Live Discussion with Dr Vicki Creanor - 26th February

Dr Creanor will be hosting a live online discussion here on Wednesday 26th February 7pm-8:30pm (GMT).

She will discuss as many topics as possible in the hour, starting with the most popular questions with answers being given in a way to give the most benefit to the general Community.

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Posted 20 Feb 2014 at 1:17 PM
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  • Sleepio Member

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    Expert

    Hi Twinks,
    Dr Kyle has also written an article which is in the library on RLS. You might know much of this information already, but just in case it has something helpful in, here it is:
    http://www.sleepio.com/library/article/what-is-restless-legs-syndrome-rls/

  • Sleepio Member

    • 21 comments
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    Graduate

    I'm still in the Sleepio Kindergarden group – only just on the third session. I have found it useful to think and address issues around my sleep environment and also to get some perspective on insomnia in general. I have started but not completed the 3rd session with “Prof” but feel that getting out of bed after 15 mins of wakefulness is not going to be helpful. When I wake up it is a result of discomfort and this is that keeps me awake. I need to finish session 3 before deciding whether I want to take this element of the programme on board but am interested in your view on this??

  • Sleepio Member

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    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Graduate

    Thanks for that – I have read it. It is very clearly presented.

  • Sleepio Member

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    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Graduate

    I don't wish to dominate this discussion but it looks like things are very quiet. Please feel free to ignore this if this discussion gets busy. Can I press you with regard reducing sleeping pills. Both my GP and Neurologist have given me responsibility for managing my medication (within their prescribing guidelines) and I would therefore really appreciate your views on my original question.

  • Sleepio Member

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    Expert

    Hi Twinks,
    I'm sorry that the discomfort is waking you – I assume due to the RLS? Have you found anything that relieves the discomfort? Or at least makes it more manageable? Or indeed anything that has made it worse?

    It might be worth keeping a diary (if you haven't already) of things you have tried and the result it has, to see if you can spot any patterns.

  • Sleepio Member

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    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Expert

    Hi Twinks,
    I'm glad you've found the initial couple of sessions helpful in terms of thinking more about your sleep. Often it feels good to understand more about what's going on rather than not knowing why we don't/can't sleep.

    I hear what you are saying about the RLS – that seems to be what keeps you awake/wakes you up. What you will learn in session three (you may have read this bit already) is that there is a good reason for getting out your bed after you've struggled for a while to get back to sleep. Regardless of what is keeping you awake, we would always recommend getting out of your bed and your bedroom. This is because the longer you spend in bed not sleeping (and getting annoyed about not sleeping!), the worse your sleep efficiency will be. Every minute you lie in bed awake, your brain builds a negative connection between your bed and sleep, which is why we want to make sure this doesn't happen for too long.

    Does that make sense?

  • Sleepio Member

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    Expert

    Twinks – thanks for posting. It is rather quiet tonight so it's good to have some posts coming up! Regarding your medication question, both myself and Dr Creanor are doctors of clinical psychology, as opposed to being medically trained doctors. So we don't have the medical training to offer advice about sleeping medication. It's a good question though so I'd run it past your GP. Sorry we can't be of more help.

  • Sleepio Member

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    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Graduate

    Thanks Bryony,
    The non medication things that have been helpful have been cold (gel pads or putting my legs up against the cold wall, stretching and mindfulness meditation). The things that definitely exacerbate it are alcohol and antihistamines (both of which I now avoid). I've not seen any patterns relating to diet, exercise or stress. However, stress can make it more difficult to fall asleep once I'm awake. I think it is a good idea to keep a diary and be more systematic about looking at things. Thanks for the suggestion.

  • Sleepio Member

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    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Graduate

    That does make sense. Thanks for that advice Vicki I will definitely try it.

  • Sleepio Member

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    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Graduate

    Thanks for considering it.

  • Sleepio Member

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    Graduate

    Hi there, I'm on week 5 and things are going well on the whole (and much better than having to resort to sleeping pills etc., which in my experience stop working anyway!). One query I do have is about the wind down routine, I seem to remember there were passive activities (e.g. Watching tv) and active activities (e.g. Reading). If this is the case, is reading before bed or on waking at night a bad idea? Also, I had always thought that watching tv was to be avoided before bed time or when waking at night, as it can be too stimulating and also has bright lights etc (which I've heard can discourage sleepiness?) However, the sleepio course seems to encourage watching tv, so I have given this a go and found doing this for an hour before bed does help me switch off (I'm just careful I watch something calming or fairly boring!). Any thoughts on this please?

  • Sleepio Member

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    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Expert

    Glad it makes sense – getting out of bed can feel like the last thing you want to do (as most of the people who have been through it will tell you!), however the evidence is very strong in terms of this helping to improve sleep efficiency and rebuilding the connections in your brain to improve overall sleep.

  • Sleepio Member

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    Graduate

    Thanks to both of you for a very helpful discussion. You've encouraged me to soldier on!

  • Sleepio Member

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    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Expert

    Hi Kaylo and welcome! Thanks for your questions. Yes you are right, Sleepio does recommend wind-down routines before bed and, as you say, these can be passive or active. It's a bit of trial and error here, as some things will help you relax and others may stimulate you too much. If you have found watching TV helps you relax, I think that's OK to stick too. Others may find this wakes them up, but everyone is different. Just be careful not to watch TV/read a book in bed – it's best to do this outside the bedroom, so your associations between bed and sleep are strengthened.

    Does that help clear things up?

  • Sleepio Member

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    Expert

    It's good to hear that you have already discovered things that make the discomfort better or worse. It's nice to hear that you have tried mindfulness. It's a strategy also included in the Sleepio course, coming up in session 4 as part of managing thoughts/feelings. You might find it helpful for managing feelings of stress when you wake.

  • Sleepio Member

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    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Graduate

    I highly recommend Headspace for an online course on meditation. It's really excellent.

  • Sleepio Member

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    Expert

    I'll take a look at that – thanks Twinks!

  • Sleepio Member

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    Expert

    Nice to talk to you all tonight. It was a quiet night but some really interesting questions being asked. Speak to you all soon.

  • Sleepio Member

    • 522 comments
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    Expert

    Thanks for all your comments tonight! I look forward to the next online session – Bryony

  • Sleepio Member

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    Graduate

    Has it finished?

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