Live discussion with Dr Vicki Creanor - 2nd September

Dr Creanor will be hosting a live online discussion here on Wednesday 2nd September 8.15pm-9.45pm BST.

She will discuss as many topics as possible in the hour and a half and, as always, you’re welcome to ask any questions at all about sleep or the Sleepio program. Please do note however that, as per our guidelines, Dr Creanor won’t be able to give highly specific medical advice. She will however try to help as best as she can!

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Posted 27 Aug 2015 at 12:05 PM
  • 26 comments
  • 1 helped

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  • Sleepio Member

    • 16 comments
    • 4 helped
    Graduate

    Is it common to have physical reactions to SR? I can understand headaches but I have been horribly nauseous off and on since I started. It makes my days even harder to get through. Please can you help?

    I have CFS/ME and am concerned SR could make that condition worse, or that SR is damaging my body.

  • Sleepio Member

    • 5 comments
    • 1 helped
    Graduate

    I've had problems with sleeping since my first daughter was born 5 years ago. I have recently given birth to my second child and the night time anxiety and insomnia has returned. During my pregnancy I felt brilliant and slept like a log for the first time in 5 years, but 2 weeks after the birth the insomnia returned despite my husband taking charge of the night feeds and sleeping in the spare room with the baby. Can sleepio work for me even though I feel my problem is hormonal?

  • Sleepio Member

    • 1426 comments
    • 247 helped
    Expert

    Hi there everyone and welcome to the live Sleepio discussion. Over the next 90 minutes, I will answer any questions you have about the psychology sleep or the Sleepio programme so as to help everyone in the community. If you are seeking individual advice, it's always a good idea to speak to your family medical doctor who knows you well.

    Let's begin!

  • Sleepio Member

    • 2 comments
    • 0 helped
    Session 3

    Hi Vicki,

    finding it hard to complete the sleep diary as i am generally half a sleep throughout the night. generally tossing and turning. always takes ages to get to sleep/awake before the alarm and feel very tired and depressed/tearful in the mornings. sleep score of zero? i think i am awake most of the night with small snippets of sleep. i do not have a clock in my room so cant say how long i am awake for.

    any thoughts appreciated

  • Sleepio Member

    • 1426 comments
    • 247 helped
    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Expert

    Hi mc510,
    Thanks for your post. Setting an alarm to wake yourself up isn't something we would recommend as we are aiming for as long a block of sleep as possible via sleep restriction and all other techniques. I've heard of this technique for young children who experience night terrors (dream-like states that are more intense and that children are unaware of upon wakening) but that is a different phenomenon. Several things can cause us to wake during the night – age, stress, diet, alcohol and many more. What is recommended in Sleepio for this problem is to follow the quarter hour rule and get out of bed after approx 15 mins after waking up. Sit in another room until you feel sleepy tired then return to bed. Bedtime routine and a regular wake time is also important for nighttime wakenings, as well as sleep restriction. One might also look at challenging unhelpful thoughts during the day to help prevent them keeping you awake during the night.

    Hope that helps.

  • Sleepio Member

    • 1426 comments
    • 247 helped
    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Expert

    HI there,

    Welcome to Sleepio – I see you are at session 1. Many people feel overwhelmed at the start of the Sleepio course as often people turn to Sleepio when they have already tried lots of things themselves, so they may have a long history of sleep problems, which is distressing. Over the course of the next few weeks, you will find that you will cover lots of techniques to address the things you say you're struggling with, so be assured that there is lots to come to help.

    For those struggling with filling in the sleep diary, take a look at the blue question marks beside where you make entries – this will help you enter the correct information and make the diary accurate.

  • Sleepio Member

    • 1426 comments
    • 247 helped
    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Expert

    Hi there,

    Thanks for your post. When there is a consistent problem in sleeping past a sleep window, it is possible to shift the window to see if this makes a difference, yes.

    In terms of bright light therapy, this is usually for people with circadian rhythm problems (rather than insomnia) but there are some cases when it can be helpful – check out the Sleepio library article called “what is bright light therapy?”.

  • Sleepio Member

    • 58 comments
    • 8 helped
    Graduate

    Hi Vicki. Many thanks for the reply. I just read the article, which says it may be helpful where there is a severe problem with getting to sleep- my biggest problem I think, so might have a look at what's available.

