Live discussion with Dr Vicki Creanor - 22nd July

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

She will discuss as many topics as possible in the hour and a half and, as always, you’re welcome to ask any questions at all about sleep or the Sleepio program. Please do note however that, as per our guidelines, Dr Creanor won’t be able to give highly specific medical advice. She will however try to help as best as she can!

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Posted 17 Jul 2015 at 9:31 AM
  • 41 comments
  • 3 helped

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  • Sleepio Member

    • 8 comments
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    Graduate

    Thank you. I will try that.

  • Sleepio Member

    • 1389 comments
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    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Expert

    I'm glad it's encouraging, jonrichco. I'm sorry, I'm not aware of the medical side of this issue – might be one for your family doctor though?

  • Sleepio Member

    • 1389 comments
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    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Expert

    Hmm – OK. Might be worth seeing the doctor in the first instance just to get a health check in case there's an underlying condition not being picked up that's affecting things.

  • Sleepio Member

    • 10 comments
    • 1 helped
    Graduate

    Hi Dr Creanor,
    I'm a few weeks past graduation now and still experimenting with my sleep schedule. I usually start to feel sleepy around midnight so have settled on that as my usual bedtime. I'm finding it difficult, however, to maintain a sleep window of any more than 6.5 hours. If I use the full 7.5 hour sleep window allocated through Sleepio, I can do it for three days max but then revert to wakeful nights again. Also, I am not convinced that the extra hour makes me feel any better. I like the fact that the 6.5 hours seems to provide me with a stable pattern and, linked to that, I like that it allows sleep pressure to build in a predictable way. I also like the extra hour it gives me to enjoy life, or just get to work early! Do you think I should keep striving for the full 7.5 hours, at least for as many nights of the week as possible, or stick with the 6.5? I'd like the answer to be the latter but am suspicious of whether 6.5 hours can actually be enough sleep! Thanks.

  • Sleepio Member

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    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Expert

    Hi Jenny B,

    Nice to hear from you again. I think it is OK to stick with 6.5 as it clearly has a positive impact on you. Sleep is very subjective. If you feel better on this amount of sleep, that is more important, in my opinion, than the exact number of hours you get. Everyone needs different amounts of sleep. I think sticking with that is fine. Hope that's what you wanted to hear!

  • Sleepio Member

    • 3 comments
    • 0 helped
    Graduate

    Thanks for your help.

    I will see about seeing a doctor to try to rule out other sleep disorders. In the meantime, is there anything you can recommend to relieve the symptoms of un-restorative sleep?

    Thanks again.

  • Sleepio Member

    • 10 comments
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    Graduate

    Thanks Dr Creanor. That's reassuring to know.

  • Sleepio Member

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    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Expert

    Hi weebs,
    Much of what will help is embedded in the techniques in Sleepio but in particular, I would say…
    – watch what you are eating/drinking before bed in particular
    – also monitor how much you smoke (if you smoke)
    – monitor other lifestyle factors such as stress, diet, exercise – ensure a good wind down routine – try and make sure the pattern is as stable as possible
    – you could try increasing activity during the day if there is a distinct lack of it (not sure what your activity is like?)

  • Sleepio Member

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    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Expert

    Also, although it may not seem linked, I would also look at how much you worry about not sleeping or how tired you feel – it sounds as if a lot of your daytime thinking is preoccupied with how tired you are. You can go over the thought challenging exercises in the programme again to try to reframe some of your negative thoughts, or use distraction to prevent you thinking about it excessively.

  • Sleepio Member

    • 8 comments
    • 0 helped
    Graduate

    My daughter is also having trouble sleeping through the night and falling asleep. She is 15 years old. She has had a sleep study and they diagnosed her as borderline narcolepic and put her on ridilin (sp) but that made her so jumpy she could not concentrate in school. I cannot afford another subscription to this program though I wish I could send her through it. I know teens should have 9 hours of sleep but I'm lucky if she is asleep by 3am. At least during the summer she can sleep in to make up for that but school is about to start. Any suggestions?

  • Sleepio Member

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    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Expert

    Our sleep changes a lot at this age and it's very common for teenagers to not feel sleepy til later then find it hard to wake up early for school. You may be finding that during the summer holidays, she can fall into her natural sleep pattern. Some schools have acknowledged this fact about teens' sleep and have shifted school hours forward to compensate, with good results. Much of this may be very normal teen sleep behaviour.

  • Sleepio Member

    • 8 comments
    • 0 helped
    Graduate

    But she is tired all of the time and she is not happy with her sleep. She wants it to change.

  • Sleepio Member

    • 4 comments
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    Graduate

    Hi Vicki, I graduated in April, having seen some benefit in terms of stability and predictability of my sleep, but never really managed to increase my sleep beyond five hours, which I still feel is leaving me constantly tired. I also tend to find my body clock is very sensitive to any shift of timing, even to the extent I try to shift bed time 15 min earlier from 11:30 in order to avoid being woken at dawn. I also quite easily 'miss the moment' , and don't go off to sleep at all, in spite of applying QAR multiple times. So the tools seem to be good, but I don't feel I'm breaking through to 'normality' Any comments or suggestions ?

  • Sleepio Member

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    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Expert

    If it is becoming a problem in that case, there is help available from the family doctor who may refer her for psychological support in child and adolescent services. It would be important to take a full history and conduct a full assessment before deciding on the best treatment plan for her, given the query about narcolepsy.

  • Sleepio Member

    • 1389 comments
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    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Expert

    Hi peter,
    Can I ask what happens when you do wake early? Do you feel anxious?

  • Sleepio Member

    • 4 comments
    • 0 helped
    Graduate

    Hi Vicki, no my body wakes up… there is a high background level of work stress, but even when there isn't stress, the pattern seems set and my body still wakes

  • Sleepio Member

    • 1389 comments
    • 225 helped
    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Expert

    I wonder if the pattern has been set following stress and then there is an expectation that this will always continue unless you sleep at exactly the right times and don't miss the moment etc? It sounds as if there is still a lot of pressure being placed on when to sleep to get the best night's sleep, which may be maintaining the problem. I'm aware this session is nearly over, but I would recommend a really good, relaxing wind down routine, setting a time in the day when you think about things you're concerned about so it doesn't creep into your mind at night time and also challenging any negative thoughts that come into your mind about sleep. It's great you're doing the QHR – well done, as this can be really hard. It may simply be that once the background stress reduces, your body will have a chance to relax more into sleep again and with all the other techniques ongoing to facilitate this, things may become easier. Stress is such a big factor in setting poor sleep factors that the body then learns.

  • Sleepio Member

    • 1389 comments
    • 225 helped
    Expert

    That's the end of the live session. Thanks for all your great questions tonight – see you again soon.

  • Sleepio Member

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

    Thanks Vicki

  • Sleepio Member

    • 4 comments
    • 1 helped
    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Graduate

    It does! And helps me get the importance of not using the bed as an all-purpose comfy space, no exceptions—even when what you're doing there is messing about with the Sleepio sleep diary. Tough but fair! And makes sense.

    I will be sure to join future chats now that I see how this works. It's wonderful to have a live human being on the other end! However charming the cartoon version of Dr. Espie is.

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