Live discussion with Dr Vicki Creanor - 22nd June 2016

Dr Creanor will be hosting a live online discussion here on Wednesday 22nd June, 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. Her 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 Jun 2016 at 3:10 PM
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  • Sleepio Member

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    Expert

    Hi there,
    Sorry I hadn't answered your question yet – was just making my way through the posts in the order that they appeared on the thread. In terms of early morning wakening and racing thoughts, this is covered a bit later in the Sleepio programme, so please know that you will learn what to do with these thoughts. It's really common and it's what keeps most people awake at night. There are several techniques that you will learn about and get a chance to practice and you will then know how to deal with this side of things. Hope that reassures you.

  • Sleepio Member

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    Expert

    That's interesting about the yoga. Many people find such practices very good for relieving mental and physical symptoms of stress. Physical activity in general is very helpful for stress relief but yoga also incorporates breathing exercises which are also good for stress-reduction. Thanks for pointing this out – I'm sure it will be of help to others.

  • Sleepio Member

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    Expert

    Hi there,
    It's a subjective thing, sleep, so we kind of determine how much sleep we need by how we feel after certain amounts. What is more important than amount of sleep is, as you say, the quality. Looking at your sleep efficiency is a good place to find this, as well as how refreshed you feel upon wakening. If you're up at 90% efficiency, well done, it's looking like a good sleeper's sleep at that point and you may not need much more. But you can extend the sleep window by 15 mins when you reach 90% so you can see if this works for you.

  • Sleepio Member

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    Expert

    Hi there,
    Well done with all your achievements! Great to hear of this progress. And well done for doing 4 hours with the mask. It is hard to reintroduce things like this and sometimes the fear of it affecting sleep is worse than the actual effect on the sleep. Worth being aware of this. However in terms of your question regarding how long you need the mask on to be effective, this is a question for the person who prescribed you the mask. It's more a medical situation and it may be that the effectiveness will depend on the person, so I would advise you to ask the person who you've been working with re the mask about this one. You could also gradually reintroduce the mask but this is also worth checking over with the medical/sleep clinic team.

  • Sleepio Member

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    Expert

    Hi there,
    Thanks for your post. I'm glad to hear sleep restriction has been OK for you so far and that it's had a positive impact. Sleep restriction is a technique designed mainly for the short term, to get sleep efficiency back up to that of a good sleeper's and to bring sleep into one solid chunk again without all the night awakenings. So it's unlikely people would need this indefinitely as it's just meant for getting sleep back up to normal standards. Other techniques, such as relaxation, good sleep hygiene, challenging negative thoughts can be used throughout one's life, however. Hope this makes sense?

  • Sleepio Member

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    Expert

    Hi there,
    It's pretty normal to have blips…and even more normal to really worry about the blips! However, viewing them as just normal parts of the sleep recovery process often helps people normalise the experience and not focus too heavily on the issue. Even good sleepers have poor nights sleep so worth remembering this. They, however, get back to normal because they don't worry about it and just pass it off as annoying, but a one-off. Challenging the thoughts often helps with this, as do techniques such as thought blocking and relaxation.

    In terms of the diary, my guess would be that you enter the time you go to bed as the original time, but count the rest as time awake during the night – have a wee check of the little blue question marks beside the diary for explanations of how to complete it.

  • Sleepio Member

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    Expert

    Hi there,
    It doesn't sound as if you suffer from insomnia just based on this information, so it would be worth talking to your medical doctor about your symptoms to see if there's an underlying reason for this fatigue?

  • Sleepio Member

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    Expert

    Hi there,
    You do get people who sleep better earlier in the night and those who prefer to stay up later and sleep better later on in the night, so this is pretty well known. I wonder whether there is something about the worry factor, though, so that you would probably sleep OK if you missed the window very slightly, but that psychologically you have become fixed on this time period? Either way, we tend to recommend that people recovering from insomnia do set a regular bedtime and wake time in any case, so perhaps until the sleep is properly back on track it's worthwhile doing this anyway?

  • Sleepio Member

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    Expert

    Hi there,
    Sleep restriction is very difficult and staying awake can be tricky at the start of this work. Avoiding naps is key, so some ways people manage to stay awake include the use of caffeine in the early parts of the day, exercise to keep the body stimulated, fresh air and plenty of light to keep the brain awake and keeping yourself busy in general. I'm sure the community users would have other tips, but it's about getting yourself through the day when you're doing sleep restriction a lot of the time. Hope these ideas help?

  • Sleepio Member

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    Expert

    Again, it's worth making sure the advice is followed for the physical issues, so if naps are recommended by your medical doctor, follow this advice and pick up the Sleepio techniques when the migraine has passed. Underlying stress, as we ave spoken about, is worth looking at in case it's causing migraines and poor sleep.

  • Sleepio Member

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    Graduate

    thank you. this is helpful feedback.

  • Sleepio Member

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    Expert

    you're welcome

  • Sleepio Member

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    Expert

    Another 15 mins of the session – any more burning questions??

  • Sleepio Member

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    Graduate

    Yes please can you clarify (generally as we're all different) what time we should be turning off electronics before bedtime?
    Does the new yellow light setting ( not blue) on Apple ones make any difference?
    Thanks

  • Sleepio Member

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    Graduate

    Thank you looks like I need to correct my diary for last night!

  • Sleepio Member

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    Expert

    I'm not sure what difference the yellow light makes compared to blue but it's not necessarily just the emitted light that causes the problem, it's also the simple fact that technology draws us in and stimulates our minds when we're meant to be winding down. I'd say when you're working on your sleep, it would be worth switching off technology about 45mins before bedtime. Keeping the Ipads/phones etc away from your bedside table is also a good tip as they can often be too tempting to check…

  • Sleepio Member

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    Graduate

    Ok thank you. They (Apple) claim it helps not stimulate you as much and affect sleep?) I think your point is more valid.

  • Sleepio Member

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    Expert

    Hadn't heard about this, thanks for letting me know.

  • Sleepio Member

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    Expert

    That's all for tonight – thanks for all the great questions. Speak to you again soon!

  • Sleepio Member

    • 9 comments
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    Graduate

    Good question, SeaBee. Helpful answer as I didn't consider the stiumulation aspect. Winding down routine
    for 1-1/2 hrs. has been effective.

    Thanks, again, Dr. Creanor for all your insightful recommendations!

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