Live Discussion with Dr Vicki Creanor - 26th March

Dr Creanor will be hosting a live online discussion here on Wednesday 26th March 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 21 Mar 2014 at 11:03 AM
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  • Sleepio Member

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    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Expert

    Hi mackaydesign,

    Thanks for getting in touch. Sounds like things are tricky just now. Are the other techniques like the QHR going OK for you just now?

    In terms of altering your sleep diary so that your window alters too, I think this is an issue for the technical team as I am unable to do this. I will highlight this question to the team and ask them to get back to you.

  • Sleepio Member

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    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Expert

    Hi Thistle,

    That's a shame you got the flu when you started – always happens when you have something on doesn't it? I would advise you to email the team and ask if you could start again if this possible. Sometimes it is possible to do this when life gets in the way! They may be able to help with this so you can do your diary for a normal week.

    Keep in mind the things you have learned in week one, however and start implementing these.

    All the best with the course.

  • Sleepio Member

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    Expert

    Hi anniem – Just wanted to say thanks for your advice to fellow Sleepio friends – sounds like it's really helpful and encouraging.

  • Sleepio Member

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    Expert

    It's very quiet on here tonight….does anyone have any more questions they'd like to ask?

  • Sleepio Member

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    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Graduate

    Hi Dr Vicki,
    I just signed in. Maybe others are “listening”. I was wondering this morning. There often seems to be no obvious reason why on some nights my sleep is very inconsistent with frequent wake-ups and on other nights after very similar days, my sleep is fine (still a couple of wake-ups but I'm working on those). It would be so nice to be able to clearly identify triggers. One could think stress or worry but honestly, sometimes my sleep has been just fine after an very stressful day. I follow SR and restrict it further if my sleep is very light. I don't do QHR as I always fall back to sleep or I'm just not awake enough to get up. I follow a wind-down every night.
    Thanks
    anniem

  • Sleepio Member

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    Graduate

    I don't lie awake worrying but do find when I wake up, immediately the thoughts are about what I might have been worrying about before bed. I am able to focus on my breathing and I go back to sleep.

  • Sleepio Member

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    Graduate

    Maybe you've gone already? Oh well, next time!
    anniem

  • Sleepio Member

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    Expert

    Hi anniem,
    Yes perhaps others are listening – nice to talk to you though! I sounds as if you are following the course extremely consistently and to the book! Well done for this as it's so important to stick to the techniques.

    I think it's easy to assume that any time you wake up now, it's a problem that needs fixed. In fact, it's normal to wake up a couple of times a night. Good sleepers do this most nights. Even knowing this and being aware that this is actually normal may help, as we often become very aware of any shifts/changes after we've completed a treatment programme and these can make us anxious as we see them as needing 'sorted' or 'fixed'.

    I would focus on the improvements you've made and keep in mind that these wakenings may be normal. You may find that once you have this mindset, they don't bother you as much.

  • Sleepio Member

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    Graduate

    Thanks Dr Vicki. Another quick question if it's quiet! My Doc prescribes me 100mg of trazadone which does help, but recently I feel it is affecting how I feel during the day regardless of my sleep. I don't want to stop taking it, but also don't like feeling so off even when I have had a good sleep.

  • Sleepio Member

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    Expert

    No sorry I'm here – just took me a while to think about what I was writing. It may be then that the thoughts are wakening you up. How about scheduling in 30 minutes during the day – not near bedtime! – to thinkg about any worries you have and work through them?

  • Sleepio Member

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    Expert

    Hi Thistle,
    THanks for your post. Just so I'm picking you up right, are you asking if you should stay on the medication? If this is the case, I would advise you to speak to your doctor about this. We are Drs of psychology rather than medicine so your medical doctor is the best person to help you out with this.

