Live Discussion with Dr Vicki Creanor - 23rd September 2020

Dr Creanor will be hosting a live online discussion here on Wednesday 23rd September, 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 17 Sep 2020 at 7:44 PM
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  • Sleepio Member

    • 13 comments
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    Graduate

    Dr Creanor – I'm in a similar position to Stephanie. I moved into a separate bed when I started sleep restriction so that I didn't disturb my husband. Before that, though, I had found his snoring/loud breathing very distracting. I tried ear plugs as suggested but I then became very aware of his every movement. I did try a couple of nights back in our bed recently but both times I went back to the spare room when I got up in the night and found it hard to get back to sleep. Is it possible that I'm building up a bed sleep association with a particular bed and not another? For the time being I'll carry on trying to repair my sleep from the spare room.

  • Sleepio Member

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    Graduate

    Dr Creanor, I typically wake around 5am having had 5 hours sleep and struggle get back to sleep. Tests have shown that I have high cortisol levels around this time. Internally I feel high levels of threat (racing heart and slight panic) that it is not safe to go back to sleep. I tend to listen to guided relaxation meditations at this time which are beneficial but I rarely drift off again. Do you have any suggestions

  • Sleepio Member

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    Graduate

    Dr Creanor, Do you need less sleep as you get older? I was finding I was O.K. with 4 hours or a bit more, but not with 3 hours or less sometimes. At present, having just graduated I am averaging less than 4 hours, mainly because of QHR waking me up for good after, say, 3 hours sleep. I find this depressing, do you have any suggestions? Perhaps I am too old to change my habits?

  • Sleepio Member

    • 453 comments
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    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Graduate

    Hi Stephanie – I’ve left you a message on your profile page regarding the snoring husband and when I let my husband back in to share our bedroom! Hope it helps ;)
    Kurly ;)

  • Sleepio Member

    • 13 comments
    • 5 helped
    Graduate

    Dr Creanor could you please discuss guidelines for when you should or shouldn't take the extra 15 minutes offered to extend the sleep window. I haven't taken it the last few weeks as my SE is only in 80s and I'm not sure I've established my patterns well enough. Would love a bit more sleep though!
    Thank you

  • Sleepio Member

    • 3131 comments
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    Expert

    Good evening all and welcome to this week's live discussion session. Some of you will have 'met' me before – I'm Dr Vicki Creanor and I'm a clinical psychologist with a special interest in sleep behaviour. I'm going to be live here for the next 90 mins so if you have any questions about your sleep or the Sleepio programme, please get in touch and post the question here. I'll aim to answer posts to help the majority of people on here who may experience the same things. As per the guidelines, please keep any medical questions for your medical practitioner.

    Let's get started…

  • Sleepio Member

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    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Expert

    Hi there and thanks for getting in touch. There is actually a library article here that discusses what RLS is and has some options for how to alleviate the symptoms…

    https://www.sleepio.com/library/article/what-is-restless-legs-syndrome-rls/

  • Sleepio Member

    • 1 comments
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    Session 3

    Hello, I have been importing my sleep data from the fitbit I wear at night. Previous to Sleep restriction schedule I slept soundly and didn't consciously wake up at night, but the fitbit records over 20 1-2 min long wake times over the entire night (approx 1 hour wake time).
    Now with sleep restriction schedule, it is 1 hour lesser and i always wake up tired and sleepy hence staying irritated in mornings. I feel I am sleeping less and the Sleep restriction schedule is based on false wake ups reported by my fitbit hence causing sleep deficit. What are your thoughts about this?

  • Sleepio Member

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    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Expert

    Hi there and thanks so much for your question. I think this is something many people will relate to. When the 15 mins is added, it means people are going to be in bed longer, meaning that the body needs to get used to this, so don't worry too much if it alters your sleep a little. I would give it time and see what happens. If the problem persists after a couple of weeks, you could look at dropping the added 15 mins to see if this helps.

  • Sleepio Member

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    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Expert

    Hello and welcome to the chat tonight. Thanks for raising this – it's something that does come up now and again with regards to recording devices. If you think that the device in not recording your sleep accurately, I would enter the data that you are seeing manually, leaving the device out of things. Devices can sometimes record restlessness in sleep as wakening, so it's not always accurate. If you record things yourself for a couple weeks and find this to be more accurate and that it gives you a better sleep window that is working for you, go with that.

  • Sleepio Member

    • 8 comments
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    Graduate

    Hi Dr Creanor,
    I understand that under the QHR, you need to feel sleepy before going back to bed. However, I find that once I get up during the night, I feel alert. I have tried reading in very dim light, meditating etc but no matter what I do, I don't feel sleepy again. Should I start my day then, even though I have only had between 3 and 4 hours sleep? During the day I am exhausted and as soon as I sit down in the evening, I feel very sleepy. Any advice would be very welcome. Thank you.

