Live Discussion with Dr Vicki Creanor - 23rd April

Dr Creanor will be hosting a live online discussion here on Wednesday 23rd April. The discussion will kick off slightly later than usual at 8:15pm (BST) and Dr Creanor will be online until 9:45pm (BST).

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.

We hope you find the session helpful and do let us know if you have any thoughts on this later timing of the 'live' portion of the session.

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Posted 22 Apr 2014 at 8:43 AM
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  • Sleepio Member

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    Hello Again, Dr. Vicki,

    Forgive me if I have asked this one before. I read the posts so far and see a recurrent theme is that some of us fall asleep at the start of the night, then wake up at 3 am. In my case, that's 3 hours of sleep. There doesn't seem to be a clear pattern as to what causes this. A pattern would have emerged by now. Anxiety might arise at this time for me. Hard to know since this is a very subjective thing to assess. For some time I have practiced guided imagery and body scan to quiet me down and enable me to sleep another hour. So I sleep 4 hours a night. It's not an ideal situation, since I am awake 2 hours in the middle of the night.

    I am considering with my doctor the addition of an anti- anxiety med. She suggested I try a sleeping pill again, but I don't like the fact that the pill doesn't solve anything, so I am not inclined to do this. No decision, yet. I have considerable doubt (anxiety) about these meds.

    I know that each of us is different. When do we know it's time to add meds to the equation? Reason I ask is that you and others say this takes time. In my case, I have given it 6 months and don't see changes yet.

    Thanks,
    Caliman

  • Sleepio Member

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    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Expert

    Hi Muscan thanks for your post. Some people need less sleep than others and I believe you are the best judge on how you feel after a night's sleep. Sleep is very subjective – if you feel OK on this amount of sleep it's likely to be OK for you.

    I would add that if anyone is using machinery or driving long distances etc then a more long term look at how much sleep they get and how their daytime functioning is is important.

  • Sleepio Member

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    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Graduate

    Long term build up of the effects of stress – so I am the type of person who likes to be a high achiever, over commits, under estimates time to deliver, don't miss deadlines, but come in close (used to work in live broadcasting). My ability to stay cool in stressful situations was for many years an advantage. For the last ten years I've developed services and health policy, working with people who are terminally ill, and co-founded a now successful charity. I have teenage children, live out of but work in London. Commute can take between 3 and 4 hours a day.Have some UK travel. Have tried very hard to combine all this with things I enjoy – music, dog walks and baking, but no space between anything. I developed sleep problems 2.5 years ago, a year after a major knee injury, and kept trying to get my workload lessened – but it never quite happened, as all the time our workload was expanding. A variety of personnel issues exacerbated stress at work. And each time it has had a worse impact on me. It seems to be the physical and mental act of working that has a detrimental effect rather than worry about it. So I sleep best (within my SR) at weekends and on days I can work from home. My worst days are when I am in the office – when I am often pulled in many different directions. Almost anything seems to trigger overload – not just stressful and difficult things, but things I enjoy 'getting into'. It has really affected my mood/relationships/productivity/memory. I've been having counselling via an EAP scheme, and they are helping me work out the future and negotiate with my employer as to what I can or can't do. I have symptoms of depression, but GP and counsellor say they believe it is because of the stress/lack of sleep rather than it being a cause, as mood etc has improved when I was signed off before.

    Sorry that was rather overload, but am at the point where fundamentally changing work seems to be the only option left.

  • Sleepio Member

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    Time is running out-- but should have said that the anxiety I feel at 3 am doesn’t happen any other time of the night. Regardless of what is going on in life.

  • Sleepio Member

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    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Expert

    Hi Caliman,
    Thanks for your post. In my opinion, the decision to try meds is completely personal and I think everyone is different. I have known clients who found these techniques work without meds, but I have also known some who use meds alongside techniques such as those taught in Sleepio. And in some cases, people find that the meds take the edge of their difficulties to allow them to put the other techniques into practice better.

