Live Discussion with Dr Vicki Creanor - 30th Dec 2020

Dr Creanor will be hosting a live online discussion here on Wednesday 30th Dec, from 8.15pm to 9.45pm British Time or 3.15pm to 4.45pm US Eastern Time.

They 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. If there are a lot of questions, they may not be able to answer all in the time available, but will try to answer as many as they can.

Please do note that, as per our guidelines, Dr Creanor will not be able to give personal medical advice including those about medication. Their 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 24 Dec 2020 at 12:56 PM
  • 17 comments
  • 4 helped

Comments

  • Sleepio Member

    • 7 comments
    • 4 helped
    Graduate

    I have moved into the spare room for the duration of the Sleepio course. This is to reduce any noise or temperature variation etc. Is this counter productive? Should I try and deal with my sleep issues in the bed I share with my husband?

  • Sleepio Member

    • 12 comments
    • 4 helped
    Graduate

    Hi PeeBee. I have also moved into the spare room so that I don't disrupt my wife's sleep for the duration of the sleepio course and it has had a positive effect in that I am no longer worrying about disturbing her so am more relaxed. I have just graduated from the course and have generally found it to be a success in that I'm less restless in bed, don't have such a racing mind and spending less time in bed for the same amount of sleep. I would like more sleep each night but I'm sure that will come in time as my sleep window slowly expands. I intend to go back to my 'old' bed soon so it will be interesting to see if that has any effect on my 'gains'.

  • Sleepio Member

    • 29 comments
    • 4 helped
    Graduate

    Like the two people above I also moved out to the spare room and am still there way after I finished the course. I find it easier to go back to sleep as I can toss and turn to get comfortable each time i wake up, which is several times each night. Also if he snores it doesn't keep me awake. However, I would love to go back to the marital bed, but feel it is more important that I get my sleep in these anxiety ridden days. We have been married for nearly 50 years so it is perhaps not quite so important to return.

  • Sleepio Member

    • 11 comments
    • 0 helped
    Graduate

    I also sleep separately, in order not to be anxious about waking my husband with my ups and downs, but I miss our many years of sharing a bed.

  • Sleepio Member

    • 453 comments
    • 181 helped
    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Graduate

    Hi PeeBee, my husband and I slept in separate rooms for over a year because his snoring and night terrors used to wake me…he stayed until he spare room until I got my sleeping under control and in the meantime I came across help for his snoring! It’s just simply called the Tape Method. He tears a piece of surgical tape and puts it across his mouth to make him breathe through his nose in the night time. This has reduced his snoring so much! I got him to try it for a month and then once I couldn’t hear him (from the spare room) he came back to our shared bed! He forgets some nights and I have to give him a nudge, but the important thing now is I can get back to sleep again.
    It was good for me to be able to follow the Sleepio rules and not disturb my OH when coming to bed so late (I had a starting SR of 1.00 am) and then waking in the night and getting up for QHR, then the alarm going off at 6.00 am….

    Senora – congratulations on being married for almost 50 years – amazing – and I’m hoping your anxiety will lessen once these vaccinations have been given to us all. Try using the thought checker to get rid of those annoying and pesky thoughts about the current situation.

    Kurly ;)

  • Sleepio Member

    • 17 comments
    • 6 helped
    Graduate

    what is THE and QHR?

  • Sleepio Member

    • 17 comments
    • 6 helped
    Graduate

    I'm a 30 year insomniac, now sleeping 12-3 or 4, then waking up. When I go to read or meditate in a chair, I'll be sleepy, but can NEVER get back to sleep when I return to bed-I'm just too stimulated. I've tried many, many times.

  • Sleepio Member

    • 2 comments
    • 1 helped
    Graduate

    Hi everyone, I see a lot of you seem to be sleeping in separate rooms from your partner's and to be honest I don't think that there's any other way to get a good nights sleep, I have been sleeping in the spare room since my daughter left home, I have had interrupted sleep for about twenty five years of our married life and I love my husband but his snoring made my ability to sleep through the night pretty much impossible. I am a very light sleeper and a pin dropping to the floor would wake me, I did try using earplugs for many years which worked sometimes but I think the long-term use of them has given me ringing in my ears. I am doing this sleep in course to try and reprogram my interrupted sleep pattern. I do think stress and anxiety have a lot to do with interrupted sleep too. The best night's sleep I have every had was when I was clean eating and had to drink a lot of water during the day and cut out so many different types of food, my sleep was amazing I slept all night and wake up totally refreshed, however the eating program was not sustainable for more than three weeks. I have increased my water intake though again drinking two litres and a half of water during the day plus any other drinks too and I am sure this helps with my sleep. Don't feel guilty about sleeping in separate rooms as long as you reassure your other half that you love them and that getting a good nights sleep for you will make a huge difference to your lives. Good luck with the Sleep programme, I still have a couple more weeks to go and time will tell if it's a success especially as I am starting to get anxious with work again. Stay safe and well everyone.

