Live discussion with Dr Vicki Creanor - 30th May 2018

Dr Creanor will be hosting a live online discussion here on Wednesday 30th 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 24 May 2018 at 10:25 AM
  • 17 comments
  • 3 helped

Comments

  • Sleepio Member

    • 1 comments
    • 1 helped
    Graduate

    From the 3rd week input it seems that an aim is to have unbroken sleep. That would be wonderful! But is it realistic for older people? I am well over 60 and always get up to the toilet at least once a night.
    I would just be glad to be able to get quickly back to sleep when I have to get up to the toilet and be able to sleep for a lot more than the 4 – 5 1/2 hrs that I manage now.

  • Sleepio Member

    • 11 comments
    • 0 helped
    Graduate

    My sleep improvement is doing well. I got some crush health news this week that has me waking uo early and not being able to get back to sleep. I'm scheduled for two surgeries this summer, and I have a lung nodule that has over a 50% chance of m=being malignant. I will not get all this resolved until August. Health problems are constant with me.l. How do I handle these bumps in the road and keep them from interfering with my sleep? They are so frightening that all my training goes out the window until I get a grip and I get over the shock.

  • Sleepio Member

    • 7 comments
    • 0 helped
    Graduate

    Hi Dr Creanor, I have been struggling with insomnia from long time, started the sleepio course recently, would it work even if we have chronic insomnia. I am so worried after continuously last 4 days of no sleep, as I have also recently stopped using sleep medicines. Last night when I about to doze off I got jerk awake, that didn't happen before, do you know why that happens? Please provide some insight to my problem. Thank you.

  • Sleepio Member

    • 3 comments
    • 0 helped
    Session 5

    Hi Dr Creanor, I have been suffering from insomnia since April and the sleeping pills don't work only get 1-2 hrs sleep now. For anxiety I started taking sertraline on Saturday and coming off Propranolol at the same time as it didn't help. I was advised that I can take diazepam during the day but if that doesn't make any difference to the effectiveness of the sleeping pills than what can I do? Shall I switch from zopiclone to Phenergan? I can only start sleeping with Phenergan or paracetamol between 4-6am and I can sleep 3-4 hours, but with sleeping pills I can only do 1-2hrs at night between 11-1.15 ish. I think my problem is more than just anxiety and is also psychological as I need something to take and use it as a crutch in the middle of the night to be able to sleep. Instead of taking something what can I do or how can I trick my mind so I can fall asleep? The sleepio's course in not very tailor made in my case as I always fell asleep on the TV watching it from my bed since I was a little girl so we are talking 30years +habit that a couple of weeks course will unlikely to break. Meditation eg yoga nidra doesn't work as I memorised the whole thing and I follow it through listen to it too much so I wait until it's finished rather than drifting off to sleep. Same with listening to the music, I analyse it enjoy it too much rather than just let myself drift off. Hypnotherapy didn't work either. How can I teach myself (like you do with babies) to fall asleep? Going to bed at set times just adds to my anxiety. Please advise

  • Sleepio Member

    • 7 comments
    • 4 helped
    Graduate

    Hi Dr. Creanor, can you please share any information you have on hypersomnia or being chronically tired during the day, even after getting a good night's rest? Are there different levels of having hypersomnia or does a person have it for certain or not at all?What are the reasons a person could have this condition and are there any solutions? Thank you!

  • Sleepio Member

    • 2622 comments
    • 411 helped
    Expert

    Hello and welcome to the live Sleepio session. here we will discuss sleep and the Sleepio programme and raise any questions about these topics. Any medication or medical questions should always be directed to a medical doctor who knows you well.

    Let's begin…

  • Sleepio Member

    • 2622 comments
    • 411 helped
    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Expert

    Hi and thanks for getting in touch. There are several changes that happen to our sleep as we get a bit older. We may have more broken sleep, we may sleep less and we may sleep a little less soundly.

    In terms of waking through the night, most people – even very sound sleepers – will wake at least once a night. Sometimes it is a brief wakening and sometimes they need to go to the loo. What is key, though, is their ability to get back to sleep quickly.

    So rather than eradicating all wakenings, it's sometimes about accepting that brief wakenings are normal but it's about ensuring that we are able to fall back to sleep after them – and fairly quickly.