  • Sleepio Member

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    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Expert

    Hi there – thanks for getting in touch. Thank you for the kind words – we are glad you're finding the programme helpful!

    So, the schedule for each person is determined by the info that people put into their sleep diaries and your preferences for when to go to bed/wake up. So it will be different for everyone. Is this what you mean by the schedule?

    9.30pm does sound quite early to be going to bed – unless your wake up time is quite early? You can shift the bedtime to later – to any time that suits you, as long as you stick to the number of hours suggested for your 'sleep window' that has been set for you. Has Sleepio set this for you yet?

    As for holidays, this is a good question. I'd recommend that, if you'll be away for say a week/2 weeks, it's OK to alter bedtimes/rise times. Just try and stick to the sleep window and try and stick to the same bedtimes/rise times throughout the holiday. If we change our bedtimes around too much from night to night, it disrupts our sleep patterns because our bodies get confused about when we're wanting it to sleep!

    Hope that helps…

  • Sleepio Member

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    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Expert

    Hello – thanks for your question about the quarter hour rule. So, first of all, it sounds as if your tiredness at night is showing that you have good built up sleep pressure, which is positive.

    You're right about going back to bed when you're tired again. Sometimes it's more about finding the right activity/environment to help us feel this way. It may be that reading makes you more alert/stimulated. Some people find that just sitting, doing nothing, focussing on their breathing even is helpful to get them sleepy. Certain music may also be sleep-inducing. Try and avoid drinking/eating/moving around. The light, although dim, may be confusing your brain – you may want to experiment with sitting in the dark or wearing an eye mask during the QHR time .There are lots of tweaks that can be made – sometimes it's about finding the right way to spend QHR that helps. Perhaps asking others in the community what they do would be helpful for suggestions?

  • Sleepio Member

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    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Expert

    Hi Stephanie,
    This is a tricky one – and a dilemma that many people face. There is no one, right answer to this. For some people, they gradually move back into their own room while still working on the course, while others wait until sleep has been consolidated in the other room before moving back with their partner.

    There are some things that may help with the process, though. First, you could record his snoring and listen to it once a day, so that you start to get desensitised to it (if he consents!). I understand you've used earplugs – listening to white noise through earphones is also known to help block out some external noises. Lastly, if movement is an issue, you could try and sleep in separate twin beds if this is possible initially, then move to the same bed but with 2 single duvets – sometimes this can minimise the movement awareness.

    So, I'm sorry I can't answer your question directly, but it's such a personal decision and there will be many factors around that will influence this. Hopefully these ideas will help you decide what's best for you.

  • Sleepio Member

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    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Expert

    Hi – hopefully the reply to Stephanie was helpful to you too. It is possible that the bed-sleep association is building for this other bed, but this is OK in the meantime, as it's needed to help you sleep there. There's no reason why the original bed can't become associated with sleep in the future again.

  • Sleepio Member

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    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Expert

    Hi and welcome to Sleepio :) Thank you for getting in touch. It's good to hear you already have some tools to help bring your anxiety down, such as meditation. The next few weeks of the Sleepio course will help you work on this anxiety and will give you more tools to calm the body and ease the racing mind. It's actually very common to wake feeling anxious and many people struggle to get back to sleep after waking. Sleepio has been designed to help people with these difficulties, so that you can start to improve both the anxiety and your ability to sleep through the night. I hope you find the coming weeks helpful in tackling this.

  • Sleepio Member

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    Expert

    Hi there. So, yes – in short, we do need less sleep as we get older and we tend to have lighter sleep as we age, meaning we wake up more often and more easily. However, it may be that playing around with what you do during the QHR helps you get back to sleep better. See the response I posted earlier about what to do in the QHR as it may also help you. Making sure you only do calming activities, do not eat/drink/use devices, don't read stimulating books, make sure the light is not too bright etc is all really important during the QHR time. Hope this helps.

  • Sleepio Member

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    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Expert

    Hi Alison,
    So yes the general rule is that we only increase the sleep window when sleep efficiency is 90% or above. This means that the time we are spending in bed is mostly spent asleep. Anything less that this and it probably won't help by adding 15 mins onto the sleep time as it may mean more lying awake not sleeping, which weakens the bed-sleep association.

  • Sleepio Member

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    Expert

    That's all for this evening folks – thanks for the questions and posts and I'll speak to you again soon.

  • Sleepio Member

    • 1 comments
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    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Session 2

    Hi, was the discussion recorded? is it possible to watch it? Many thanks, Katie

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