  • Sleepio Member

    • 1426 comments
    • 247 helped
    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Expert

    HI gin-gin,

    Congratulations on the progress you have made.

    Most people who are recovering from insomnia will experience times when their sleep suffers and takes a dip again. It's always important to view these times as lapse and not full relapses. Others may continue to experience positive change but still experience more minor niggles regarding their sleep.

    What can be really helpful after graduating SLeepio and when difficulties occur, is to take a look at the other things going on in your life – diet, physical health, mental health, lifestyle – and see if anything could be improved, as so may things within these categories can reduce our sleep quality.

    I would then recommend going through the SLeepio course, week by week, again to go over the techniques and ensure 1) they are actually being implemented and 2) that they are being done as taught. As humans, we are very good at slipping into habits that we think are healthy and then when we go back to re-learn what we were taught, we realise there's a lot that can be changed.

  • Sleepio Member

    • 1426 comments
    • 247 helped
    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Expert

    Thanks for your post, timmcdearmon,

    For some people, sleeping during the day is required, if they are on night shift or are recovering from physical illness, perhaps.

    Most people we speak to on Sleepio are trying to improve their night time sleeping habits. When this is the case, we would recommend that people follow the techniques outlined in the Sleepio programme and adhere to good sleep hygiene. Along with this, we recommend that daytime naps are completely avoided and that only bed is used for sleeping. This is because we want to strengthen the bed-sleep association to make sleep at night more likely.

  • Sleepio Member

    • 1426 comments
    • 247 helped
    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Expert

    Hi Moona,

    Thanks for your post. As you are aware, Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) is a mood disorder and there is lots of evidence to suggest there is a strong link between mood and sleep problems. Have a look at the library article “Seasonal Effects on Sleep” as it is commented on here.

    With anyone experiencing mood problems, it is vital that advice is sought from a medical practitioner who knows you – and your medical history – well so that you can talk through any treatment options that would be available and appropriate given your general health.

  • Sleepio Member

    • 1426 comments
    • 247 helped
    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Expert

    Hi there Michyb,

    I'm glad you raise this important point. With anyone experiencing additional physical conditions, it is really important to talk to your family medical doctor about your sleep treatment programme so that it fits with their own treatment and understanding of your personal needs.

  • Sleepio Member

    • 1426 comments
    • 247 helped
    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Expert

    Hi Winter,

    Having a baby is one of the times in life when we know that sleep is usually affected – often this starts in pregnancy and then it can have an impact once the baby is born, too as sleep patterns are chaotic for some time.

    For anyone who has recently given birth, it is a good idea to talk to your family doctor or health visitor about the sleep programme to make sure it is in line with your postnatal care.

  • Sleepio Member

    • 1426 comments
    • 247 helped
    Expert

    It's gone quiet – anyone else have any burning questions about sleep or the Sleepio programme?

  • Sleepio Member

    • 58 comments
    • 8 helped
    Graduate

    One last question if I'm not too late. What should I be doing when I get out pop bed for the QHR. At the moment I'm sitting in another room on the sofa with a quilt over me listening to an audio book by candle light. Is this the sort of thing I should be doing?

  • Sleepio Member

    • 1426 comments
    • 247 helped
    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Expert

    Hi Peter,

    We recommend that time spent out of bed at this time is used for quiet, passive activities so that sounds ideal.

  • Sleepio Member

    • 58 comments
    • 8 helped
    Graduate

    OK. Thanks for that.

  • Sleepio Member

    • 1426 comments
    • 247 helped
    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Expert

    One addition – be careful with the candlelight as if you drift off this can be dangerous. Dim light is good and doesn't have to be a candle.

  • Sleepio Member

    • 1426 comments
    • 247 helped
    Expert

    Thanks for the posts everyone – all the best with the programme and speak to you soon.

  • Sleepio Member

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

    Dr Creanor

    Thank you very much for replying my post. Also, thanks for pointing out the article, I had I read it previously to posting a comment here, I suppose SAD and sleep problems feed of each other, so since I'm here I'll do the course first. Thanks again.

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