    The techniques within the programme – around the quarter hour rule, challenging negative thoughts, relaxation – are all there to help with this task. And sometimes just the acknowledgement that brief wakenings are OK is enough to take the stress away from them.

  • Sleepio Member

    • 2622 comments
    • 411 helped
    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Expert

    Thanks for your question. There is no doubt that stressful life events will play havoc with our sleep. We think a lot about the day we have just had or the day that is to come at night time, so if there is stress there, this is when we ruminate on these things. There are so few distractions at night time too, so our thoughts seem a little louder at this time of the day. And when we wake up early, again, the thoughts are often the first thing we hear.

    Often, seeking support about the health concerns to discuss them in detail and help to process them is very helpful and can lead to reduced anxiety and better sleep. It may be worth asking your GP/family doctor if there are any resources you could be signposted to to discuss them?

  • Sleepio Member

    • 2622 comments
    • 411 helped
    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Expert

    Hi and thanks for your questions. First of all, yes – the techniques detailed in the Sleepio programme are designed for various types of sleep problems including those that have been around for a long time. It may take a little longer to get used to the techniques, after years of sleep habits that have become the norm, however cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) for insomnia has been shown to help people with long-standing sleep problems as well as more recent problems.

    Your second question was about these jerks in the body as you were dosing off? We call these hypnic jerks or 'sleep starts'. They are fairly common and often happen just as we start to relax our bodies. It can be very frustrating, but it is nothing to worry about (unless the anxiety from them is impacting on sleep). They can be made worse when we have had an active day or have consumed a lot of caffeine.

  • Sleepio Member

    • 2622 comments
    • 411 helped
    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Expert

    Hello and thanks for getting in touch. First of all, I would just like to explain that advice about medication should always be sought from a health professional local to you and one who knows your medical history – we cannot advise which medications to take given that everyone has different needs.

    In terms of parts of the course not seeming to fit well with your lifestyle, it's important to say that the Sleepio course is a guide for people to help them regulate their sleeping. We do not expect everyone to follow all the guidance all the time, but what we do know is that these types of strategies have been shown to be effective in helping many people with sleep problems get better sleep. It will be difficult to break old habits and sometimes people will require separate support with underlying difficulties (eg anxiety) as well as Sleepio. It sounds as if there is a lot of anxiety going on for you just now so this may be something to think about?

  • Sleepio Member

    • 2622 comments
    • 411 helped
    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Expert

    Hi there – there is a library article within Sleepio called “How to get a good night's sleep”, by Dr Simon Kyle, which may be of interest to those experiencing similar difficulties. When we talk about hypersomnia – excessive sleepiness during the day – it may also be due to sleep apnea (when someone stops breathing at various moments during sleep) or narcolepsy (when someone falls asleep almost instantly at various points during the day, often in inappropriate places).

  • Sleepio Member

    • 2622 comments
    • 411 helped
    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Expert

    Sorry I did not answer the last part of the question there – solutions to this issue. It depends heavily on what is causing the problem – once the issue is identified, a treatment plan around that can be made, whether this involves therapy or medication, or a combination.

  • Sleepio Member

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

    What is the person doesn't have sleep apnea or narcolepsy? What could other causes be? Also are there different levels of hypersomnia?

  • Sleepio Member

    • 2622 comments
    • 411 helped
    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Expert

    So yes the other thing I mentioned was the non restorative sleep – some people can seem to sleep OK – no night wakenings etc but then feel sleepy upon wakening. There are different levels to this – no one will expereince it in exactly the same way as it often depends on factors within that person. These might include underlying stress, caffeine and alcohol consumption, medication etc etc. Hope that makes sense?

  • Sleepio Member

    • 7 comments
    • 4 helped
    Graduate

    Thanks! Yes I will look into non restorative sleep

  • Sleepio Member

    • 2622 comments
    • 411 helped
    Expert

    There are 10 mins left of this session if anyone has any further questions? It's been very quiet this evening…

  • Sleepio Member

    • 2622 comments
    • 411 helped
    Expert

    That's all for just now folks – thank you for the questions and I look forward to speaking to you again soon.

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