Live discussion with Dr Vicki Creanor - 22nd October

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

She will discuss as many topics as possible in the hour and a half, starting with the most popular questions with answers being given in a way to give the most benefit to the general Community.

To have a say in which questions are answered, either:
+ post a question or comment ahead of the discussion, by clicking the blue ‘Add a comment’ button; or
+ vote on other people’s questions, by clicking the blue ‘Yes’ button underneath the relevant comment.

To keep up with new comments as they are posted you will need to 'refresh' this discussion page.

To do this:

- On PC hit 'Ctrl' and 'R' or the 'F5' key
- On Mac hit 'Command' or 'Apple' and 'R'

Posted 18 Oct 2014 at 2:42 PM
  • 21 comments
  • 3 helped

Comments

Show older comments
  • Sleepio Member

    • 5 comments
    • 0 helped
    Session 5

    Hello Dr Creanor,

    I sometimes try to go to sleep and my mind goes blank, and the hyper active part starts. Are there any recommended things I should think about whilst trying to get to sleep that will calm me down and hopefully lead into a dream?

    Luxy

  • Sleepio Member

    • 18 comments
    • 2 helped
    Graduate

    Hi Dr. Creanor,

    My sleep has improved dramatically over the sleepio course. My current schedule is 10:45pm to 5:30am and I am still very sleepy through much of the evening. I fall asleep quickly, and stay asleep well at night, but I'm finding that I still often wake up at about 5:15 or so. I'm pretty sure that the 6.25-6.5 hrs of sleep I'm getting is not sufficient as some evenings, I'm still fighting nodding off from about 8:30pm until I can go to bed. How can I overcome the early morning wakings? Or how can I know if I've hit my “optimum level” of sleep?

    Thank you for your time,
    Geonurd

  • Sleepio Member

    • 2 comments
    • 1 helped
    Session 2

    Hi Dr Creanor,

    I find that I just can't switch off no matter what I try. I have an active mind and I may end up lying there with my eyes closed for ages so I end up finally falling asleep from exhaustion. I know people who can literally fall alseep a few minutes after they hit the pillow. Is there anything that I can do to try and relax my mind to help me fall asleep? Thanks for your time.

  • Sleepio Member

    • 1 comments
    • 0 helped
    Graduate

    Dr. Creanor –

    I will be viewing the session for Week 6 of the course tomorrow, and so far my sleep has improved a lot, but I am still having trouble with feeling too sleepy to get out of bed in the morning. Most nights now I am getting about 8 hours of sleep and only waking up two or three times for just a few minutes, but in the morning I have a terrible time getting out of bed.

    I feel extremely groggy for about an hour after I wake up (sometimes longer), just as if I'd only slept a few hours. FYI, I am not taking any sleep medication, which I know can lead to grogginess. Usually I wake up within a half hour before my alarm goes off, but I just roll over and go back to sleep. I feel like maybe I should just get up, but it's so difficult because I feel so sleepy.

    Can I expect my morning alertness to improve as time goes on? Will I ever wake up feeling rested? Any advice is appreciated!

    Thanks,
    Amanda

  • Sleepio Member

    • 5 comments
    • 0 helped
    Session 5

    Dr. Creanor

    I have been using Antihistamines, to help me sleep. But I read on the internet they can be bad for you and increase the effects of Insomnia. Can you confirm if it is safe to take Antihistamines to sleep ?

    Luxy

  • Sleepio Member

    • 5 comments
    • 2 helped
    Graduate

    Dr. Creanor

    I have a problem with staying asleep at night, I usually wake around 1-3 times each evening consistently. I have been using the sleepio course to measure my sleep and learn techniques to help me relax if I wake up in the middle of the night but nothing seems to eliminate most of those awakenings. I know that it is impossible to completely eradicate middle of the night awakenings but could there be any biological reason it could be happening, not including caffeine and nicotine?

    Could it just be out of habit and if so, how do you break that habit?

    Rob

  • Sleepio Member

    • 1389 comments
    • 225 helped
    Expert

    Hi all – shall we start the session?

  • Sleepio Member

    • 1 comments
    • 0 helped
    Session 5

    Hi Dr. Creanor, Not sure where to begin – I have been having sleep difficulty for a few years now and I have been on ziplicone – 7.5 mg. I am afraid at this point to go without. I sometimes sleep okay on it and sometimes not. I would like to come off of it. It did start for me with menopause. I am now 57 so it's been going on for about 3 -4 years. Really want some guidance and hear about others on how to go forward.

  • Sleepio Member

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

    Hi Flick thank you for your interesting question. It sounds as if you have a lot of insight already into what might keep you awake. You mentioned that you are hypervigilant and this is a symptom of anxiety. When we are anxious, our bodies are kept alert. This is a tiring process to remain alert for so long and does make us exhausted. Yet you say you are unable to nod off easily. The distinction we make in sleep talk between sleepiness and tiredness is as you described – sleepiness meaning the point where your eyes are closing despite you trying to stay awake and feeling as if you could sleep anywhere. It sounds as if the underlying anxiety might need targetting in order to allow for your body to give in to sleep more and stay less alert. You may not yet be at the point in the Sleepio programme where challenging your negative (anxious) thoughts comes up – if not, keep working on the techniques so far and you will be taught how to do this, alongside relaxation/mindfulness techniques to reduce anxiety.

