Live Discussion with Dr Vicki Creanor - 4th August 2021

Dr Creanor will be hosting a live online discussion here on Wednesday 4th August, 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 29 Jul 2021 at 10:35 PM
  • 21 comments
  • 1 helped

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  • Sleepio Member

    • 2 comments
    • 0 helped
    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Graduate

    To hopefully be a bit more precise, what are the long term prospects of a full recovery from recently obtained chronic insomnia?

  • Sleepio Member

    • 2 comments
    • 0 helped
    Session 4

    Hello Dr,
    I have two questions. First is that at the same time that I am doing Sleepio I am seeing a doctor here in nyc who has also put me on sleep restriction. Her recommendation was 12am-7am so 7 hours. Sleepio is recommending 6hrs 15 min. Since I started with the 7 I am sticking with that for now, and recording this in the diary (and believe me, I feel the restriction). Wondering if that is ok?
    Second, is about the quarter hour rule. ...what does “awake” mean? I’ve had insomnia for 30 years, and it’s taken on different patterns. There have definitely been years where I would be FULLY awake. But the pattern I’m in currently I often don’t feel fully wake, simultaneously I also mostly don’t feel like I’m ever fully asleep. So I’m at a loss as to how to implement the quarter hour rule. Do I rouse myself entirely? Or stay in bed, in the lighter sleep state (which btw is entirely frustrating and annoying)?
    Thank you!

  • Sleepio Member

    • 2 comments
    • 0 helped
    Session 5

    Hi,

    I was wondering if you had any tips for sleeping in a different bed to usual like in a hotel for example? In the past, I've often struggled to sleep in an unfamiliar setting.

    Thanks.

  • Sleepio Member

    • 1 comments
    • 0 helped
    Session 4

    Hi I have fibromyalgia which has definitely made insomnia worse I am also perimenopausal with night sweats and hot flushes. IS the sleepio course going tk make any impact on insomnia with these other condtitions going on at the same time

  • Sleepio Member

    • 1 comments
    • 0 helped
    Graduate

    Hello
    I have recently started the sleepio course due to an on going sleep problem, I have had for several months. I'm usually able to eventually to get to sleep using the sleep restriction method and having adapted my night time routine and sleep hygiene. The problem is getting back to sleep after I wake in the middle of the night, which occurs every night, and has an effect on me during my working day. I would welcome any suggestions or advice to help ?

    Many Thanks

  • Sleepio Member

    • 3 comments
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    Graduate

    just started on the course. I have in the past tried the getting up after 15 mins if not asleep, often after a couple of hrs sleep I feel wide awake so if I get up then I worry that I just wont feel sleepy again! if I lay in bed there's a chance I might go back to sleep. I fear getting up I could end up being up all night!

  • Sleepio Member

    • 2 comments
    • 0 helped
    Session 3

    Hi,

    What do you think about sleep tracking devices (e.g. Fitbit) when it comes to sleep efficiency? It invariably shows ~1 hr each night of being awake, even when I thought I had basically slept the whole night. Fitbit even say that 5-20% of time spent awake every night is normal.

    Given this, it seems pretty impossible to consistently get 90% sleep efficiency. Do you think I should use the Fitbit data, or go by my own recollections of waking periods instead?

  • Sleepio Member

    • 3 comments
    • 0 helped
    Graduate

    I think Sleepio is very good but does not address my specific problem which is my body clock is such that I can't sleep till about 4 am in the morning (give or take 2 hours). Even if I've had 3 hours of sleep the previous day, I still find it almost impossible to go to sleep much sooner. So I am too tired to get up at the time I'm supposed to get up with sleep restriction. Any ideas how to sort out the body clock problem?

  • Sleepio Member

    • 3131 comments
    • 555 helped
    Expert

    Hello and welcome to the live Sleepio session tonight. I'm Dr Vicki Creanor, a clinical psychologist based in the UK with a special interest in sleep. Look forward to hearing from you…I will start by answering the Qs that have been left already…

  • Sleepio Member

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

    Hi and thanks for your question. I think many people worry about this.

    What I tend to find is that if the sleep problem is recent, there is a good chance of recovery fairly quickly. Poor sleep habits that have been recently formed should be able to be unlearned fairly quickly too by following the techniques detailed in the programme. There are always going to be personal differences in terms of a person's recovery that make it quicker/longer, of course.

    If you're interested in the data behind the research at Sleepio, please get in touch with my colleagues at hello@sleepio.com to request further info.

  • Sleepio Member

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

    I find that the sleep tracking devices say I am sleeping when I’m not sure if I am or not

  • Sleepio Member

    • 3131 comments
    • 555 helped
    In reply to a deleted comment
    Expert

    Hi Sarah,

    I think I possibly added part of my reply to your post to the one above – sorry! In terms of getting some data, please email hello@sleepio.com as I'm sure someone will be able to help you with that info as I don't have it to hand.

