Live Discussion with Dr Vicki Creanor - 5th June 2019

Dr Creanor will be hosting a live online discussion here on Wednesday 5th June, from 8:15pm to 9:45pm British Time or 3:15pm to 4:45pm 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. 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.

Please do note that, as per our guidelines, Dr Creanor will not be able to give personal medical advice including those about 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.

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Posted 30 May 2019 at 2:00 PM
  • 10 comments
  • 1 helped

Comments

  • Sleepio Member

    • 1 comments
    • 0 helped
    Graduate

    Hi Dr Creanor
    I'd be enormously grateful if you could help me out with a question about exercise. I am passionate about endurance open water swimming and have a number of 10k+ swims planned across the summer. Since I began doing sleep restriction though I find myself feeling completely depleted after a big training session or event (which might be 2-3hrs+ of swimming). I'm worried my body is not getting enough recovery. Would it be ok to extend my sleep window after a day where I have done particularly heavy exercise or do you recommend sticking with sleep restriction?
    Many thanks
    Louise

  • Sleepio Member

    • 15 comments
    • 9 helped
    Graduate

    Hi Dr Creanor, I hope you are well
    I'd like to ask about the “sleep efficiency” rating please. I was surprised to find an 83% result from a night of lots of wakings, just not for very long. I didn't feel like I had slept well but the number says it was 'good'.
    Being an accountant, I'm working out the numbers :) and if I woke every 30 minutes for 2 minutes – with 8 hours in bed – that would be a rating of over 93%, but I would feel I'd had a very poor night.
    I suppose I'm asking if persistent waking is something I should just accept or an insomnia issue which Sleepio would help to resolve.
    Thank you very much
    (PS, I'm just a week 2 newbie at the time of writing.)

  • Sleepio Member

    • 1 comments
    • 0 helped
    Graduate

    I am about to start the sleep restriction programme and fully understand the reasoning behind it. However, I would appreciate some clarification as to the meaning of being “dangerously sleepy” during daytime, according to the Prof. I understand the need to avoid napping during the day but there is all the difference between a voluntary nap and involuntary sleeping due to exhaustion, because of insomnia. We must obviously avoid driving if exhausted but I am concerned about involuntarily “collapsing” into sleep during the day when I would much prefer to read or listen to music. There are no other medical factors apart form insomnia to consider. Such involuntary sleep is not dangerous but are you saying that, somehow I must try to keep awake, however difficult. Frankly, unless I had someone with me to “torture” me to keep awake, I do not know how I can do it. Such sleeps are not short naps but unsatisfactory slumber of longer periods-up to about an hour or so,

  • Sleepio Member

    • 3131 comments
    • 555 helped
    Expert

    Good evening and welcome to the Sleepio discussion session. My name is Dr Vicki Creanor and I am a clinical psychologist with a special interest in sleep. I'm here for the next hour and a half to answer any questions about sleep or the Sleepio programme itself. Let's get started…

  • Sleepio Member

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

    Thank you for getting in touch. Wow – sounds like a very energetic summer ahead! So when it comes to sleep restriction, it is known for being probably the toughest part of the sleep programme. What is really important during this part of the programme, however, is consistency with the sleep window. The reason it is suggested we remain quite rigid is that we are trying to teach our body and mind a new sleep routine and, if sleep windows change in terms of length every now and again, it will not be as effective and any gains may not be achieved. If this part of the programme seems too tricky to stick to when the swims are taking place (because you're right – your body will probably need more time to recover during sleep), you could request to pause it by emailing hello@sleepio.com.

  • Sleepio Member

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

    Hi and thanks for your post. Yes, I can see why the ratings are a little confusing here. You're right, it is a fairly high efficiency rating, however the wakenings are so minimal in terms of length of time awake that they won't have much of an impact on efficiency, but what is affected is the quality of sleep. Persistent waking is a common issue in people whose sleep is poor and Sleepio will be able to help in this regard using a technique known as sleep restriction, which you'll come to next week I believe. This helps to squeeze all the bits of broken sleep throughout the night into one big chunk so that sleep quality improves.

    I hope that helps to reassure you?

  • Sleepio Member

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

    Hello and thank you for your question. I'm glad to hear the programme is going well for you and that the length of your sleep has improved. In terms of how people rate the night, this is very subjective so has to be rated how you feel about the night, however what I would say is that it is actually normal for good sleepers to wake a couple of times a night and then just get back to sleep again. What changes things for poorer sleepers (or people who have experienced some poor sleep recently) is their perception of what this means. If they expect all wakenings to be eliminated after they have worked on their sleep, then they will be disappointed by any wakenings. If, however, they understand that this is perfectly normal, it may lead them to know this is OK and that their sleep is actually following a normal pattern. This, in turn, helps them to build their confidence about how they are sleeping, thus improving their overall attitude towards sleep and minimizing any minor blips.

  • Sleepio Member

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

    Hi there. What we mean by dangerously sleepy is basically if someone is too sleepy to be able to drive, look after vulnerable others (ie children) or operate heavy machinery etc. But in general, we do suggest that people avoid napping throughout the day. This is because any sleep (even 15-30 mins) during the day can reduce the sleep pressure that builds up towards night time and helps us get to sleep at the end of the day. It can also lead to less sleep at night, too. There are various strategies people can use to combat daytime sleepiness to help avoid naps – some people do use caffeine early on the day to help, get plenty of sunlight and fresh air, chat to others or use exercise to stay awake. There may be other ideas that people can glean from other community members here, as it's a battle most people have had!

  • Sleepio Member

    • 3131 comments
    • 555 helped
    Expert

    A quiet session tonight, but hopefully that means people are managing well with the programme…hope to speak to you again soon!

  • Sleepio Member

    • 1 comments
    • 0 helped
    Graduate

    Hi Dr. Creanor,

    I try to get to bed a the same time at night. But for whatever reason, I still wake up 1-2 times a night, usually for short periods and usually fall back asleep until about the time I'm scheduled to wake up. I seem to have good sleep, but I know my rating is not great. What can I do?

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