    In terms of when the 'right' time to introduce meds is, this is really whenever you feel it's time. It's worth having this discussion with your medical doctor as I'm sure they will have talked to many people about this issue.

  • Sleepio Member

    • 258 comments
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    Re: Sleep is very subjective. Your post to Muscan. I think I need a tad more sleep than 4 hours, but maybe that's all I need right now. On a subjective level, I usually say my SQ is fair, since I don't feel rested. If I were to average 5 hours, I think I would say my SQ is good. So the dilemma for me is what to do to get another hour of sleep. Or just be content with 4?

  • Sleepio Member

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    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Expert

    Hi qualitynotquantity – it sounds like you have had an exhausting time lately – and historically. I feel exhausted reading about it so I can only imagine what it has felt like to live it. But I'm really glad to hear you have support there. Sometimes insomnia is our body's response to many others stressors that were there before it and it resolves itself as the life stressors resolve themselves. I hope the counselling is helpful – it's good to hear you have this in place.

  • Sleepio Member

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    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Expert

    Hi AnneZ – thanks for this info. It could be then that the anxiety is due to wakening up – the pressure you feel to be asleep instead. Does that sound likely? If this is the case, take yourself out the bedroom in line with the quarter hour rule (QHR) and then try some relaxation/mindfulness techniques and see if this helps reduce the anxiety.

  • Sleepio Member

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    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Graduate

    Hi Caliman, I took meds for years and now that I've stopped I notice my head is clearer and I enjoy life much more. The meds seemed to dull everything. I used to think I needed more sleep but have now accepted that I can do with less. I find the SR is helping me a lot at the moment as the quality of the little sleep that I do get has improved.

  • Sleepio Member

    • 184 comments
    • 17 helped
    Graduate

    To add to mascan's reply to Caliman, I too, thought I
    needed lots of sleep, or at least FELT I needed it, but I
    was really only 'fooling myself' as it were, because now
    that I get less, and deeper, undisturbed sleep, the amount I get is fine. I haven't taken medication to sleep,
    because I take hypertension tablets and that's enough to
    be getting on with…but the frustration of trying to get to
    sleep has now gone…

  • Sleepio Member

    • 1323 comments
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    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Expert

    Hi Caliman,
    I wonder if it is worth experimenting with other activities during your 2 hours awake? It sounds like imagery and body scan do help, but perhaps try other things – ask your fellow Sleepio-mates on here for what helps them – and see if you can shorten this time awake so you get more sleep.

  • Sleepio Member

    • 25 comments
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    Graduate

    Yes, thanks Dr Vicki, will give that a try.

  • Sleepio Member

    • 1323 comments
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    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Expert

    Thanks for this encouraging post, mascan – really pleased to hear things have improved for you.

  • Sleepio Member

    • 1323 comments
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    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Expert

    And thanks Theresa too – I'm sure this will be very helpful to many people on here.

  • Sleepio Member

    • 184 comments
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    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Graduate

    thank you!

  • Sleepio Member

    • 1323 comments
    • 214 helped
    Expert

    Thanks to everyone for a great session – 'see' you soon and take care.

  • Sleepio Member

    • 35 comments
    • 19 helped
    Graduate

    Thanks, enjoyed it

  • Sleepio Member

    • 184 comments
    • 17 helped
    Graduate

    Good night everyone! Hope you all sleep soundly
    tonight…

  • Sleepio Member

    • 46 comments
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    I would like to know if watching TV or reading from my iPad before bed would interfere with my sleep.

    Thanks

  • Sleepio Member

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    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Graduate

    Hi won052, not a good idea to read from your ipad just before sleep as the blue light given off by computers tablets mobiles etc interrupts the production of melatonin (apparently) hormone needed for sleep) Several sleep books I've read mention this. Tv not so bad as it is at a distance. If you have to use ipad dim the light setting right down and switch it to airplane mode.

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