Live Discussion with Dr Vicki Creanor - 5th May 2021

Dr Creanor will be hosting a live online discussion here on Wednesday 5th May 2021, 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 Apr 2021 at 6:50 PM
  • 18 comments
  • 3 helped

Comments

  • Sleepio Member

    • 1 comments
    • 0 helped
    Session 2

    Hi,

    I have an issue with my upstairs neighbour. He wakes me up and when I get really annoyed I hit the ceiling to get him to stop. Every time I react I can feel my heart racing and I can't get back to sleep. Where I'm living is temporary but I'd love to be able to get back to sleep if I wake up like that. I've always been a light sleeper and I can't use ear plugs. I just want to be able to hear the noise then fall back asleep or preferably not hear it at all. How can I get to this point or is it even possible?

    Thanks!

  • Sleepio Member

    • 3 comments
    • 2 helped
    Graduate

    Is it advisable to extend the sleep window at 90%? I am sleeping a glorious 7h 30 mins in an 8 h 30 min window meaning I am waking at 7 which I need to for work days. I feel that the sleep compression is keeping me able to get back to sleep in the night. I am however struggling to keep my eyes open in the evening but going to bed before 10.30 seems too early.
    So the question is, if I am at my ideal sleep window but still having sleepiness symptoms is it better to extend?

  • Sleepio Member

    • 1 comments
    • 0 helped
    Graduate

    I am going on a trip next week where there's a 3-hour time change. I am supposed to start my sleep restriction this week, but I know that I likely won't be able to stick to my sleep schedule next week while I'm away. I will also be in an environment with multiple people per room and everyone will likely be staying up late. I have a lot of anxiety about being kept awake by other people in our Airbnb and being woken up if I decide to go to bed earlier than other people. I'm very nervous about the whole experience because I am so sleep deprived. Any advice on how to manage this?

  • Sleepio Member

    • 1 comments
    • 1 helped
    Session 4

    I have ADHD for which I cannot take medication. I often wake during the night and start to plan five major projects simultaneously. Getting out of bed and going into another room for a short time does not seem to work. Trying not to think is also counterproductive. Any suggestions?

  • Sleepio Member

    • 2 comments
    • 1 helped
    Graduate

    I take a sleep aid every night. I'm at beginning of week 3, at what point do I try to ween myself off sleeping pills?

  • Sleepio Member

    • 2 comments
    • 1 helped
    Graduate

    I use guided meditation to sometimes help get me to sleep and sometimes if I wake up in the middle of the night to use the bathroom. Should I continue to use this with this program?

  • Sleepio Member

    • 5 comments
    • 1 helped
    Graduate

    I graduated on Monday and unfortunately haven't seen any real improvement in my sleep. My question is about my sleep window, which is 11.30pm to 6.15am (6.75 hrs). It's a real struggle staying awake until 11.30 and I usually have no trouble falling asleep when I go to bed. However, even if I've slept really badly, with several awakenings, I wake fully between 5 and 6am. I never need an alarm. Does this mean my sleep window needs to be reduced?

    Over the programme I've realised I can function pretty well on 5 broken hours of sleep, still doing all my usual work, sports etc, no napping in the day. However, I'm probably running on adrenaline as I've had a lot of sleep-related anxiety since starting sleep restriction. It goes back to childhood insomnia worries so won't be a quick fix. I'm working on this with the Headspace app, specifically the sleep module. I'm not sure where to go from here – do I try reducing the window?

  • Sleepio Member

    • 3131 comments
    • 555 helped
    Expert

    Hi and welcome to this week's live session. I'm a clinical psychologist with a special interest in sleep and I'll be here for the next 90 mins to answer any Qs you may have about the programme or sleep in general. Let's get started…

  • Sleepio Member

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

    Hi and thanks for getting in touch. This is a really tricky situation – I'm sorry to hear you're struggling with your neighbour's noise levels.

    A couple of ideas come to mind that may help, aside from having an honest word with him about how it's really tricky for you to sleep with his noise levels if you feel they are unacceptable…

    1) I wonder if you have tried using white noise in the bedroom? You can find lots of white noise apps or find long white noise recordings on YouTube. Playing them can drown out other noises throughout the night.

    2) Some people find that recording the noises that wake them and make them anxious, then listening to them during the day for longer and longer periods, then closer and closer to bedtime, while doing a relaxation exercise, can really help to get the brain used to it and start pairing it with feeling relaxed. Worth a try?

  • Sleepio Member

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

    Hi there,
    Thanks for your question. So you would still expect some sleepiness symptoms even when the efficiency is close to 90% (at the moment you're close to that but not quite there so I'd wait until you are before making any changes). When at 90%, you can extend the window by 15 mins whether this is at the start of the night or into the end of your sleep window. Even if it might feel too early to go to bed pre 10.30pm, it might be worth a try to help night time sleepiness and if tired, it's a good sign that sleep pressure has been appropriately building throughout the day and your body is ready for sleep.

  • Sleepio Member

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

    Hi and thanks for getting in touch. My first question is whether this trip feels necessary if there is so much stress around it? But if it is, I would probably suggest pausing the programme (you can do this by emailing hello@sleepio.com to let them know you'd like to do this) and pick up when you are home. I wonder also how honest you can be with the people you are sharing with? Might they be understanding of your needs if you share your concerns with them?

  • Sleepio Member

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

    Hi Koshmar,

    Thanks for your question. So many people with ADHD find it hard to do nothing. As you know, you have a lot of energy a lot of the time. This programme will teach you various techniques to help you relax, including progressive muscle relaxation – this is often popular with people with ADHD with whom I have worked as it is quite an active exercise but is also relaxing.

    Something else that might help is planning some scheduled 'planning/worry' time into your day – far away from bedtime – to plan those projects you think about at night. If this is taken care of during the day, there is less chance that you will go to it at night.

    Also make sure you get plenty exercise during the day so that you tire your body out by night time.

    Hope there is something in here that might help.

  • Sleepio Member

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

    Hi there – thanks for getting in touch. Weaning off medication is an entirely personal choice as to when it happens – or if it happens at all. Many people complete the programme when on meds; others like to wean off at various times. Both groups have positive results. But it's important to talk any decision around meds with your doctor/pharmacist who knows your medical history.

  • Sleepio Member

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

    Yes absolutely – if you are already using something that relaxes you and helps you drift off to sleep, I'd keep using it.

  • Sleepio Member

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

    Hi Ali,

    Thanks for your question. I wonder about shifting your sleep window rather than changing the time period of it in the first instance to see if that helps…so if you wake at 5am, you'd go to bed at 10.15pm?

  • Sleepio Member

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

    Thanks – I'll try that and see how it goes

  • Sleepio Member

    • 3131 comments
    • 555 helped
    Expert

    15 mins left of our session this evening if there are any further Qs…

  • Sleepio Member

    • 3131 comments
    • 555 helped
    Expert

    That's all for this week's session. Thanks for the Qs left tonight and I will speak to you again soon. Take care!

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