Live discussion with Dr Vicki Creanor - 24th August 2016

Dr Creanor will be hosting a live online discussion here on Wednesday 24th August, 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 19 Aug 2016 at 1:05 PM
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  • Sleepio Member

    • 1 comments
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    Session 1

    I'm only early into my course, so apologies if these are addressed later.

    My problem isn't sleep efficiency at all. When I intend to go to bed and sleep, I fall asleep without a problem. I also sleep for very long periods of time (chronic illness), so my sleep looks deceptively good on paper.

    My issues are primarily: – Waking/restless periods (fitbit recorded 5 awake/27 restless last night alone) – Struggling to sleep at the 'right' times, especially if fatigue causes me to oversleep.

    My sleep is rarely restful, and I physically can't get out of bed on bad sleep nights.

    Will this course still be suitable for those with poor quality of sleep? Can it help my frequent restless periods?

    I've also noticed that if I try to time my alarms with sleep cycles (roughly working in a 90 minute cycle), I'm far more likely to wake up feeling rested. Is this a real thing, or just a placebo effect? Should I persist with specific bedtime/wake up time (teaching myself that's just as effective as sleep cycle alarms), or is there merit to trying to time the 'best' spot to wake up?

  • Sleepio Member

    • 1 comments
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    Session 4

    When I wake at night or too early I often get a part of a song stuck in my head and it makes it much harder to get back to sleep.

  • Sleepio Member

    • 1 comments
    • 0 helped
    Session 2

    I haven't slept through the night once in 10 years.
    Please tell me how to have a full nights sleep ha!
    I can go asleep easy because I have a busy day but I can wake up without an hour or two.
    I can go back to sleep but I just want to sleep right through.
    Thanks!

  • Sleepio Member

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    Graduate

    Help! How do I access this discussion????
    Site does not seem to be user friendly.

  • Sleepio Member

    • 1389 comments
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    Expert

    Hi there and welcome to the live Sleepio session, where I will answer questions on the psychology of sleep and about the techniques used in Sleepio. Medical questions, as per our guidelines, should always be directed to medical doctors/GPs.

    Let's begin…

  • Sleepio Member

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

    Hello – people can access the discussion by clicking on the 'community' tab at the top of the site, then going to the 'Discussions' section at the right hand side of the community page, where the live discussion for that date will be shown. Click on this and it takes you to the live session.

  • Sleepio Member

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    • 225 helped
    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Expert

    Hi there.

    If someone has the problem whereby they get to sleep OK but aren't sleeping long enough (usually they know this as they still feel exhausted during the day) then
    there are a few pointers to look at…

    – don't immediately get out of bed upon awakening – put the quarter hour rule into place to train yourself to get more sleep (wait for 15 mins and see if sleep comes, then get up if not and return to bed when sleepy)
    – look at lifestyle factors…is there a possibility that alcohol/caffeine/other substances are causing shorter sleep?
    – look at how you are feeling generally – often, depression and anxiety can cause people to wake early and not get back to sleep

    These are a few things to start off with…

  • Sleepio Member

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    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Expert

    Hi there. Sometimes, life gets in the way of our planned out, scheduled sleep routines. This is irritating, but it's life. Worth remembering that good sleepers have this issue too and just get back on track with sleep because they don't think/worry about it too much. The body is very good at catching up on the parts of sleep we've missed out on and will catch up with itself automatically during the next night's sleep. So, if deep sleep was missed out previously, it will go into deep sleep quicker than usual to catch up.

    The best way to deal with a missed night's sleep is not to worry about it, and to just stick to the normal routine the next night, without any changes. This will help get back into the pattern quickly.

  • Sleepio Member

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    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Expert

    Hi there. This has come up in community discussions before – might be worth reading others' thoughts on it, but from what I can see, some people find the sensitive setting makes them appear to be awake all night, while some people found the general setting didn't show up much variation at all, even although they were awake throughout the night. What I might suggest to those using this device is to monitor their sleep using a standard sleep diary and compare this to nights using the sensitive setting and nights using the general setting. This way, people might see which setting best reflects the night they actually experienced.

  • Sleepio Member

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

    I find that my Fitbit is a guide as often I know it says I'm asleep and I'm awake and vica versa. I still fill in the diary myself, but get some data, from the Fitbit.
    I didn't like the sensitive setting.
    Regards
    SeaBee

  • Sleepio Member

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

    HI there,
    Many people feel that the length of time they sleep is important in terms of how refreshed they feel during the day. Others also find it is important to sleep at a particular time of night (for some this needs to be early in the night and for some this needs to be later). As people progress through the Sleepio programme, they will discover what patterns work best for them and when they need to sleep to feel their best.

  • Sleepio Member

    • 1389 comments
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    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Expert

    Hi there,
    Sometimes if we have missed out on certain types of sleep (eg deep sleep) our bodies play catch up the next night. So in 3 hours, we can get deep sleep and feel refreshed. But sometimes it's hard to get to sleep at all because we are worrying about sleep, or other things. When we get into bad patterns of sleep, we can develop a poor bed-sleep connection and as soon as we go into our bedroom, our bodies become anxious and alert, making it hard to fall asleep. So sleep can change a lot, depending on what is going on in our lives and how we are thinking. Length of sleep can sometimes my match up with the type of sleep or quality of sleep we expect either.

