two in the middle of the night. It says “Ekirch believes many sleeping problems may have roots in the human body's natural preference for segmented sleep as well as the ubiquity of artificial light. This could be the root of a condition called sleep maintenance insomnia, where people wake during the night and have trouble getting back to sleep, he suggests.”
    I think I have this sleep maintenance insomnia, never takes more than 5 minutes to drop off at 11 pm but waking in the night has been a prob for 25 years. OK you sometimes worry in the night but I don't think that's the cause of waking up.
    Do you think that it's a good way to go? Just accept the middle of the night wakeup period and not expect to ever eliminate it?
    NB I'll prob have to be out when you are online sadly

  • Sleepio Member

    • 1 comments
    • 0 helped
    Graduate

    I understand that some people need more sleep than others so you don't need to be concerned if you sleep less than 7 or 8 hours, on the other hand I heard that there are major health benefits from getting an extra hour's sleep. How do you work out what is right for you – particularly when your sleep pattern is disrupted?

  • Sleepio Member

    • 1 comments
    • 0 helped
    Session 3

    I have been taking 5 mg of Ambien pretty consistently for a couple years now. I just started Sleepio. Should I continue to take the pill while going through the program or stop tonight?

  • Sleepio Member

    • 5 comments
    • 1 helped
    Session 5

    Having done quite a bit of research, it seems that sleep restriction only presents limited benefits to some of those with strong cases of anxiety linked to sleep. Do you believe this to be the case?

    I ask as after nearly 4 weeks undertaking SR, my sleep has only gone backwards, as I'm waking earlier (after about 4h and always before my alarm, despite a 5h window). Before such scheduling I was regularly sleeping through for 5-6h. I'm enforcing all the added tools that Sleepio has given me (such as the QHR) to little avail and I now experience much more anxiety and depression, throughout the day, than I was beforehand. I appreciate that such a programme has benefited a great number of people, but it doesn't seem to be helping me at all.

  • Sleepio Member

    • 1339 comments
    • 214 helped
    Expert

    hi everyone and welcome to the live web session – shall we get started?

  • Sleepio Member

    • 1339 comments
    • 214 helped
    Expert

    There are a few questions waiting here and I usually start answering these if no-one has any burning questions for now…do interrupt me if you are on here and have something to discuss!

  • Sleepio Member

    • 1339 comments
    • 214 helped
    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Expert

    Hi Dibby,

    Thanks for your post. Firstly, I would say that yes, you are a graduate, but it's normal to feel as if you don't know anything when you're feeling distressed. You have learned lots of skills and so you will have the right ones to help, but it's perhaps not easy to see that just now!

    I wonder if the reason you feel increasingly awake as bedtime approaches is because you get increasingly anxious about bedtime? It makes perfect sense that if you really want a good night's sleep due to something on the next day, that (because you start overthinking it) you will sleep worse that night. It's all about the thoughts associated with sleep.

    I'd recommend a few things to you – all things you know how to do!

    1) make sure you're engaging in relaxation techniques to keep the anxiety levels down
    2) make sure the bedtime routine is quite consistent as this gets the brain in gear for bedtime
    3) challenge the thoughts you are getting about not being able to sleep on the nights you need to and
    4) think about setting your bedtime a bit later

    Meanwhile, keep up the quarter hour rule and all the other things you have learned as they all help!

    Hope some of that helps!

  • Sleepio Member

    • 1339 comments
    • 214 helped
    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Expert

    Hi Stokesy,
    So sorry to hear you're struggling. I think it's important to think of this as just a blip – this is really common in recovery – and if you get back on track with all the techniques, then you will likely see a difference again. If you're feeling overwhelmed, however, it might be worth starting the programme as you did in the first place, so that you introduce the techniques gradually, giving yourself a little time to get the hang of it all again and to avoid feeling you have to do it all at once. This gradual reintroduction might feel less overwhelming. You could dedicate a couple of hours one weekend or during some spare time to plan out how you will do it. Often, if we have a plan written down, it's easier to start it and follow it and helps us stick to it better and more calmly.
    Hope that helps.

