Live Discussion with Dr Vicki Creanor - 22nd July 2020

Dr Creanor will be hosting a live online discussion here on Wednesday 22nd July, from 8.15pm to 9.45pm British Time or 3.15pm to 4.45pm US Eastern Time.

They 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, they may not be able to answer all in the time available, but will try to answer as many as they can.

Please do note that, as per our guidelines, Dr Creanor will not be able to give personal medical advice including those about medication. Their 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 16 Jul 2020 at 6:27 PM
  • 14 comments
  • 1 helped

Comments

  • Sleepio Member

    • 8 comments
    • 0 helped
    Graduate

    How does one work out what is the optimum sleep time for oneself when there are so many variables (particularly when one isn't a reliable sleeper from night to night)?
    Many thanks!

  • Sleepio Member

    • 8 comments
    • 0 helped
    Graduate

    I am in session 4 and struggling, my sleep pattern is very erratic. I tend to get sleepy downstairs and by the time I get upstairs find it difficult to drop off and can sometimes stay awake all night. Am trying the QHR and other techniques. Dropped off last night at 2.30 pm eventually thought I would just rest in bed and I nodded off. The trouble is I have broken the SR rule as so tired in the morning and try to catch up on sleep then, got up at 8 am. Any tips? Am in the post menopausal stage and have had sleeping problems for 2 years, never had them before, I know I overfocus on it but find it so difficult.

  • Sleepio Member

    • 453 comments
    • 181 helped
    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Graduate

    Hi Ella,
    I’ve already left you a message this morning and have just left you a second in response to the menopause bit of your question to the doctor <80)
    Kurly :)

  • Sleepio Member

    • 2 comments
    • 0 helped
    Session 2

    I wake 3 to 6 times a night, because of dreaming, not bad dreams, just a lot of dreams, it takes me 10 to 30 minutes to fall back to sleep each time. Since we cant stop dreaming, how am I going to get a good night's sleep? I wake exhausted every morning I have an alarm wake me for work.

  • Sleepio Member

    • 2 comments
    • 0 helped
    Session 2

    I'm not losing weight, which I contribute to lack of sleep since I've changed my eating. I eat three times a day. Protein, veggies and good fats, some fruits. No snacking in between. I cut out gluten, dairy, corn and artificial sweeteners. Is there any tip or trick to help me lose weight since I cant get a good night's sleep?

  • Sleepio Member

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

    I recommend seeing a doctor who specializes in bariatric medicine. I lost over 70 pounds last year under the care of Dr. Primack at the Scottsdale Weight Loss Center on a modified Optifast diet combined with an appetite suppressant. I gained some weight during the lockdown, but got back to the basics of my diet and have lost the weight again. There are lots of alternative diets and medicines that can help. A specialist will help you find the right one for you and monitor your health appropriately as you try to make a change.

  • Sleepio Member

    • 3131 comments
    • 555 helped
    Expert

    Hi all and welcome to this evening's Sleepio live chat. I'm Dr Vicki Creanor – a clinical psychologist with a special interest in sleep problems. I'll be here for the next 90 mins so please post any questions you have here! Let's get started…

  • Sleepio Member

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

    Hi and thanks for your question – it's a good one! You're right, there are so many factors that influence our sleep and when it's been poor for a while, it can be really hard to know how many hours are optimal for us. It tends to only be once we have managed to iron out a lot of the sleep problems that we can know this. So once sleep becomes less fragmented, once we get to sleep well and when we don't feel tired during the daytime, we can then make a better call on what makes us feel more refreshed upon wakening – and later in the day – in terms of hours of sleep. I'm sorry there's not a quicker, shorter-term answer here but hope that makes sense.

  • Sleepio Member

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

    Hi Ella,
    I'm sorry to hear you're having a hard time. The menopause is, as I'm sure you will know, strongly associated with poorer sleep, with the hormonal changes as well as symptoms such as hot flashes. I wonder if you have looked at helping these types of symptoms already, such as keeping the room cool for times when you will be feeling hot?
    When you mention feeling tired downstairs, then not so tired when coming upstairs to bed, it is likely because there are negative connotations of the bed/bedroom at the moment re sleep. The quarter hour rule and sleep restriction do work towards helping this. But it is a hard-going element of the course and many people find it difficult to stick to. Doing some relaxation when you get into bed may help to make you feel more relaxed – possibly some imagery?
    With regards to sleeping past the sleep window, it is obviously something we do not recommend as it confuses the body clock and weakens sleep pressure that should start to build through the next day. However, with all elements of Sleepio, it is up to people to chose how to use each of the techniques.

    I would try relaxation in bed, try as best you can to stick to the sleep window and keep the sleep environment as comfortable as you can. Making sure the bedtime routine is as consistent as possible may also help feel more relaxed as you go to bed.

  • Sleepio Member

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

    Hi Tracie,

    Thanks for getting in touch. I wonder if we might look at this from another angle…it may not be that the dreams themselves are waking you, but that because you are wakening frequently through the night, you are remembering the recent dreams. In the course of a typical 8 hour sleep, for example, we would probably have about 5 phases of REM (dream) sleep. If we wake frequently, therefore, it's likely we'll just have come out of one of these phases.

    Thankfully, the Sleepio course will show you techniques that have the aim of reducing the number of night-time wakenings you have per night, which, in turn, may reduce the awareness of these dreams.

    Hope that makes sense?

  • Sleepio Member

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

    Hi again Tracie,
    As this is a question relating to physical health/nutrition, the best person to ask is a professional in this line of work who can guide you on elements of diet.

  • Sleepio Member

    • 1 comments
    • 0 helped
    Graduate

    Hi,
    I'm using Sleepio to improve my sleep while I'm waiting for an appointment with a psychologist for managing PTSD. Using the Sleepio platform has helped me to see how fragmented my sleep was, and now I'm a few days into the sleep restriction phase, I can see that the efficiency is much better.
    What I've noticed is that my daytime PTSD symptoms seem to be more difficult to manage – should I expect this to level out again as I persevere and get further with the programme?
    Rach

  • Sleepio Member

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

    Hi Rach,
    Thanks for getting in touch today.
    That's great news about the sleep efficiency increasing, well done – sleep restriction is not easy!
    As you know, PTSD is complex and varies greatly from person to person. It may be that having a reduced sleep window is partly causing an increase in symptoms, but it needs further assessment to determine if this is truly the cause. There may be other factors at play that are leading to a worsening of PTSD symptoms at the moment that are not to do with sleep changes.
    Keeping a diary of what you notice re symptoms and what is going on at that point – external events as well as internal changes (thoughts/memories/physical symptoms) may be helpful to work out what might be leading to this change – it will also be helpful info to pass on to the psychologist when you see them.

  • Sleepio Member

    • 3131 comments
    • 555 helped
    Expert

    That's all for this evening – thanks to those who got in touch with great questions. Look forward to speaking you all again soon. Take care :)

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