Live discussion with Dr Vicki Creanor - 24th September

Dr Creanor will be hosting a live online discussion here on Wednesday 24th September 8.15pm-9.45pm.

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Posted 18 Sep 2014 at 12:54 PM
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  • Sleepio Member

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    Graduate

    I do feel that many of the techniques are helping but this is a toughie along with sticking to my schedule and putting the day to rest.

  • Sleepio Member

    • 215 comments
    • 35 helped
    Graduate

    Sorry, I don't mean the needing the loo is hormonal, I mean the broken sleep…

  • Sleepio Member

    • 1323 comments
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    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Expert

    Hi Pinky. I'm so sorry to hear you're going through a tough patch. I suppose what I would say is that it can take longer for some people to get into a better sleeping pattern and it can be hard to compare yourself to others whose sleep returns more quickly. So take it at your own pace. The other thing I would say is that it sounds as if you need to work on the thinking side of things just now. Panic attacks – as you will know – are a symptom of anxiety and are caused by our thoughts. I would say that spending some dedicated time looking at this side of things, challenging your thoughts and working on the relaxation techniques at the start of the programme is the place to start targeting what is going on for you just now. It is really hard sometimes and the stress can build up when life gets busy and sleep isn't going well. But it sounds as if your thoughts are what is troubling you and perhaps making sleep harder at the moment. It may also be helpful to speak to fellow classmates on here about these issues to ensure you know you;re not alone.

  • Sleepio Member

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    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Expert

    Hi Polly Sleep – no, no I knew what you meant. I wonder if it is particularly tricky just now as the countdown to this 1st anniversary approaches. In my experience, when people lose someone close around Xmas time, the darker nights and change of weather (and talk of Xmas) can be a trigger for a deterioration in mood and increase in anxiety as it is all a reminder of the year before. So bear this in mind that it might be tougher than usual just now and this is to be expected.

    In terms of the techniques, when you wake, it's really important that you actually get out of your bedroom after 15 minutes. By all means read/listen to music in another room (nothing too stimulating though), but it must be done elsewhere. I would try this and see if there are improvements in your sleep efficiency. Also, common sense, but make sure you don't take fluids too close to bed and go to the loo just before bed to avoid waking because of this.

    There will likely be an element of poorer sleep due to the menopause, too, which most women experience as hormone levels alter.

  • Sleepio Member

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    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Expert

    Hi Marie Elaine, thanks for your question. I know a lot of people who have completed Sleepio have found that the most helpful way to deal with this is by communicating with others on here. Everyone goes through their own journey with Sleepio, yet the same themes come up and the same emotions and difficulties come up with most people, so the community really does provide people with a lot of encouragement and hope.

  • Sleepio Member

    • 215 comments
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    Graduate

    Thanks Vicki, maybe I have to bite the bullet and go back to QHR then! And it's true I did used to stop my fluid intake earlier when I was going through the sleepio programme. Sometimes one has to bring these elements back in…

  • Sleepio Member

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    Expert

    Hi Pei,
    Many thanks for your questions. Like I have said to others tonight, sleep restriction is tough. No getting around that really. However, it is extremely effective and a wealth of evidence backs this up. This, together with the QHR, are well-tested techniques to improve sleep efficiency and this is why we use them in Sleepio. It's the gold standard treatment for sleep problems. The time that's worked out for you to go to bed is worked out based on making sure your sleep is as efficient as possible. We squeeze all the time you tend to sleep into one block to retrain your body to sleep continuously in a block at night, to avoid wakefulness. The QHR helps this when there are periods of wakefulness. So, I'm afraid the only way to really tackle your sleep problem effectively is to wait til 1130 to go to bed and implement the QHR too. It's hard – but so effective. If these are not carried out, it's likely you won't see much change. You can have alook at ways of staying more alert in the evenings until you got to bed – the community may be a good place to get ideas from.

    As for the sleep onset problem, I would revisit the challenging your thoughts section to ensure it's not anxiety/negative thoughts that are keeping you awake and I would take time to put the day to rest before bed to make sure it's not adding to sleep onset problems.

    Hope this helps.

  • Sleepio Member

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    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Expert

    Hi Polly Sleep – I would say that the QHR is really important, yes – would be interesting to hear how you get on once these are back in place. It's often easy to step out of good techniques, but the positive is that you were aware something wasn't working and have these techniques under your belt to implement again.

