Live discussion with Dr Vicki Creanor - 2nd May 2018

Dr Creanor will be hosting a live online discussion here on Wednesday 2nd May, from 8:15 to 9:45pm British Time or 3:15 to 5:45pm US Eastern Time.

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, including that concerning medication. Her replies to questions will be made in such a way as to help as many people as possible who might have similar issues. If there are a lot of questions, she may not be able to answer all in the time available, but will try to answer as many as she can.

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Posted 26 Apr 2018 at 12:32 PM
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  • Sleepio Member

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    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Expert

    Thanks for your question. It sounds like you're taking a sensible approach here. Sleep restriction is notoriously difficult, although very effective as a technique. Nevertheless, safety remains paramount at all times. If anyone is preparing for a physically exhausting time ahead or is needing to drive long distances, then it may well be the wrong time to start sleep restriction. It often does feel worse before it feels better – like many therapies – but pausing the programme at times like this when energy and wakefulness is needed is a good idea.

    Anyone wishing to do so can email the team at hello@sleepio.com to request their programme be paused.

  • Sleepio Member

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    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Expert

    Hi and thanks for your question. It is a common issue that we hear about – partners' snoring/movement during the night. There are a few different things people have tried and these include blocking the noise using earplugs/earphones playing white noise (although this depends if these can be worn comfortably) or sleeping in separate rooms while the sleep therapy is ongoing. The latter can be effective but consideration does have to be made to how this may affect the relationship and it depends on how understanding the bed partner is. What usually happens, though, is that once the problem is noticed, the mind is ready to notice it much faster each time in the future, which is probably why the anxiety is now so high.

    It may also be worth asking the community how others with this problem have coped in case there are any other tips out there…

  • Sleepio Member

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    Graduate

    Thanks for this, I will try to stick to my routine as closely as possible whilst allowing myself a little longer in bed, this way it should be easier to get back on track. I guess I didn't realise I'd feel quite so tired!

  • Sleepio Member

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    Expert

    Hi there – this sounds like a good idea – getting ready for bed first then doing the relaxation. This is common, though and it is due to the mind realising that bedtime is coming (given its association with these wind down activities), which has only been a time of anxiety and sleeplessness. Once sleep gets back on track, this anxiety tends to ease off and the pre-bed activities are gradually associated with good sleep, and thus calmness.

  • Sleepio Member

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    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Graduate

    Sorry, now realised you didn't answer the second half of my question! If I pause the programme, do I carry on exactly where I left off or take a step back? I assume I would just carry on, first building up a week of sleep diary?

  • Sleepio Member

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    Expert

    Hi thanks for getting in touch. My guess is that it might be a combination, however I would encourage anyone having unpleasant physical symptoms, especially when on medication, to seek medical advice from someone who knows them well. Sleep restriction can make things feel worse at the start of the technique, but it is worth getting these symptoms checked out in person.

  • Sleepio Member

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    Expert

    Sorry, you're right! My mistake…

    So this would be dependent on how you feel when you approach the work again. I would take a week's sleep diary to gather the data to work out a new sleep window, but you can start other techniques from where you left off – cutting out naps, good sleep hygiene, wind down routine etc.

  • Sleepio Member

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    Expert

    Hi = thanks for getting in touch. So we see this quite a lot now with these sleep tracking devices. Often they are very, very sensitive and do record data from restlessness rather than full wakefulness but report them as the same thing. What we tend to suggest is that people go by what they themselves believe to be true as this is often more important in the wider context of sleep work. So if 3/4 wakenings are recalled upon wakening, record this in the sleep diary.

  • Sleepio Member

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    Expert

    Sorry to hear you're struggling.I am wondering if what is happening is to do with the thought patterns. For some people recovering from episodes of poor sleep, good nights can actually act as a trigger for a bad night due to the fact that thinking around sleep is still at a high level. So, after a good night, one may think “well-how long will this continue?” rather than what good sleepers do…think nothing more of a good night's sleep.

    Is this something you recognise as happening at all?

  • Sleepio Member

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    Expert

    Hi and thanks for your post. This actually sounds more like Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) to me – of which poor sleep is a part. I would recommend speaking to a GP/family doctor about this to request additional support in coping with the recent trauma as unless this is targeted, poor sleep is likely to continue.

  • Sleepio Member

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    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Expert

    Thanks for getting in touch. It is difficult to say how easy/tricky it will be coming off any medication as it always a truly personal journey for anyone. Each person comes with many unique factors within them and around them so it will vary in terms of how people manage. What is really important, though is to do this with the support of – and using advice from – your doctor who knows your medical history well. Letting them know about Sleepio is a good idea too so they know what you plan to use to help your sleep.

  • Sleepio Member

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    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Graduate

    Thanks Vicki. Unfortunately ear plugs haven't helped due to the close proximity, but I will try white noise or other sleep sounds.
    I've been trying to sleep on the futon when it gets bad and sometimes that helps a little, but yes the frustration of having to do that causes some anxiety as well.
    Would love to hear from the community if they've tried anything else.
    Thanks!

  • Sleepio Member

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    Expert

    If you find a community page and ask there as opposed to asking the community here it will cast a wider net for replies. Good luck in trying these things in the meantime.

    What I would say is, if sleeping elsewhere and it if possible, it would be better to sleep in a bed rather than a futon, especially if the futon isn't made up as a bed. Basically, try and create a bed-like area to sleep rather than a couch as this will be better in the long term to help train the mind to sleep well in a bed.

  • Sleepio Member

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    Graduate

    Hi, I’m in week 5 and have been implementing all recommendations including sleep restriction (although I could be more strict around sticking to exact times). Despite a run of 5 great nights over a week ago, I’ve found that my sleep has returned to being pretty all over the place (one good night, two bad ones). How long do people on average take before they start to find the programme helps in a more consistent way?

  • Sleepio Member

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    Graduate

    Thanks for the advice. That can be difficult in a 1 bedroom loft but will see what I can do :) . Agree that falling asleep on a bed would be much much better!

  • Sleepio Member

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    Expert

    Hi thanks for getting in touch. As much as I would love to be able to give a rough estimate of how long it takes most people, it varies so much from person to person so such figures are often unhelpful. What I would say is that 5 weeks in is pretty early to see any consistent patterns developing. Often if the problem is more long-standing, it can take longer to reverse the bad habit that have built up, but it very much depends on many factors in that person's life such as stress levels, consistency with the programme, diet etc. You may want to look at the thoughts that are occurring after a good night's sleep as per my previous comment tonight as challenging these may lead to more positive outcomes the following night.

  • Sleepio Member

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    Expert

    That's all for this evening – thanks for the questions and I will speak to you again soon.

  • Sleepio Member

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    Graduate

    in the past three and a half years. Those are just some of the highlights. I hope the program will be of benefit to me. Do you think it will?

  • Sleepio Member

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    Graduate

    I have read in here, from several people, that they and their partners have agreed to sleep separately for awhile until sleep settles down.

  • Sleepio Member

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    Graduate

    Approaching the end of week 6 can I still access the sleepio programme online after the end of 6 weeks

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