  • Sleepio Member

    • 1339 comments
    • 214 helped
    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Expert

    Hi Doonies,
    Are you seeing your GP/family doctor about the adrenal fatigue? I think it's a good idea to talk to a medical professional about the pros and cons of continuing with sleep restriction as they know better what will affect your physical health.

  • Sleepio Member

    • 1339 comments
    • 214 helped
    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Expert

    Hi creakingbrain,
    Yes I have heard of this and it was an interesting article. I haven't seen the evidence behind this and I'm not sure how much research has been done on this idea, however I would agree that most people – including good sleepers – do wake up at least once a night. It's about how you deal with – or interpret – this wakening that is important in my opinion. For instance, if it's seen as natural and nothing to worry about, it's more likely that you will fall asleep again quicker; if it becomes a focal point whereby you worry about this wakening, this can lead to worsening of your sleep. I believe there are techniques that would help mid-night wakenings such as sleep restriction and the quarter hour rule and there's lots of evidence behind these techniques' effectiveness for altering sleep patterns.

  • Sleepio Member

    • 1339 comments
    • 214 helped
    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Expert

    Hi LonSW16 – good question. Yes – there's been lots of research recently that emphasises the importance of a good night's sleep on health. As for the extra hour's sleep, this seems arbitrary as I think how much sleep one needs is an individual thing. You're right, some people don't need as much sleep as others and I suppose the point at which you would worry about the effect on your health is by analysing how your physical health is and then whether it improves when you put sleep treatment techniques into place and see improvements in your sleep. This would be the only concrete way of testing this and even then, many things other than sleep can affect your physical health. Interesting question, but I'm not sure if there is a concrete way to test this other than observations of sleep and health. Hope that makes sense!

  • Sleepio Member

    • 1339 comments
    • 214 helped
    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Expert

    Hi Txtbkstone,
    This is really a question for your healthcare provider and it's important to talk it through with whoever prescribes your medication before you consider changing dosages or stopping completely. Many drugs require a gradual weaning off period and this is why it needs monitored and discussed. As for taking medication during the programme, it's a personal decision. There will be some people on Sleepio who take sleep medication and others who stopped before starting Sleepio, so it's whatever works best for you.

  • Sleepio Member

    • 1339 comments
    • 214 helped
    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Expert

    Hi KG156,
    Sorry to hear things have been tricky for you recently. What I would say is that some people find that their sleep may get worse before it gets better when they start treatment. The other thing I would say is that a lot of it depends on whether the anxiety is underlying – and causing or contributing to the sleep problem – or whether the anxiety is the result of poor sleep. If the anxiety is an underlying condition that came before the sleep problems, you should look into getting help for this separately as well as targeting the sleep. The reason being that if there is ongoing anxiety that is fuelling the poor sleep, this cycle needs breaking, too. Hope that makes sense?

  • Sleepio Member

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

    Hi Vicky, thank you so very much for responding to me. I'm encouraged to have a response. Nice one Sleepio! I have gone back to basics in the last few days although I've had a bit of assistance from Nytol for a few nights. It helped to take the sting out of the bed time fear. Last night I went cold turkey and although I had to switch beds it only took me an hour to get to sleep. I'm delighted with that result and v much encouraged to keep going.
    Once again thank you for your response – please don't underestimate how much it helps.

    Best wishes,

    Stokesy

  • Sleepio Member

    • 1339 comments
    • 214 helped
    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Expert

    Thanks Stokesy I'm glad you value these sessions so much! And well done for achieving that success last night! So glad to hear it. You will have blips along the way, no doubt, but hold onto the knowledge that you can do it and know what to do and that always helps motivate you again. Well done again.

  • Sleepio Member

    • 1339 comments
    • 214 helped
    Expert

    We have around 15 mins left of the session so please feel free to ask any questions you might have about sleep or the programme itself…

  • Sleepio Member

    • 1339 comments
    • 214 helped
    Expert

    That's us for now folks – speak to you again soon.

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