  • Sleepio Member

    • 13 comments
    • 2 helped
    Graduate

    Since my husband snores and makes noises in his sleep, I have begun sleeping in our spare bedroom and am able to sleep much more soundly!!! Hopefully after my sleep efficiency level improves I can return??

    Question 1: Direct Morning sunlight helps me sleep at night; however due to winter temperatures I am unable to go outside on a regular basis. Do you recommend light lamp therapy?

    Question 2: Do you recommend blue light blocking glasses while watching tv at night or accessing smartphones?

  • Sleepio Member

    • 453 comments
    • 181 helped
    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Graduate

    Have left you a detailed message on your profile page ;)

  • Sleepio Member

    • 3131 comments
    • 555 helped
    Expert

    Hi all and welcome to our final live discussion session of 2020…I'm Dr Vicki Creanor and for those who haven't met me before, I'm a clinical psychologist with a special interest in sleep behaviour. This 90 min session is geared to help answer questions about the programme or about sleep behaviour – I will aim to answer Qs as best I can so that it may help the general community. Let's get started…

  • Sleepio Member

    • 3131 comments
    • 555 helped
    Expert

    I see quite a few questions today are about sleeping separately from partners. There is a lot of helpful advice and reassurance that's already been given by our lovely Sleepio community – it's a huge part of the benefit of Sleepio having a great community that can help each other via their own experiences.

    Sleeping apart from partners can help people concentrate on their sleep programme but it can be emotional for both parties. Having a good dialogue about what is involved in the programme is often a helpful place to start so partners know what to expect. It is a personal decision whether to move to another bed or not but if it is seen as a short term measure for better sleep in the long run, this is a good way to view it.

  • Sleepio Member

    • 3131 comments
    • 555 helped
    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Expert

    Hi there – thanks for getting in touch. So the QHR stands for 'quarter hour rule', a technique you will come across in the programme that encourages people to get out of bed after approx 15 mins of being unable to fall asleep, either at the start of the night or upon wakening in the middle of the night. The purpose of the QHR is to remove any excessive periods of non sleep from the bed/bedroom so that it improves the bed-sleep association (i.e. we want the brain to associate bed with sleep – not non sleep).

    I'm unsure what THE may mean however I wonder if you've seen the THE THE technique written somewhere and this is what you're referring to? The 'the the' technique is a thought-blocking technique to use when the mind races. Saying the word 'the' over and over can help block out noisy thoughts that keep us awake.

    Hope that's helped :)

  • Sleepio Member

    • 3131 comments
    • 555 helped
    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Expert

    Hi there, thank you for getting in touch. I'm sorry to hear you're struggling. I see that you've just started the programme. Over the next few weeks, there will be various new techniques for you to try that will tap into the parts of sleep you find problematic. There isn't just one thing that I might suggest here, rather a few things combined that will be covered over the next few sessions. For example, your sleep window will be looked at with an aim to squeeze out as much non sleep as possible and make it more likely for you to sleep well in bed. Good habits in the daytime will also help (lack of caffeine, getting exercise to encourage deeper, longer sleep). I might also suggest trying something different when you are up in the night. You may have already covered the quarter hour rule (as explained above) – instead of reading (some texts draw us in and do stimulate us more) during the quarter hour rule time, you could focus more on breathing or mindfulness. It's good to hear you already engage with meditation practices. I hope you find the next few sessions helpful in learning some new techniques to target this sleep problem.

  • Sleepio Member

    • 3131 comments
    • 555 helped
    in reply to Sleepio Guest
    Expert

    Hi and thanks for reaching out. So the first thing I would say is that it's 1) very normal and 2) perfectly OK to have a little blip. Especially over Xmas when routine goes out the window and especially during a global pandemic when the world has turned upside down. Very important to normalise blips!

    So, when this happens, I think it's helpful to take some time to look at your sleep at the moment. What techniques are still in place? What ones have slipped? You will probably find that some things are still in place. I think it can be helpful to go back to the start again and treat it as a recap. Take each step/session and put things into place for a few days and then move onto the next. Take your time – there is no need to rush or panic about it.

  • Sleepio Member

    • 3131 comments
    • 555 helped
    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Expert

    Hi there – thank you for your questions.

    Firstly, getting any natural daylight you can is beneficial, even if it's just opening that window and standing by the light for a while. Light therapy can help, though. It's often used to treat Seasonal Affective Disorder and some sleep problems. So if you feel you cannot get outside at all, it may be a good option.

    Re your 2nd question, the blue light that comes from device and TVs can affect sleep due to it blocking the melatonin that is produced at night to help us sleep. Glasses can help. There is also a blue light filter on some devices that reduces blue light emission at a specific time. It's helpful to do this a couple hours before bed.

  • Sleepio Member

    • 3131 comments
    • 555 helped
    Expert

    That's all for this year! See you again in 2021…

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