Live discussion with Dr Vicki Creanor - 30th December 2015

Dr Creanor will be hosting a live online discussion here on Wednesday 30th December 8:15pm-9.45pm GMT.

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 that, as per our guidelines, Dr Creanor won’t 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.

To keep up with new comments as they are posted you will need to 'refresh' this discussion page.

To do this:

- On PC hit 'Ctrl' and 'R' or the 'F5' key – On Mac hit 'Command' or 'Apple' and 'R

Posted 18 Dec 2015 at 10:48 AM
  • 16 comments
  • 0 helped

Comments

  • Sleepio Member

    • 2 comments
    • 0 helped
    Session 4

    Hi Dr creanor! I am wondering about the sleepio rule about bedroom only for sleep! I am not in a position where I can use the living room. I would normally watch TV in the bedroom but not in bed. I am in a family home this limits the places I can relax. Same as being in a studio apartment I suppose. Any advice

  • Sleepio Member

    • 71 comments
    • 11 helped
    Graduate

    Since abandoning Sleepio some months ago (because I could not stay awake beyond 11 am) I have the following difficulty. I wake after about two to three hours and often get out of bed for a while and do something else. I then return to bed but don't manage to fall asleep till about 4 am – then I sleep really heavily till about 8.30 or 9 (I don't go out to work anymore so can do this.) It seems to me my time clock has gone all wrong – because I have my best hours of sleep between about 4 and 8 am. How to change my time clock to more normal hours? I suppose you will say “go back to the Sleepio programme” but I thought I'd ask you whether you have any other views. I have had sleeping pills and tranquilisers for years but have come off the last one – Zolpidem – and take instead one amitryptiline and/or melatonin. Please can you email me the reply as I will be out on Wed 30th December. Many thanks and a happy new year

  • Sleepio Member

    • 1 comments
    • 0 helped
    Graduate

    Hi, unfortunately I can't attend your session, but I would be grateful if you could answer the following questions:
    (1) I am currently doing the standard sleepio program. How can I incorporate children waking me up during the night into the programme/routine?
    (2) I pretty much never have issues falling asleep or waking during the night (unless there is some external issue e.g. kids crying), but I tend to wake up too early in the morning (30-60 mins too early). Are there any specific techniques to work with that? Getting up for 15 minutes until I feel sleepy at this time just means getting up for good.

    Thanks in advance,
    Greg

  • Sleepio Member

    • 3 comments
    • 0 helped
    Session 1

    I cannot seem to find any advice here about how to actually fall asleep. The worst part for me is what to think about? Since a young age I always went to a happy place and now because of an over whelming amount of anixety whenever I get into bed I cannot seem to think straight or focus because of my anxiety running rampant then I finally do calm down my mind goes blank and then I start to think what should I be thinking to fall asleep? Then once that happens I start thinking of a million different things. Then the anxiety comes back. That is how I spend my time trying to sleep.

  • Sleepio Member

    • 6 comments
    • 0 helped
    Session 2

    Hello, 2mths ago I stopped taking Zopiclone after c.10 years which had initially been for trying to put my sleep-wake pattern back. This is something I struggled with since my teens (I'm 40) as well as anxiety. I rely on a glass or two of wine or other things to help turn off my thinking which I find difficult being a workaholic. I am a night owl and feel I may have DOSD as its getting to sleep I struggle with.

    I've had c. 40 CBT sessions including clinical psychology but struggle with the anxiety around this, though I am also now not taking Nytol which I substituted.

    I wondered what the research into Melatonin has found in people with these type of sleep difficulties as I currently take 5mg Diazepam which my GP wishes to take me off post-Zopiclone withdrawal but find the thought of coming off this and 100mg Pregablin for chronic pain issues at night troubling, whereas this seems to me the less detrimental to performance at work.

    Its shutting out thinking at night I struggle with. Only reading helps if it is the right kind of book, which is tricky also.

  • Sleepio Member

    • 6 comments
    • 0 helped
    Graduate

    Sleepio course is giving me some insights about my insomnia.
    I tend to not get sleep a night before, if there's important thing to do next day.
    After taking week #3 session, and sleeping two days, I found that doing nothing in bed causes some kind of anxiety and my mind to race.
    I also found that when I normaly sleep I tend to sexualy stimulate myself and on those nights before important things, I don't tend do that and just try to sleep for my next day(which causes anxiety and no sleep)
    Sexually stimulating myself acutally made me calm my mind and relax!
    Is this “ritual” in my bed unhealthy?
    Should I practice sleeping without it during the sleepio course.

    Sorry if this is a disturbing topic.

  • Sleepio Member

    • 1426 comments
    • 247 helped
    Expert

    Hello everyone and welcome to the live Sleepio session.

    Here, we will discus topics relating to sleep behaviour, the Sleepio programme and the psychology of sleep; questions relating to medical conditions or medication should, as per our policy, be redirected to medical professionals as they require medical advice.