  • Sleepio Member

    • 1389 comments
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    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Expert

    Hi there.
    Thanks for your questions. The issues of sleeping at the 'right' times (or times most optimal for any given person) are addressed in the course. Many people do struggle with restless periods as well and find certain aspects of the programme particularly helpful (relaxation methods). In terms of setting an alarm, the way it is laid out in the programme (as per the cognitive behavioural therapy approach) is that people set ine regular bedtime and one wake time. This helps the body get into a set routine and helps get sleep back on track. We would always recommend that those with chronic illness speak to their medical doctor about using any other treatment plan to make sure it fits in with the treatment plan for the physical illness. Hope this helps.

  • Sleepio Member

    • 1389 comments
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    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Expert

    Hi there-this is not uncommon! It's likely a symptom of an anxious brain. Getting focussed on something unhelpful that keeps us awake. There is a technique called the “the the” technique (it's within the programme at the start) and it helps to block out thoughts-will likely work with those getting tunes stuck in their heads too. It is simply repeating the word “the” over and over to block out other cognitive utterances.

  • Sleepio Member

    • 9 comments
    • 0 helped
    Graduate

    Hello,
    Since sleepio inception with my diary I have decompensated substantially. Looking at clock time has always been contraindicated for helping sleep. The program asks to calculate how much time it takes to fall asleep, that's clock watching. Maybe I don't understand what the program really wants.

    Having the site show me as a graduate after 6 weeks is very odd. When does the graduate school program begin? Is there interest or opportunity for participants to log onto a community chat when hours have gone by and no sleep. The rules read the chat discussions are not monitored though it needs pre approval prior to opening the chat discussion. Is there already a chat discussion for suggestion? Another issue is that the community boards have 2012 dates and difficult to get right to the current time period where the participants are currently in this program. I looked up my user name under my profile and it relates to a person in 2011.

    Perhaps, it's only me, that I find the week prof session video very cartoon, not professional. It reminds me of the 1st Jurassic Park movie scene in the lab where the explanation of DNA was given. It took multiple weeks to even get an understanding of the abbreviation of terms. Answering a question with terms not yet described or being told to go into the community for answers is discouraging when I sleep 1.5 hours out of 9. Reading that I now sleep 4 hours out of 8/9 is a 65% efficiency is not very promising as well as how is this % calculated. I don't know about other individuals in this program find getting out of bed multiple times a sleep cycle is not helpful, infact dangerous. I have 18 stairs to walk when leaving the bedroom to go to the 1st floor each QHR.

    I put out a question several weeks ago that was told it would have to be looked into. Personally, My physician prescribed this program for my insomnia because I have tried all approaches through the years. I have put myself through CBT even if it wasn't technically called this. Unfortunately, I have not learned any new approaches and I am sad. This note is not written in anger, just frustration. I hope the organizers could be open minded to review and put some additional approaches into your program based on people who have very difficult sleep issues. It's great for those of you who have been helped.I just feel so helpless now that the video's conclude and that means I'm a graduate. I read that there is an opportunity to be chosen for a Part 1 or Part 2 study. Just unclear if that would apply for me to go through the ?'s for qualification or is this the study I am currently in. Thank you for reading and what the program provides. Maybe I am just not a CBT candidate.

  • Sleepio Member

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

    Hi there,
    It's common at the start of the programme to just want to know how to sleep better. The programme will do this, but it's through a number of varied techniques and then a case of practising those techniques in real life that brings it all together to create better sleep. So there's no one quick answer here, I'm afraid. However, it is always important to remember that mostly good sleepers do not sleep through the night either. Most of us wake up once or twice a night. Good sleepers just accept this and get back to sleep, but poor sleepers may dwell on these wakenings as problematic, making the issue of sleep much more worrying for them.

  • Sleepio Member

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

    HI there,
    I'm sorry to hear this and thank you for raising these concerns. What I will do is pass this note onto management and ask that they get in touch to help respond to these concerns.

  • Sleepio Member

    • 1389 comments
    • 225 helped
    Expert

    Hi- there are just 5 more mins of this session if there are any more questions needing posted?

  • Sleepio Member

    • 1389 comments
    • 225 helped
    Expert

    Thanks for the posts everyone – all the best til we speak again.

  • Sleepio Member

    • 6 comments
    • 0 helped
    Session 2

    Dear Vicki,

    I wondered of you have heard of Doxylamine Succinate in relation to getting to sleep, which I find difficult. My new regime is to cut down on alcohol and sleep aids which I have been using every night until 3 nights ago. However it is quite a challenge to stop everything at once completely. I have managed to cut out alcohol and reduce the use of sleep aids.
    It seems like a huge and overwhelming challenge to come off everything complete, all in one go. However this is what I plan to do within a couple of weeks, allowing myself to sleep in if necessary to help which is an incentive. I want to restrict my drinking specially to very occasional use at the weekend socially, and not for sleep. I plan to come off sleep aids too, but wondered whether I am putting too much pressure on myself to go completely 'clean' immediately all in one go. I wonder if I am risking provoking my anxiety which has been a huge problem in the past, and feel fairly contented in having restricted things as I used everything at once every night until 3 days ago. This has been the case for several years. After all my GP is pleased saying things are much better. I do not take Zopiclone which I did not think possible (I was on it for 10 years), and do manage some days without Nytol, as he instructs. Having said that, I know I do not really know what would happen if I left myself to manage, and that it makes sense to not take anything at all. It is just deciding between a gradual reduction and complete detox, and I wondered behaviourally what the evidence base is and if you had any thoughts on any of this.

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