Live discussion with Dr Vicki Creanor - 27th April 2016

Dr Creanor will be hosting a live online discussion here on Wednesday 27th April, from 8:15pm until 9.45pm BST.

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. Her 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 21 Apr 2016 at 2:37 PM
  • 18 comments
  • 1 helped

Comments

  • Sleepio Member

    • 2 comments
    • 1 helped
    Graduate

    Hi
    I would like some tips on how to achieve proper deep sleep as I have nights that look great on paper as I've slept for a good amount of time and not woken up much, but it seems like the whole night has just been dream sleep and I don't feel like I've slept at all.
    Thanks
    Miranda

  • Sleepio Member

    • 4 comments
    • 1 helped
    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Graduate

    Hi Miranda, I have the same issue, sleep efficiency is good, but the quality of sleep is very poor, some help on this would be good.

  • Sleepio Member

    • 2 comments
    • 1 helped
    Graduate

    Oh I feel your pain! I also wake up too early no matter what time i go to bed.

  • Sleepio Member

    • 1 comments
    • 0 helped
    Graduate

    Ive completed the course, feel great, but still wake up at night. I put myself back to sleep but miss the days of deep sleep with the pills. Or do I miss those days? Do some people not sleep through the night?

  • Sleepio Member

    • 2 comments
    • 0 helped
    Graduate

    Having technical problems with program…How do I delete sleep tags and add new ones. I added to many, not knowing how the program works and now I can't remove them.

  • Sleepio Member

    • 435 comments
    • 248 helped
    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Graduate

    Hi Lily, the best place to get technical help is to email the administrator: hello@sleepio.com. They will get back to you.

  • Sleepio Member

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

    Likewise, my sleep efficiency is good but the quality is rubbish and no matter how hard I try I can't seem to sleep past 5:30 am. I even moved the start of my sleep window back to midnight and now my sleep efficiency has dropped because I still wake up too early.

  • Sleepio Member

    • 6 comments
    • 1 helped
    Graduate

    How much sleep is too little to cope? I've struggled with the course in the last two weeks of Sleep Restriction – my sleep is worse than usual and now I have developed a sleep onset problem several nights a week when usually I wake early or in the night. I'm overthinking and anxious about sleep at bedtime and the relaxation techniques aren't working for me. I'm yawning all day, struggling to avoid falling asleep during the evening in front of the TV and desperate for bedtime but when it comes I can't always sleep and if I don't get to sleep right away it has been 3-4hrs until I do so. As a result my average sleep is just 4 hrs 30 minutes and I feel like a zombie. Last week I had to take an afternoon off work and I didn't feel that safe driving. Last night I didn't get to sleep until 2.40am and really couldn't face the alarm at 5am, my official wake up time so slept til 6. I have serious doubts about my ability to cope today, though I'm going to follow advice and tr. Am at the point of giving up on the programme or resorting to medication, something I have never done. I'd appreciate some advice on this.

  • Sleepio Member

    • 1339 comments
    • 214 helped
    Expert

    HI and welcome to the live session. Here we can discuss elements of the programme or talk about the psychology and psychological treatment of sleep. I'll wait a few minutes to see if anyone else is joining us and wishes answers live, before going through the questions already waiting. Let's begin…

  • Sleepio Member

    • 1339 comments
    • 214 helped
    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Expert

    Hi there,
    There seem to be a few people looking for advice on how to achieve a more restorative night's sleep on this session, so here are a few pointers in general…

    Deeper sleep occurs as the result of a build up of sleep pressure – the body knows when deep sleep is required and is pushed into it as and when needed to achieve a sense of balance. However there are some things you can do to promote deep sleep and also more restorative sleep…

    1. Avoid naps during the day. Naps will lessen the sleep pressure that is supposed to build up during the day to make you sleep through the night.
    2. Avoid caffeine as much as possible but especially after lunchtime as it stays in your system and can act as a stimulant for hours later
    3. Avoid alcohol too close to bed and avoid drinking binges…alcohol may help you get to sleep but its effects are short lived and have a significant detrimental effect on the different phases of your sleep throughout the night.
    4. Make sure there aren't any underlying health/ psychological/sleep disorder issues that are preventing you from sleeping through the night properly…stress, anxiety, depression, physical health concerns and sleep disorders such as sleep apnoea can all lead to less refreshing sleep.
    5. Make regular bedtime routines
    6. Ensure you are not on your phone/tablet/laptop too close to bedtime as this can alter how you sleep due to the light emitted from the screens.

