Live discussion with Dr Vicki Creanor - 5th August

Dr Creanor will be hosting a live online discussion here on Wednesday 5th August 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 30 Jul 2015 at 5:50 PM
  • 28 comments
  • 4 helped

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  • Sleepio Member

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    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Expert

    Hi mc510,
    This is quite common and is exactly the symptoms we are aiming to tackle with the quarter hour rule. It may feel counterproductive not to just stay in bed, but if you were to do this, you'd still likely have negative feelings while trying to fall asleep, which is what we are trying to reduce. What tends to happen is that the more you practice this technique, the more you will increase your sleep drive and thus eventually be able to fall asleep in bed. However, if anxiety is high regarding bed, it would also be important to work on the thought challenging techniques (you may not have come to these yet) as well as ensuring a good and regular wind down routine, along with relaxation strategies covered in the programme.

  • Sleepio Member

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    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Expert

    Hi again m510,

    It is highly recommended within our approach that you ensure sleep is restricted to the bedroom. We advise that when you feel 'sleepy tired' (the point where you would fall asleep in the living room), you go straight to bed.

    The reason for this is linked to what you spoke about in your earlier post. It is all about creating a positive relationship between your bedroom and successful sleep. If sleep is taking place elsewhere, this weakens this relationship which we believe is crucial to improving sleep problems.

  • Sleepio Member

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    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Expert

    Hi Blodwen, nice to hear from you again. There are many good apps out there now which are helpful for various treatments but rather than recommending particular apps, I think it's important to monitor the effects of the ones you've tried. The most valuable mindfulness tools for you will be the ones which have the effect of allowing you to stay focussed in the moment, allowing a sense of calmness and simple curiosity about any intruding thoughts. This is really the aim of mindfulness – different methods will work for different people – what matters is finding something that has this effect for you. Not intentionally trying to be vague here! – I just think it's important to look at it from a subjective point of view rather than what might work well for someone else.

  • Sleepio Member

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    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Expert

    Hi PetyaG,
    Thanks for your post. Regarding taking medication for sleep problems, you can still do so when using a programme like Sleepio, including the sleep restriction element of it. You might find the following library article helpful – 'Antidepressants and sleep' which contains some info on the medication type you are taking. It is very important to talk to your family doctor/GP if you are planning to come off the medication as this often has to be done in a certain way, so make sure you do so before altering anything.

  • Sleepio Member

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    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Expert

    Hi RHjorth,
    Thanks for your question. Many people use the relaxation methods while they are up in the middle of the night – this is a helpful way to remain relaxed, so there's no problem using these tools at that time.

  • Sleepio Member

    • 47 comments
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    Graduate

    Dr. Vicki – many of us who have struggled have likely pounded the internet (to our detriment I am sure) looking for answers. Are you a proponent of supplements or diets that are meant to affect neurotransmitters and thus, sleep?

  • Sleepio Member

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    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Expert

    Hi njlmeeks,

    It does sound like it wouldn't make sense to try and sleep for that 15 mins…however…what you are trying to do is get into a routine and so this is why we do recommend sticking to that window in quite a strict fashion. So yes, we would actually say to get back into bed for that final 15 mins. It may be unlikely at first that you fall back asleep but over time this technique of sleep restriction is likely to reduce early wakenings.

    You wouldn't add in the time you missed to the end of your window – this would be quite damaging to the sleep restriction technique as it would affect your sleep efficiency.

    If you find that the early wakenings are not improving, you could shift your sleep window back so that you go to bed earlier and still get your 7 hours by the time you tend to wake up.

  • Sleepio Member

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    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Expert

    Hi Glider guy, nice to talk to you again. There's actually a couple of library articles you may find interesting talking about just this…have a look at 'food and sleep' and 'diet and sleep'.

  • Sleepio Member

    • 7 comments
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    Graduate

    Thanks, Dr. Vicki, for your feedback.

  • Sleepio Member

    • 1389 comments
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    Expert

    Any more burning questions?

  • Sleepio Member

    • 1389 comments
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    Expert

    We have 5 minutes remaining of the session – if you have any last minute questions, fire away…

  • Sleepio Member

    • 7 comments
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    Graduate

    Regarding sleep efficiency, then, can you please clarify my confusion?

    Looking at the same type of night I described earlier with a 7 hour sleep window.
    Bed: 10 pm
    Asleep: 10:15 pm
    Awake:3:30 AM
    Out of Bed: 3:45 AM
    Back in Bed: 4:45 AM
    Out of bed (after not sleeping): 5:00 AM

    It doesn't seem like the questions for the sleep diary actually get at the correct sleep efficiency because it doesn't seem to count the time I get back into bed but don't actually sleep.
    i.e. By my calculation I spent 6 hours in bed and 5.5 hours asleep which gives me a sleep efficiency of 92%. However, when I enter my sleep diary, I just say that I woke up at 3:30 AM and was awake for good because even though I got back in bed, I didn't actually go to sleep. This gives me a sleep efficiency of 88%.
    If I enter the information in my sleep diary and say I woke up once during the night at 3:30 AM and was awake 2.5 hours and that I got out of bed for the day at 5 am, the diary calculates my sleep efficiency at 51% which is clearly not accurate because it thinks I spent that whole 1.5 hours that I was awake, in bed.

    Please help!

  • Sleepio Member

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    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Expert

    I'm trying to work out what info you're giving the diary and I would like to have a proper look at the diary itself. Is it OK if I get back to you on this one post-session once I've had a look at what you should be entering for your sleep data?

  • Sleepio Member

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    Graduate

    I think my math is off (I'm tired, shocker), but do you see my confusion?

  • Sleepio Member

    • 1389 comments
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    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Expert

    I do and I don't want to such an answer tonight as I want to look at the figures but also what the diary needs from you. OK if I get back to you?

  • Sleepio Member

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    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Expert

    Sorry meant 'rush' an answer..

  • Sleepio Member

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    Graduate

    That would be great. I just don't know how to account for the time I spend in bed, but don't fall asleep. LIke many people, I will lay down after a middle of the night wake up, but still don't fall asleep so just end up getting up again ~15 minutes later. It's those 15 minute increments in bed but not sleeping I don't know how to account for.

  • Sleepio Member

    • 1389 comments
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    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Expert

    OK I will look into this and get back to you…

  • Sleepio Member

    • 1389 comments
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    Expert

    That's all for tonight – thanks for the questions and speak to you all soon,
    Vicki

  • Sleepio Member

    • 2 comments
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    Session 2

    I am trying the kichen sink,not getting back on track

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