  • Sleepio Member

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    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Graduate

    Hi,
    Thanks for your replies. I know that wake-ups are normal. This is more like being woken several times during the night and sleeping only lightly the rest of the time. And as I said, on some days with worry and stress, I sleep fine. But I will try your suggestion and do my “working through” any worries earlier in the day and see if that helps. Sometimes however, they don't crop up until just before bed but I'll just work through those then and there. Thanks.
    anniem

  • Sleepio Member

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    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Graduate

    Hi, fully understand that. Just wondered on your thought on trazadone as a sleep aid only?

  • Sleepio Member

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    Expert

    Yes I've known this to help others who find that some things play on their minds. Some people also find that having a pen and paper next to their bed to jot down any negative thoughts that crop up during the night can be helpful. You don't have to work through them then and there – you can leave them til morning. Evidence has shown that this technique is actually helpful just for getting thoughts down on paper and out of your mind til morning. Worth a shot?

  • Sleepio Member

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    Expert

    Hi Thistle,
    It's a personal decision as to whether to try medication alone, Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) alone (the treatment that Sleepio's based on) or both together. Some people prefer to try medication first to help take the edge of things before they try CBT. Some don't like the idea of medication so prefer to try CBT first. Some try both then reduce their medication and continue with CBT techniques.

    I don't know the research behind Trazadone's effectiveness alone in treating insomnia, but I do know that CBT is very effective. Your medical doctor will be able to give you some info on the research behind trazadone's effectiveness so you can make a balanced, personal decision that you are happy with.

  • Sleepio Member

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    Graduate

    Thanks I'll try that too.
    anniem

  • Sleepio Member

    • 1389 comments
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    Expert

    It was a quiet little night tonight but it meant I got to answer all your questions! Thanks to all who posted and all the best with the programme/upkeep of the techniques. See you next time.

  • Sleepio Member

    • 16 comments
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    Graduate

    Hi I am brand new to this site – been having problems with sleep for 2.5 years, and for last 4 months have been undergoing a sleep restriction programme with little overall effect. Starting the programme made me exceptionally tired as well as exhausted, and had to be signed off from work as I could not function. Over the course of the month off work, my sleep improved back to where it had been before I started but not any better than it.
    I will be going for an overnight stay in a sleep clinic soon. My question is about quality v quantity. On paper I have high sleep efficiency (90+%) When I wake I go back off quickly (am also currently on amitriptilyne which helps). I have used a fitbit tracker to monitor sleep and steps since last summer. It shows, on the sensitive setting a sleep efficiency of between 40 and 55%. The biggest problem is that the longest time I am ever deeply asleep is usually 30 mins (1 episode) with others then being 15-20 minutes. Deep sleep is very rare in the first two hours in bed. On the rare nights where I get 1-1.5 hours deep sleep, I feel amazing!
    My question is – sleepio, despite saying quality not quantity still focuses on sleep efficiency – which is already higher than what is determined to be a good night's sleep by the professor. Do you have any comments on how sleepio will address the quality/deep sleep issue. I already have a very rigid bed time regime – same time, no laptop/screens etc for an hour before hand, dimmed lights, bath. I wake at the same time every morning, and use a light therapy lamp, plus then exercise outside for 30 minutes. Anyway nearly time to get off my laptop!

  • Sleepio Member

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    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Graduate

    So sorry QNQ, Dr Creanor has signed off for this evening, and indeed for this week. You can try again next week. Meantime if you post on your profile you can get answers from us in the Community if you think it might help.

  • Sleepio Member

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    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Graduate

    Just getting around to reading these now. Lots of good questions here and lots of thoughtful answers from Dr. Vicki.

    Annie, you shared a lot here. I can echo that anxiety and stress do play a role. And there doesn't seem to be a clear pattern as to what is causing what. And I am sure you know that you will have to experiment to see what you choose to do about this. I agree, not before bedtime. I personally have a hard time putting things down in the early morning hours. I put them down in a journal almost every morning. There's much to say, so in my case I have to decide what's important. Also I list all the things I think I can do the next day when I put the day to rest and know that helps me.

    I assume you have known that awakenings are normal. So based on what Dr. Vicki says here, you can be less anxious about them. Think about it.

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