Live Discussion with Dr Vicki Creanor - 24th October 2018

Dr Creanor will be hosting a live online discussion here on Wednesday 24th October, from 8:15 to 9:45pm British Time or 3:15 to 5:45pm US Eastern 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, including that concerning medication. Her replies to questions will be made in such a way as to help as many people as possible who might have similar issues. If there are a lot of questions, she may not be able to answer all in the time available, but will try to answer as many as she can.

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Posted 19 Oct 2018 at 2:42 PM
  • 17 comments
  • 2 helped

Comments

  • Sleepio Member

    • 290 comments
    • 135 helped
    Graduate

    Hello Dr. Creanor, I have always been a light sleeper, and my old school roommate could sleep through an oil tanker explosion. True story. Can you explain the physiological differences between light and heavy sleepers? Is there really such a thing? Do you think insomniacs tend to be light sleepers? What are some tips for light sleepers to sleep better? Thank you.

  • Sleepio Member

    • 7 comments
    • 0 helped
    Graduate

    Hi Dr Creanor, I stopped taking Trazadone to aid sleep 4 months ago but have now developed a pattern of sleeping well for 1 night (7 – 8 hours although fairly interrupted) and then not having any restorative sleep the next night. On the day after I sleep well I feel great but then absolutely terrible the next day. Any advice? Thanks

  • Sleepio Member

    • 2622 comments
    • 411 helped
    Expert

    Hello and welcome to the live Sleepio session. I'm Dr Vicki Creanor – a clinical psychologist with an interest in sleep behaviour. I'm here for the next 90 mins so any questions about sleep, please get in touch!

  • Sleepio Member

    • 4 comments
    • 0 helped
    Session 5

    It seems like a lot of insomnia stuff is focused on not being able to fall asleep or waking up during the night. What about people who get up an hour or more earlier than they intend to? Are there any different strategies for dealing with this?

  • Sleepio Member

    • 4 comments
    • 0 helped
    Session 5

    Another question: do you have any recommendations for people who get woken up during the night by young infants? I never had an issue with waking up during the night before I had a baby, but now sometimes when my baby wakes me up during the night or early in the morning, I'm not good at getting back to sleep after.

  • Sleepio Member

    • 2622 comments
    • 411 helped
    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Expert

    Hi there,
    There is actually ongoing research into whether people are generally lighter or deeper sleepers, but we don't know all the answers yet. What we do know, though, is that often there is a mix of reasons why someone might be a lighter sleeper – why they aren't getting as deep a sleep as others. Sleep problems do come into it at times, but things like diet, age, lifestyle choices, stress, depression can play a role, too. The techniques within Sleepio do target this in that the advice given about avoiding things like caffeine and alcohol help people to increase deep sleep, but use of relaxation and a regular sleep pattern can also help. There doesn't seem to be one answer to increase deep sleep – more a case of targeting it from different angles.

  • Sleepio Member

    • 2622 comments
    • 411 helped
    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Expert

    Hi there – yes there are indeed techniques to target what we call 'early wakening'. I see you're in the first session so along your Sleepio journey, look out for the quarter hour rule technique which helps to target this problem.

  • Sleepio Member

    • 2622 comments
    • 411 helped
    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Expert

    This is a particularly tricky situation! It's important that we, as parents, are woken up when our infant cries for us – that's what their cry is designed to do. But there are ways of helping when we are awake through the night. Have you seen the Sleepio self-help guide? There is one for new parents…

  • Sleepio Member

    • 2622 comments
    • 411 helped
    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Expert

    This is actually something we hear about fairly often…sometimes, it is the case that after a good night's sleep, we start to become negative in our thinking, with thoughts such as “well I bet I don't sleep that well tonight”...thus increasing our anxiety at bedtime, leading to reduced sleep quality that night. Also, if this pattern has randomly occurred in the past, we can get into the way of expecting that it will happen again after all good nights' sleep. So it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy so to speak. A way to combat it is to note down the good nights and focus on how good it was and that, because you can have a good night sometimes, there's no reason this can't happen more often – acknowledging that your body is capable of it.

  • Sleepio Member

    • 4 comments
    • 0 helped
    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Session 5

    I haven't seen the sleepio self help guide for new parents. Where can I find it? Didn't see it in the “library” of articles. Thanks!

  • Sleepio Member

    • 4 comments
    • 0 helped
    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Session 5

    Never mind—found it! :)

  • Sleepio Member

    • 2622 comments
    • 411 helped
    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Expert

    Oh good!!

  • Sleepio Member

    • 7 comments
    • 0 helped
    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Graduate

    Thanks Dr Creanor, I do feel this has become a habit as such that's difficult to break. I also feel that as I have had one good nights sleep I just don't feel as tired the next. My plan is to start restricting my sleep on the good nights and hopefully then build up some sleep pressure the following night.

  • Sleepio Member

    • 2622 comments
    • 411 helped
    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Expert

    I didn't realise you weren't practising sleep restriction – this will also help to target the broken element of the 'good' night's sleep. Going back over some of the techniques from the programme will be beneficial – such as setting regular bed and wake times, as well as the quarter hour rule. Using the time before bed to do relaxation and affirmations such as 'I can get a good night's sleep – my body is able' may also help.

  • Sleepio Member

    • 7 comments
    • 0 helped
    Graduate

    As it seems to be really quiet I have another question. On nights that I don't sleep I have a terrible headache and terrible thirst the next day. I have had myself checked out for any medical reasons causing this, so is this normal in people who have poor sleep.

  • Sleepio Member

    • 2622 comments
    • 411 helped
    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Expert

    I haven't heard too many people say they are thirsty, however a headache is common with people who are sleep deprived. The thirst may come from a related anxiety, though – often our mouths dry up when we are anxious?

  • Sleepio Member

    • 2622 comments
    • 411 helped
    Expert

    That's all for this session – thanks for the questions and speak to you again soon!

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