    I hope this helps those who asked for advice in this area….

  • Sleepio Member

    • 1339 comments
    • 214 helped
    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Expert

    HI there,
    It think it's always worth knowing that even good sleepers tend to wake up about twice a night, so it's normal to do so. What is important, however, is not placing too much worry on those wakenings. If one is able to get back to sleep quickly, it should be viewed as pretty normal. As we age, we tend to wake up more often during the night and for women, this can be more frequent at various times of their monthly cycles. Things such as stress and low mood can cause night time wakenings as well, so it's always wise to analyse whether they may be just normal wakenings that don't warrant much fuss or whether they are caused by something else that might be aided by going to speak to a health professional.

  • Sleepio Member

    • 1339 comments
    • 214 helped
    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Expert

    Good advice from Marie Elaine – please email the team at that email address and they will get back to you on that one.

  • Sleepio Member

    • 1339 comments
    • 214 helped
    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Expert

    HI there,
    Hopefully some of the suggestions I made earlier in the discussion will help, however sometimes we find that there are people who are extreme morning people, meaning that they struggle to sleep beyond a certain point in the early morning. If this is the case you can move your window back but make sure you keep it regular and stick at this for a while to test whether it works for you – it may take a while to adjust. All the other techniques would be relevant to keep in place as well in terms of good sleep hygiene, the quarter hour rule etc etc.

  • Sleepio Member

    • 1339 comments
    • 214 helped
    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Expert

    HI there,
    The first thing I would say is that what you describe is something many people experience during sleep treatment. It's definitely not easy. Many people struggle with the changes they are facing due to the treatment and what you describe about the anxiety in going to bed is very common in poor sleepers and can sometimes increase when the focus on sleep intensifies during treatment.

    A few thoughts…

    – make sure you get up when you are scheduled to get up each day, at a regular time, even though it's tempting to sleep after the alarm (sleeping on risks undoing some of the treatment)
    – keep yourself busy in the evening so that it's less likely you will fall asleep in front of the TV (sofas can be easy to fall asleep in)
    – use the 'the the' technique when it's tricky to fall asleep
    – make sure the quarter hour rule is in place at all times, even if it feels like the last thing you want to do
    – make space during the day to challenge your negative thinking and worries about sleep – this will help challenge thoughts at a time not close to bedtime and can help take some of the worry away at nighttime

    And if anyone considers themselves unsafe to drive during this treatment, please consider taking another form of transport – it's important to keep yourself safe.

  • Sleepio Member

    • 1339 comments
    • 214 helped
    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Expert

    I meant to add that in terms of how much sleep is too little to cope, it's very subjective and so varies from person to person, so there's no direct answer. If anyone feels that they are not coping in any way, however, trust your instincts and speak to your GP/family doctor about these concerns.

  • Sleepio Member

    • 1339 comments
    • 214 helped
    Expert

    It's gone very quiet…any more questions out there?

  • Sleepio Member

    • 1339 comments
    • 214 helped
    Expert

    That's the end of the session today – thanks for the questions people left. Speak to you soon.

  • Sleepio Member

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

    Thanks for the reply, sorry I was unable to join you last night. I am now in week 3 of a midnight to 6am window and a sleep efficiency of 85-89% I have also started to take a herbal remedy to help against hot flushes as these did wake me the first week. How long to you think I should stick to this window to see if it works before looking at moving my sleep window to 11pm – 5am. 5am -5.15am seems to be when I naturally wake.

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