  • Sleepio Member

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    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Expert

    Hi Geonurd,
    Thanks for that comment on obtaining a more human feel to the encouragement…what Marie Elaine mentioned was a good point as many people regard the support gained through the community as one of the most helpful parts of Sleepio.

    I would aim for an average of 90% across a week if it's confusing…then you know your sleep is on the up and you can add that 15 minutes (which I'm sure are much desired!!!). Well done for hitting the 90% for most of the past week – what a great achievement.

  • Sleepio Member

    • 215 comments
    • 35 helped
    Graduate

    Could Pei not shift her window to 10.30-4.30? It's the same length. I'm sure other users have done this.

  • Sleepio Member

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    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Expert

    Hi Bobbyd – thanks for your post. Unfortunately I'm not a medical Dr so I'm not able to answer this query regarding medication – I would be guided by your family Dr or pharmacist on this one as that's their knowledge base. Sorry I can't help – hope you get an answer.

  • Sleepio Member

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    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Expert

    Yes that's a possibility, however from what I understand when this was the sleep window, Pei then lay in bed til 5/6am. This isn't recommended. If there was to be a shift in window – which is OK to do – she would need to get up at 4.30am for the day.

  • Sleepio Member

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    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Expert

    Hi again Pinky thanks for this post re sounds and light machines. Similarly to Dr Kyle, I do not know of a solid evidence base around this either. If you have papers you would like to send through I'm sure the team would find them an interesting read – I can't guarantee any analysis will be done on them as our focus is on the recommended treatment of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, around which there is a substantial wealth of evidence, but it's always useful to know what else is out there and being studied.

  • Sleepio Member

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    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Expert

    Hi HP10 – thanks for your post earlier. It's a good question – I think lots of people will sympathise. It sounds as if the symptoms you are experiencing may be anxiety – anxiety about whether you will sleep that night. This is very common in insomnia. When you get to the 'challenging your thoughts' part of the programme, this is where you can target any thoughts that creep into your mind about whether you will sleep that night. It is likely that the body's sleep debt is built up after a poor night's sleep so that it, naturally, wants to sleep more – there is more sleep pressure – the next night. The body is good at evening things out this way. So perhaps knowing that nature does its bit will help. And you can use the relaxation techniques to help with the anxiety, too.

    Sleep restriction is one of the most effective techniques out there for sleep problems. It does often evoke anxiety, but it works.

    Hope that helps.

  • Sleepio Member

    • 1323 comments
    • 214 helped
    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Expert

    Hi Hyper and welcome to the programme. I just wanted to reassure you that there are interventions to come as you progress through Sleepio that will aim to improve your sleep efficiency. The reason you're asked to record your sleep is to help monitor your sleep efficiency at the start (to give you a comparable baseline measurement) and as you progress through the programme. Hope that helps reassure you about what's to come and the reason we ask for a sleep diary. All the best with the course.

  • Sleepio Member

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    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Expert

    Hi Dibby – thanks for highlighting how common this can be! Please see my reply to HP10 as it may help with your difficulties too.

  • Sleepio Member

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    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Expert

    Hi PH188 thanks for your question. It sounds as if sitting or lying is painful for you, so please make sure you are not in pain – you will know what works for you best. In terms of feeling sleepy tired, I just wanted to clarify what this means…it's when you feel you are drifting off to sleep, your eyes do the heavy blinking and you can't keep them open any longer. I'm sure you knew this, just thought it was worth defining it again. It is recommended that you do not return to bed until you feel this way and some people like to read a bit to help, listen to music, pace around lightly. Find something that ensures that you are not in pain, you are not over-stimulated but that occupies your time peacefully until you feel 'sleepy-tired'.

  • Sleepio Member

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    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Expert

    Ps – it may be helpful to use the community for suggestions on these activities as that is what they are there for and they may have some good ideas.

  • Sleepio Member

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    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Expert

    Hi there higherdenham – thanks for your post. Welcome to the programme. I'm glad to hear you've found some of the techniques and information helpful so far. I wonder if it's worth asking your fellow Sleepio classmates on here if they have any suggestions for how to monitor when you awaken without it being too disruptive – I seem to recall several people having great ideas for similar things.

  • Sleepio Member

    • 1323 comments
    • 214 helped
    Expert

    That's us finished for tonight – great talking with you – speak to you again soon.

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