    Hope this helps?

  • Sleepio Member

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

    Hi Valia welcome to the programme. I see you are on session 1 so your anxieties about sleep will match others at this point in the programme, I'm sure. This is a valuable community to meet others in similar positions as you, so I hope you find it helpful. We often see sleep problems starting around times of heightened/altered hormones (adolescence, pregnancy/menopause) so this is quite common. You will be taught lots of techniques over the course of the programme to target different areas of sleep, each of which are based on solid research which shows them to be very effective in helping sleep get back to normal. In terms of medication, I would always advise people to contact the person who prescribed it to them to discuss reducing it if this is what you would like to do. Some people remain on medication during this programme, others stop it to do this programme in isolation of medication, but you need to talk to your doctor/pharmacist about this element of your care.

    I wish you all the best for the programme and I hope your fellow Sleepio community members will help you through it with their support.

  • Sleepio Member

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

    Hi Luxy thanks for your question. I'm wondering if your mind does go blank or whether it becomes active?

    Some people find that thinking of a relaxing place they have been or would like to visit (a sunny beach, a snowy mountain – this is unique to everyone) helps them drift off. You can start to imagine all the elements of this place to tap into your 5 senses (what would you smell/feel/taste/see/hear). Your dreams are purely your own imagination working hard, so you can train yourself to dream whatever you like, by thinking of all the elements of the dream before you go to bed.

    You can also try the relaxation parts of the programme before bed to help with staying calm.

    I hope this helps.

  • Sleepio Member

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

    Hi Geonurd – good question. Well done with all the progress you've made – it sounds as if you have put in all the hard work and it's paying off! I suppose it's important to note that even good sleepers will tend to wake once or twice a night – so this is normal. However I understand that it must be frustrating waking 15 mins before you are due to wake up. I would suggest pushing back your bed time 15 mins to see if this allows you sleep on til 5.30? As for the optimal sleep achievement, this is hard to tell but it's perhaps an indication when you've settled into your pattern for quite a while – a good number of months, for example – and things seem to stay static, that this may be your pattern. If you are still feeling tired, it may be that the quality of your sleep still has to play catch up and this can tale time after you've retrained your body to sleep most of the night.

  • Sleepio Member

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

    Hi Dynamo34 – welcome to Sleepio and thanks for your question. Like Valia, I can sense that you are very anxious about your sleep and that you are, also, at the very start of the programme with us. It is very very normal to start off Sleepio feeling this way – as most of the Sleepio members will tell you. However, the very thing that you wold like help with will be tackled over the course of your programme. You will learn techniques to retrain your body and mind to get to sleep quicker and stay asleep for longer. You will learn how to challenge your anxious thoughts that whizz around in your head before you sleep and ways to relax your body.

    I wish you all the best for the programme!

  • Sleepio Member

    • 2 comments
    • 1 helped
    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Session 2

    Thanks Dr. Creanor. I am looking forward to the next few weeks of the course.

  • Sleepio Member

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

    Hi Amanda – wow, sounds like you have made a great deal of progress – well done!

    I can, however, sense your frustration about the lack of energy first thing in the morning. It may be, like I mentioned to Geonurd above, that your sleep quality is playing catch-up and this is what's leading to you feeling groggy. Have a wee look at the articles on this in the library as it may be interesting and relevant to you. I would also emphasise the importance of getting out of bed when your alarm goes off, even if you feel like staying in bed until you feel like getting up – otherwise, it may affect the efficiency of your sleep. Have a look at what your activity is like during the days, too – it may be that your body does need more sleep because the daytime activity is so busy.

  • Sleepio Member

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

    Great Dynamo34 – I am sure you are keen to start learning and practising the techniques. Good luck with it all and please use this community for support and encouragement as people tend to find it a great resource.

  • Sleepio Member

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

    Hi Luxyluxo I'm afraid I'm unable to help with medication questions as I am not a medical doctor. I am not sure of the evidence base for taking this medication to improve sleep, but I would contact your family doctor about this for the most accurate advice.

  • Sleepio Member

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

    Hi Rob thanks for your question. In short, yes – there could be various reasons for wakening in the night and some of these can be biological/physical. You mentioned caffeine and nicotine which can have effects, so watch your intake of these drugs as high levels will have an effect. Other factors include hormones, cortisol (stress-related), alcohol, full bladder, pain, temperature, comfort…the list goes on. I would have a think about making a diary for what has gone on that day, what you have eaten/drunk etc and how stressed you are feeling. Then you may be able to work out some sort of pattern and make changes to reduce the wakenings.

    You're right – it's normal to waken a couple times a night, but make sure when you do, you apply the quarter hour rule that you learned in the programme, otherwise this will have a negative effect on your sleep efficiency.

  • Sleepio Member

    • 1389 comments
    • 225 helped
    Expert

    It's very quiet tonight – any more burning questions??

  • Sleepio Member

    • 1389 comments
    • 225 helped
    Expert

    That's us for tonight all – see you next time and thanks for your questions.

Return to top