Live discussion with Dr Vicki Creanor - 3rd May 2017

Dr Creanor will be hosting a live online discussion here on Wednesday 3rd May, from 8:15 to 9:45pm British Time or 3:15 to 4:45pm US Eastern Standard 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. 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 27 Apr 2017 at 11:29 AM
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Comments

  • Sleepio Member

    • 1 comments
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    Graduate

    Wednesday is not 5th May. Do you mean Wednesday 3rd May or Friday 5th May?

  • Sleepio Member

    • 1 comments
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    Session 3

    I am so tired at the end of the day and I always try to relax in the evening. However when I go to bed my eyes are wide open and I cannot seem to control the numerous topics that fly through my head keeping me from falling asleep. It is like I have a second wind and am ready to stay up all night.

  • Sleepio Member

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    Graduate

    What can you do to stay awake and alert during the day without drinking caffeine?

  • Sleepio Member

    • 2 comments
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    Graduate

    I was so miserable that I added 15 minutes to my sleep window before the prof said it was okay. The past week I've been a lot less grumpy but my sleep efficiency is a hair below 90%. Will it be better in the long term for me to subtract the 15 minutes and re-attempt the shortened sleep window for a week?

  • Sleepio Member

    • 2622 comments
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    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Expert

    hi there – it will be tomorrow (3rd May) – apologies for any confusion – I'll ask this to be changed.

  • Sleepio Member

    • 2622 comments
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    Expert

    Hello and welcome to the live Sleepio session. If you have any questions about any techniques covered within the programme, or about the psychology of sleep, please send me a post on this thread. Let's get started…

  • Sleepio Member

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    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Expert

    HI there,
    What you describe here is something many people will identify with. Rather than it being a second wind, it tends to be anxiety that kicks in at bedtime (if we have a history of poor sleep) as bedtime = a worrying time for those with poor sleep. The body essentially is preparing for fight or flight, so it becomes stimulated. The techniques within the Sleepio programme will help to calm the body and mind (racing thoughts are very common at this time, too) to help people wind down at this time of night instead of feeling anxious and awake.

  • Sleepio Member

    • 1 comments
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    Session 1

    Since menopause, I can go to sleep without problem, but every night wake up and have difficulty going back to sleep. What will stop this pattern?

  • Sleepio Member

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    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Expert

    Hi there,
    Thanks for your post. Caffeine can help keep us awake, but for those with sleep problems, it's good to avoid it after lunchtime as it can have a lengthy effect. Other ways to stay awake/alert are:
    – taking exercise (keep this lighter in the evening)
    – doing mind puzzles (Sudoku, crosswords etc)
    – getting outside and into the fresh air and sunshine – this helps stimulate our sense but also sends a message to the brain that it's a time to be awake
    – speaking to someone (it's harder to fall asleep if you're in a conversation – depending on the person!)
    – playing stimulating music

    This is by no means an exhaustive list, and perhaps others in the community have other ideas to help, too?

  • Sleepio Member

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    Graduate

    hello! I am having stomach problem along with insomnia. is it a common symptom?

  • Sleepio Member

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    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Expert

    Hi there,
    Thanks for your post. Sometimes it depends what wakes the person in the middle of the night – first we see if we can eliminate this if it's something in the environment. If not, however, it's often part of poor sleep patterns that are waking us in the night, so Sleepio uses a variety of techniques to ensure that, as much as possible, people are sleeping in one large block per night. These techniques are varied and target anxiety, good sleep habits, improving the brain's association between bed and sleep and others which, all together, aim to reduce night time wakenings. It is, however, important to remember that it's normal to wake once or twice a night (good sleepers do this too) but what is important is how quickly we get back to sleep. Hope this helps.

  • Sleepio Member

    • 2622 comments
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    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Expert

    Hi there,
    Often we see those with sleep problems experiencing a great deal of anxiety and yes, stomach problems (unsettled stomachs, constipation, diarrhoea) are a common symptom of anxiety. The techniques within Sleepio that focus on relaxation can help with this problem if it's anxiety that's causing the problem.

  • Sleepio Member

    • 2622 comments
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    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Expert

    HI there,
    I can understand the temptation to add 15 mins to the window when exhausted and craving more time in bed. The reason we suggest waiting til around 90% efficiency is so that we avoid people spending more time in bed when awake. When we lie in bed awake, we strengthen the poor association in our brains between our bed/bedroom and sleep, which in the long term prevents good sleep.

    However, if the efficiency is around 90% I wouldn't worry too much about this. If efficiency dips well below 90% again, the window may need adjusted. Also make sure that the quarter hour rule is being implemented to ensure the bed-sleep connection isn't being affected.

  • Sleepio Member

    • 2622 comments
    • 411 helped
    Expert

    It's been very quiet for a while – any other questions?

  • Sleepio Member

    • 5 comments
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    Graduate

    I have an under active thyroid and have a difficulty in balancing my thyroxine meds. Can this be an issue with poor sleep?

  • Sleepio Member

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

    Hi there,
    An underactive thyroid can mean that a person feels sleepy during the day, but another symptom of this condition is low mood, which can also contribute to sleep problems. As for the influence medication has on sleep, it is best to ask your GP/family doctor about this particular question.

  • Sleepio Member

    • 2622 comments
    • 411 helped
    Expert

    That's all for this session – all the best with the coming week and putting the techniques into practice…speak to you again soon.

  • Sleepio Member

    • 4 comments
    • 0 helped
    Graduate

    I am on the second week of the sleep restriction. I was doing quite well to start with- sleep efficiency in the 80plus % but now i've dipped to 78%. How long does it usually take for sleep restriction to have a beneficial effect please?

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