    In response to the other part of your question, though, it sounds as if you are making good progress, well done! I have definitely known clients of mine who have become more flexible with their sleep over time. A lot of it has to do with how much the anxiety around it can reduce. Once this reduces, we don't overthink sleep too much anymore – much like good sleepers.

    With regards to sleep restriction, though, this is just a short term technique. After sleep efficiency increases, you are able to add 15 mins to your sleep window (the prof will guide you on this), so you will be gradually increasing the length of time you can be in bed.

    I hope this helps to reassure you…

  • Sleepio Member

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

    Hello and thanks for getting in touch.

    If you're seeing a doctor who knows your personal history and is working with you individually, I'd stick with their suggestion, yes.

    On your other note, it can be really tricky sometimes to know whether you're awake or asleep! Often it's somewhere in the middle. My advice when this Q comes up is usually: if you are awake enough to be considering the quarter hour rule, you're probably awake enough to be implementing it. Not an exact science here, but sometimes good to have a bit of guidance!

  • Sleepio Member

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

    Hi and thanks for this great question.

    It's very normal to feel a bit more alert when we sleep in a new bed – it's actually our body's way of making sure we're safe in a new environment and goes back to when we were cavemen having to switch caves due to danger.

    However, given there are rarely dangerous animals in hotel rooms, this is less than helpful when we want a good night's sleep! So, a lot of the sleep hygiene basics will help here: having a good wind down routine, using earplug to drown out any unpredictable noise from neighbouring rooms, using an eyemask so the morning sun doesn't wake you early, avoiding caffeine and alcohol. Some people find that taking their own pillow is a comfort as it provides something familiar and 'safe'.

    Hope that helps…

  • Sleepio Member

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

    Hi and thanks for getting in touch with these questions.

    Exactly what progress a person makes with any type of programme is difficult to say at the beginning as it depends on so many personal and environmental factors, as well as treatment factors, however studies have shown that those with fibromyalgia and insomnia can benefit from CBT-i (CBT for insomnia). Please see the link below which you may find interesting.

    https://www.sleepio.com/articles/sleep-disorders/fibromyalgia/

    In terms of the menopause, we know this is a difficult time for women and sleep problems are commonly reported. There can still be progress made with CBT techniques (again the level of progress depends on many personal psychological and medical factors) for insomnia – again, the article below may be of interest:
    https://www.sleepio.com/articles/sleep-science/menopause-and-sleep-problems/

  • Sleepio Member

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

    Hi and welcome to the Sleepio programme. Nice to see you on this forum – I hope it is of help to you over the next few weeks.

    There will, over the next few sessions, be information that helps you to target this problem in particular. I won't say too much about it here as it will be covered soon in detail in the programme, but it's called the quarter hour rule. This, in combination with other techniques (including sleep restriction which isn't covered here until midway through), helps to reduce time awake in bed and gives you a clear plan for when you can't get back to sleep that will help in the longer term.

    I wish you all the best on the programme and feel free to join us here in the live discussion sessions in the future.

  • Sleepio Member

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

    HI Claire,

    I appreciate this is a tricky issue many people struggle with. Over the next few weeks, you will come across a technique called the quarter hour rule (many people use QHR for short if you see this abbreviation here a lot). This part of the course will take you through how best to use this – in conjunction with other techniques – to enable you to reduce the time you spend in bed awake. If we spend too much time awake in bed, we risk weakening the association between bed and sleep, which ultimately makes sleep harder in the long term.

    I hope you find the course helpful and the explanation of how to use the QHR when it comes…

  • Sleepio Member

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

    Hi and thanks for raising this issue. As more and more of us are using these devices, this question comes up more and more frequently as I think it is something many struggle with. My advice is always to follow your own personal experiences about sleep as this subjective info is important, while some devices can mistake restless sleep for wakefulness or 'being very still when awake' as sleep!

  • Sleepio Member

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

    Thanks for your question, Alex. It sounds as if what you are experiencing is Delayed Sleep Phase Disorder (DSPD), which is a bit different to insomnia, which is what Sleepio is aimed at.

    DSPD is a body clock, or circadian rhythm, issue and although parts of CBT-i (CBT for insomnia) can be helpful, there is a requirement for other elements of treatment, too, such as light therapy, possible use of carefully prescribed melatonin alongside shifting the sleep patterns gradually. Usually it requires some specialist input, so perhaps this is something to look into.

    You may find this article helpful in our library:

    https://www.sleepio.com/articles/sleep-disorders/what-is-delayed-sleep-phase-disorder/

  • Sleepio Member

    • 3131 comments
    • 555 helped
    Expert

    That's all for this evening – thanks for the great Qs and I will speak to you again soon!

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