Live Discussion with Dr Vicki Creanor - 25th November 2020

Dr Vicki Creanor will be hosting a live online discussion here on Wednesday 25th November, 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 19 Nov 2020 at 2:46 PM
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  • 6 helped

Comments

  • Sleepio Member

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    Expert

    Hi and welcome to this week's live discussion session. For those who haven't been on with me before, I'm Dr Vicki Creanor and I'm a clinical psychologist with a special interest in sleep problems. The session will run for 90 mins so feel free to pop on and ask any questions relating to sleep behaviour or the Sleepio course and I'll do my best to answer them. Let's get going…

  • Sleepio Member

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    Graduate

    Hi Vicky, thanks for being with us! I've just graduated and I have a couple of questions on the way forward. In particular, I'd like to know how long I will need to use sleep restriction if my sleep improves, and when I can start using my bedroom normally again! I'm in a shared house and there is no space where I can work properly and in private apart from the bedroom.

  • Sleepio Member

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    Graduate

    I meant Vicki of course, not Vicky – apologies

  • Sleepio Member

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    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Expert

    Hi and thanks for getting in touch! Congratulations on graduating first of all…

    So the best way to know when you can wean off using sleep restriction is really when you feel that your sleep is becoming more solid and less fragmented and that you are feeling refreshed upon wakening. This is the main reason we use SR – to close all the little gaps in our sleep throughout the night.

    It can be hard to use the same space to work and to sleep – lockdowns across the world have meant many people are being forced to work and sleep in their bedrooms just now. But there are some things we can do to help. When you're working, try and make the room as bright as possible, play some music if possible and you could even arrange it in a slightly different way so you have a different view from when you sleep in it. At night, make sure it's really dark and quiet and perhaps looks a little different. You can use scents as well to try and create a different space. Spraying lavender for example at night time can create a more sleep-inducing space.

  • Sleepio Member

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    Graduate

    Thank you, this is really helpful! What I was thinking of doing was to go there until midday only, precisely because it's so bright and looks different.

    Another question on bedrooms, and beds in particular, is whether the sleep-bed connection is only with my own bed or with beds in general? I have a bad back and need to lie down when I work, so usually I use a sofa, but at my boyfriend's his sofa is quite bad so I lie down on his bed, and I was wondering if this was better avoided or didn't really matter because it isn't my bed, and even at his I sleep on a futon and not in that bed because of my back.

  • Sleepio Member

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    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Expert

    It's a good question. It tends to really mean your own bed, the one you are keen to improve sleep in.

    As for working until only midday, if people are able to do this then it sounds like a good idea!

  • Sleepio Member

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    Graduate

    Thanks a lot.

    If you don't mind my asking yet another question – what about the fixed bedtime and getup time? Is there any room for flexibility?

    For instance, if I am super tired and I am confident I will be able to sleep, but it is earlier than normal (assuming I am still on sleep restriction, even if a mild version of it). Should I plough on to stay awake or can I occasionally go to bed without wrecking my sleep pattern?

    Or, if I am on a 1 to 7 sleeping window know I have to get up at 6 tomorrow – can I go to bed at 12 or should I go to bed at 1 anyway? Conversely, if I have exceptionally stayed up very late – say on new year's eve or my birthday – can I get up later as well?

  • Sleepio Member

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    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Expert

    Not at all! I think it may just be you and me on tonight :)

    So it's about being sensible I think. The programme is there as a guide, but ultimately people have to think about what will be good for them in the long run. The reason we suggest making it as regular as possible is to help the body and brain predict when it should be sleeping. If people move the times around too often, sleep can get out of sync again quite easily, so this is why this recommendation is included.

  • Sleepio Member

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    Graduate

    Yes, I see – my family have been telling me I need to be more flexible and have a more common sense based approach but I struggle letting go of rules – or letting go full stop in fact, which is likely to be the root of the problem!

  • Sleepio Member

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    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Expert

    I think, like many things in life, it is a balancing act…a once in a while later night is probably OK but if it becomes frequent this could affect sleep patterns…

  • Sleepio Member

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    Graduate

    Thank you!

    Since it seems to be just the two of us, as you say, I'll ask another question which I think many people who graduate may be wondering: for people for whom CBT works, do they typically recover completely from long term insomnia and start sleeping normally, ie as good sleepers do, without worrying excessively about sleep schedule, environment etc., or is it more likely that the sleep issues will become manageable thanks to CBT techniques but still require addressing through these techniques? I can guess that it works differently for different people of course, but I'd like to have a rough idea of what happens long term in the majority of cases, if this is a question you can answer of course.

  • Sleepio Member

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    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Expert

    What I can say is that I often don't see clients back in the clinic after they complete CBT for insomnia…and I take this as a good sign. As with any treatment from any type of psychological problem, there will be times in life when resources are depleted, when negative life events happen and that cause a blip in mental health. Sleep is often affected at times like this. However, often people are able to use the techniques they have learned in CBT to combat them and they also tend to recognise them earlier, too, which is always helpful in addressing a problem. I hope that helps to answer the question?

  • Sleepio Member

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    Graduate

    Yes, it does, thank you. I suspect that when one has been battling with insomnia as long as I have, and many other people on the course have done for much longer still, it is likely to stay a part of life, but we can hope for it to be a minor and insignificant part of life for most of the time.

  • Sleepio Member

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    • 555 helped
    Expert

    That's the end of the session this evening. Hopefully the interesting questions posed by Nur14 have also helped others in the community too. See you again soon…

  • Sleepio Member

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    Graduate

    Thank you so much for your help!

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