    I will wait a few minutes before answering the questions already posted to see if anyone has any further live questions….

  • Sleepio Member

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

    Hi there,
    Thanks you for your question. This is quite a common issue for those who live with others and who can't access a quiet other room to themselves. There are a few things you can do. You can use the likes of a bathroom (although if there is just one in the house, you might want to use another area in case you are disturbed!), you can use a chair in a quiet corner of a hall for example or if you can only use your bedroom, you can do it in the corner of your room. Ideally we suggest using another room completely to disassociate negative thoughts about sleep from the bedroom, but this is just not always possible. Hope that helps?

  • Sleepio Member

    • 6 comments
    • 0 helped
    Session 2

    Dear Dr Creanor,

    2mths ago I stopped taking Zopiclone/Nytol after c.10 years which had initially been for trying to put my sleep-wake pattern back from 2am. This is something I struggled with since my teens (I'm 40) as well as anxiety. I rely on a glass or two of wine or other things to help turn off my thinking which I find difficult being a workaholic. I am a night owl and feel I may have DOSD as its getting to sleep I struggle with.

    I wondered what the research into Melatonin has found in people with these type of sleep difficulties as I currently take 5mg Diazepam. Coming off this and 100mg Pregablin for chronic pain issues seems too much. This seems detrimental to performance at work and I'd rather take Nytol which at least helps get to sleep. Its stopping thinking I struggle with. Only reading helps if it is the right kind of book, which is tricky also.

    I'm concerned about this next step, especially as I take Venlafaxine which I'm coming off also.

    Any advice please?

    Anon.

  • Sleepio Member

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

    Hi Greg,

    Thanks for your questions.

    As a parent, it's inevitable that you will be woken by your kids some nights…depending on their age perhaps every night! Good sleepers are also woken by things such as kids, pets, external noises, however it's about how you respond to this. If you find it easy to get back to sleep again, it's nothing to worry about. If not, however, you would simply follow the Sleepio rules and techniques to get back to sleep or to get up after 15 mins if you're not back asleep again (the 'quarter hour rule', which I believe you'll have covered by session 3).

    As for helping with the early wakening, it's good it's not hours and hours before you have to wake up (always looking for the positive!) but you can have a go at going to bed a bit later to see if this helps you sleep on a bit longer in the morning.

  • Sleepio Member

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

    HI there,
    Thanks for your post. Melatonin is used quite commonly in sleep disorders as it helps get the body back onto a sleep-wake cycle. There's an article about it in the library – 'what is melatonin' – which you may find useful. It can be used for people who have various types of sleep disorders but the one you talk about – finding it hard to get to sleep until later than planned is known to be a type of sleep problem where melatonin can be useful. It is always important to discuss this with your medical doctor, though, especially when you are on other medications as there can be an interaction effect which needs assessed.

  • Sleepio Member

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

    Sorry – pressed 'add' too soon…
    It may be worth looking at the amount of alcohol consumed as, although it may help get some people to sleep, it has a detrimental effect on sleep quality and night wakenings in many people.

    As for stopping thoughts, there will be a technique you will cover in Sleepio which tackles this directly, so hopefully you will find this useful.

  • Sleepio Member

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

    Hi Redman316,
    Thanks for your post. Firstly, what you describe in terms of your experience in getting to sleep is extremely common and is probably how most people who can't fall asleep find the whole process. This is important to know, I think, as it can feel isolating when it's happening to you yet if you as the community here, you will hear most have – or have had – the same feelings. It's always good to know you're not alone in this.

    The good news is that the whole Sleepio programme is set up to target exactly what you describe. It will take you through how to challenge your thinking, how to relax better, how to manage the racing thoughts, how to fall asleep better. I realise you are just on Session 1, so I know you have this all to come and so I think it's inportant for now just to reassure you that there are many relevant techniques ahead in the programme to help your particular difficulties.

    Please access this session at any time during the programme, though, for any questions you have.

  • Sleepio Member

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

    Hi there,
    Thanks for your question – it's important to raise the topic of sex and sleep as it's not often discussed. Have a look at the library article 'sex and sleep'. There is some evidence that sex does promote sleepiness, especially in men, so it's not a particularly 'unhealthy' method of getting to sleep, however what we advise everyone is that it's wise to find various methods of relaxation so that we don't become over-dependent on just one way to fall asleep. So it's worth looking at the relaxation methods on the Sleepio programme, too. Hope this helps.

  • Sleepio Member

    • 1426 comments
    • 247 helped
    Expert

    It's pretty quiet out there – realise the time of year means not many folk on live, but please let me know if you have any burning questions…

  • Sleepio Member

    • 1426 comments
    • 247 helped
    Expert

    Thanks for the questions posted today – speak to you again in the New Year!

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