Live Discussion with Dr Vicki Creanor - 7th November 2018

Dr Creanor will be hosting a live online discussion here on Wednesday 7th Nov, from 8:15 to 9:45pm British Time or 3:15 to 5:45pm 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.

Please do note that, as per our guidelines, Dr Creanor will not be able to give personal medical advice, including that concerning 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. 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 2 Nov 2018 at 4:54 PM
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Comments

  • Sleepio Member

    • 1 comments
    • 0 helped
    Session 5

    I am always hearing that poor sleep is really bad for longevity, brain function etc. I got the impression from my last meeting with “the prof” that poor sleeping will catch itself up and its not that bad?

  • Sleepio Member

    • 44 comments
    • 7 helped
    Graduate

    And Alzheimers ? Right now it seems to be that there is an association between insomnia and this disease rather than proven causality but is research heading in the direction of cause and effect?

  • Sleepio Member

    • 44 comments
    • 7 helped
    Graduate

    Hi, a question from a friend – on average how long does it take someone to achieve a sleep efficiency/ duration which allows a decent quality of life? I appreciate everyone’s different …

  • Sleepio Member

    • 53 comments
    • 0 helped
    Graduate

    Hello Dr.
    I re-started sleep sacrifice a second time over a couple of months back but apart from 10 days some decent sleep towards the end of two months my sleep has been very poor there were nights I slept for less than 4 hours and my current average sleep is under 5 hours! !

    Often I wake up pretty much alert and ,despite being out bed for upto a couple of hours I do not return to sleep.

    All this post over 5 months since joining.

    What do you advice?

  • Sleepio Member

    • 2 comments
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    Graduate

    I have been told by a hospital consultant, after being tested overnight, that I was awake for long periods although I thought I was asleep. He gave this a name, but I did not retain it. Could you tell me anything about this please?

  • Sleepio Member

    • 2 comments
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    Graduate

    Hi I have general anxiety, which has been quite under control until recently when a lost sleep due to a number of circumstances including reducing medication and stress in life. These evens, triggered my inability to sleep which I had before 2 years ago – but I corrected this using Sleepio. I’m on the second week of sleep restriction and I’m finding it really hard as I get a few nights on 5 ish hours and then one when I get virtually nothing. Is this normal and how long should the sleep restriction take to work? I’m finding the increased anxiety during the day hard to deal with.

  • Sleepio Member

    • 2 comments
    • 0 helped
    Graduate

    Hi I have general anxiety, which has been quite under control until recently when a lost sleep due to a number of circumstances including reducing medication and stress in life. These events, triggered my inability to sleep which I had before 2 years ago – (but I corrected this using Sleepio.) I’m on the second week of sleep restriction and I’m finding it really hard as I get a few nights of 5 ish hours and then one where I get virtually nothing. Is this normal and how long should the sleep restriction take to work? I’m finding the increased anxiety during the day hard to deal with.

  • Sleepio Member

    • 2622 comments
    • 411 helped
    Expert

    Hi everyone and welcome to the live Sleepio session. I'm Dr Vicki Creanor, a clinical psychologist with a special interest in sleep. I'll aim to answer as many of your questions as I can within the next 90 mins…let's get started…

  • Sleepio Member

    • 2622 comments
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    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Expert

    HI there and thanks for getting in touch. Night to night, our bodies and brains have a clever way of trying to balance out the parts of sleep that we haven't been getting and give us more of these types of sleep over the coming nights, so this is true. What you may have heard about more and more in the media is that there is building research to say that poor sleep over a long period of time can affect our immune systems, health etc. It tends to depend how chronic the problem is, though, as well as being affected by numerous personal factors for each individual.

  • Sleepio Member

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

    Hi there – again, there is always ongoing research in the field of sleep, which is really important to look at all the different things it affects, however I'm not involved in this type of research so I can't comment on the most up to date findings I'm afraid. I would say that the media do like to take headlines from studies without much about the details, so I'd always suggest being cautious when reading articles that make grand claims…

  • Sleepio Member

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

    Hello thanks for your question. Yes it's hard to answer this question because you're right – everyone is so different and what constitutes a 'decent' quality of life for one person may differ greatly from the next person. It can take a number of weeks for one person to reach a stage where they feel much more alert, happier and more refreshed, while it may take another months – how long it takes often depends on the many and various other factors in people's lives.

  • Sleepio Member

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

    Hi and thanks for getting in touch. I can hear you're frustrated. It is not uncommon for sleep patterns to take a number of months to change – especially when there are underlying factors at play or when the problem has been around for a long time. When sleep restriction is started, people often report that they struggle to get good sleep for a while and the quantity of sleep they get can temporarily drop. However, it is a technique worth sticking at because, eventually, it helps the body get into a more regular pattern and helps to achieve a more solid period of sleep each night, rather than a more broken pattern. It might be worth checking in with others in the community to ask about others who have had a similar experience to you, just to reassure you that you're not alone…

  • Sleepio Member

    • 1 comments
    • 0 helped
    Graduate

    Hi
    I'm quite new to Sleepio just one night into SR.
    I read usimg a tablet and have the twilight app which I understand filters the blue light.
    I have been avoiding watching TV to wind down and was very surprised to see it was a recommended activity for winding down, doesn't this expose you to the blue light and add to problems of sleeplessness?

  • Sleepio Member

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

    Hello – hmm, I'm not aware of the name of this, however I have spoken to many people who experience this phenomenon. It may be that you were in a dream-like state during REM sleep as often we believe that these things are actually happening. There can also be confusion about sleep and wakefulness at the start of sleep, just as we are drifting off. There is actually a library article about the opposite phenomenon which you may find interesting:

    https://www.sleepio.com/library/article/can-you-think-youre-awake-when-actually-youre-asle/

  • Sleepio Member

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

    Hi there – welcome to Sleepio! So the idea of watching TV to wind down is sometimes more complex than it sounds in terms of what's helpful and what's not! First of all, it depends on the type of TV as to whether it gives off blue light. Also what people watch is important as if it's too stimulating/violent, then it is not a great thing to do before bed as it stimulates thoughts too much to be able to induce sleep. The other issue is where the TV is – we would always recommend avoiding having a TV in the bedroom so that this room can be simply associated with sleep (and sexual activity) in order to strengthen the likelihood of sleep when one goes to bed.

  • Sleepio Member

    • 2622 comments
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    In reply to a deleted comment
    Expert

    Hi there – this is fairly common actually and is usually caused by anxiety. If anxiety is an underlying problem, we recommend seeking help for this alongside the sleep techniques as it can slow down progress with sleep work if not addressed.

  • Sleepio Member

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

    Thanks for getting in touch. Sleep restriction is possibly the most challenging part of the Sleepio programme. It is the technique we hear people struggling with most. Please be reassured that, in the short term, most (if not all) people will struggle with it and sleep will often get worse before it gets better. This is the body's way of adjusting to a new routine. However, we do see a lot of great results from sleep restriction in the longer-term. What I would recommend to anyone in this situation, however, is to speak to someone who can support them with the anxiety if this increases. Not addressing the anxiety may also undermine the work being done with sleep. Hope that helps?

  • Sleepio Member

    • 2622 comments
    • 411 helped
    In reply to a deleted comment
    Expert

    Good question – one I'm not entirely sure about actually. I know the body temperature falls when we are asleep, but as for the point at which it rises (whether it's during lighter sleep or once fully awake), I'm afraid I don't know…?

  • Sleepio Member

    • 2622 comments
    • 411 helped
    Expert

    That's all for the live session this evening, folks. Thanks for the great questions and I'll speak to you again soon.

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