Live Discussion with Dr Vicki Creanor - 2nd November 2016

Dr Creanor will be hosting a live online discussion here on Wednesday 2nd November, from 8:15 to 9:45pm British Time or 4:15 to 5:45pm US Eastern Standard 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. 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 27 Oct 2016 at 9:12 AM
  • 9 comments
  • 2 helped

Comments

  • Sleepio Member

    • 3 comments
    • 1 helped
    Graduate

    I hope you won't mind if I report something I just posted in another thread, but I'd be really interested in knowing if there's anything I can do that might help me:

    -------------------------------------------------

    I'm just starting week 4, and I'm starting to struggle. I nearly dozed off a few times while watching this week's session – I'm getting just over 3 hrs of sleep at 65% efficiency so I'm not convinced closing my eyes and thinking about a relaxing place was the most useful thing to do! (Where's a laughing emoji when you need it?!)

    What I really hoped I would get today was some techniques to help me cope with daytimes when I'm getting so little sleep and my sleep efficiency is still so low. I fall asleep really easily at the moment but am restless a lot in the night, but never for as long as 15 minutes. So racing mind techniques aren't, at this stage, much help. Where I do need help is coping with being this tired and managing a full-time job, staying awake for 18-19 hours a day despite feeling like a zombie, and possibly anger management for when I'm walking behind slow people on pavements – my fuse is quite short when I'm this tired!

    It looks like it'll be quite some time before my sleep efficiency is high enough to increase my sleep window, which is fine – I've been like this for my whole life, I don't expect it to be cured in 4 weeks! But I did hope there might be a bit more support to get through the really tough period of SR. I guess I am a little frustrated that I have something specific that I need help with, caused by the programme, but the programme just offered help with a problem (that it can tell from my sleep diaries!) I don't have.

    Anyway, apologies for the rant, I'm just feeling the impact this week and concerned about getting through the next week, and the one after than and the one after that. Just thinking “well I've done this before and I was exhausted but it was fine!” is not enough at this stage – I've been this tired before, but it really wasn't that fine. I was hoping there might be some CBT techniques I could use to deal with coping without sleep, but there doesn't seem to be.

  • Sleepio Member

    • 12 comments
    • 2 helped
    Graduate

    If I’ve had two or three bad nights in a row then the following day(s) I'm starting to obsess about whether I’ll ever sleep properly again and getting caught in a cycle of negative thinking.

    I understand the logic that negative thinking and worrying is not conducive to a good night but very difficult, particularly when lack of sleep has such an impact on your work and social life.

    Can you suggest any other tried and tested techniques, articles or other online resources that can help break the cycle of worry at these particular low points? Or is it just a case of keeping going and believing that in time it will work? Thank you again.

  • Sleepio Member

    • 1389 comments
    • 225 helped
    Expert

    Hello and welcome to the live Sleepio Discussion. Over the next 90 mins, I'll be answering any questions people have on sleep and the Sleepio programme. Please feel free to chip in and ask some questions if you're on live today. Let's begin…

  • Sleepio Member

    • 1389 comments
    • 225 helped
    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Expert

    HI there and thanks for posting this. It's perfectly Ok to do so here.

    Sleep restriction is probably the hardest part of the programme – most people doing the course would agree. Daytime tiredness is a by-product but a short-term one. Nevertheless, it's important to talk about how to get through the days when we feel so sleep deprived. There are a few things people can try.

    1. Take activity breaks – if people feel they start to dose off at certain times, note when these are (usually in the early morning an hour or two after wakening, or after lunchtime) and plan a short walk or even a light pace around the workplace. Even getting up to go to the toilet/chat to someone/photocopy something can be enough to keep us from dosing off.
    2. Caffeinated drinks can help give us a boost, although these need to be taken in moderation so as not to affect night time sleep.
    3. Starting the day off with some relaxation and repeating this if feeling angry/stressed/agitated (common with sleep deprivation!)
    4. Setting aside a time during the day (not in the evening, however) to target any negative thoughts or worries that might be leading to night time restlessness.
    5. Having a good bedtime routine including some relaxation can help wind down before bed and reduce the likelihood of a restless night.

    Hope this helps with this tricky period.

  • Sleepio Member

    • 1389 comments
    • 225 helped
    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Expert

    Hi there,
    Thanks for your question. The section of the course which focuses on challenging negative thoughts is the most recognised way to target these negative beliefs. In order for this technique to be effective, thoughts and emotions attached to them must be noted as soon as possible after they occur, alongside a note of what was going on at the time (ie. talking to friend about sleep). Once emotions have calmed, it's time to think about the evidence that supports these negative thoughts…and the evidence that doesn't support them, allowing one to find a more rational,balanced way to view the same situation should it occur again. This technique is what is recommended to target negative thinking and is central to cognitive therapy. There are many articles out there about cognitive therapy. The technique is known commonly as 'thought records'. In order for thoughts to change, it will take time. They have been learned, so it takes time to unlearn them, but this technique is rather effective in doing so. Hope this helps.

  • Sleepio Member

    • 1389 comments
    • 225 helped
    Expert

    It's very quiet out there – anyone have any other questions?

  • Sleepio Member

    • 1389 comments
    • 225 helped
    Expert

    There are still 20 mins left of this session if anyone wishes to post a question…

  • Sleepio Member

    • 1389 comments
    • 225 helped
    Expert

    That's all for tonight folks – hopefully everyone is getting on well with the course and the techniques. Please get in touch at the next session if you're looking for some additional guidance.

    Sleep well…

  • Sleepio Member

    • 12 comments
    • 1 helped
    Graduate

    I am not sure if I am posting in the correct place.
    I have just started my 3rd week of the Sleepio prgram. My underlying problem is chronic pain from a car accident. This interferes with my sleep a lot.
    Every week to 10 days my pain is very flared up and this really interferes with my sleep. It's the episodic severe pain that I find so deibilitating, and it can last for a few days to a week or more.
    I am no longer taking medication for pain or sleep, and would prefer not to again. The problem with medications, is they help a bit for a while, and then you need to increase the dose in order to get some relief and it becomes a vicious cycle.
    If anyone taking the program has also dealt with chronic pain, and found some helpful strategies I would love to hear from you.
    I already do a lot of things to help with the pain including visualization, meditation and exercise.

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