Live Discussion with Dr Vicki Creanor - 8th April 2020

Dr Creanor will be hosting a live online discussion here on Wednesday 8th April, 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 1 Apr 2020 at 11:40 PM
  • 13 comments
  • 4 helped

Comments

  • Sleepio Member

    • 11 comments
    • 4 helped
    Graduate

    Hello Dr. Creanor of the future,

    In situations where someone's efficiency is still high but they find themselves sleeping significantly less than their allotted time, should they 'restart' the program by working out their average sleep during the week and re-restrict to that?

    Also, I wanted to ask about reclining (without actually napping). Often I am so fatigued I can barely sit or hold my head upright, and this causes a number of postural issues. I’ve been trying to use my recliner to just let myself rest (without fully lying down) until I feel able to sit properly during the day, but this can take a fair while and occasionally I can find myself nodding a bit. Is this a reasonable workaround?

    Thanks for reading

  • Sleepio Member

    • 5 comments
    • 6 helped
    Graduate

    To piggyback on the first question-I have completed the course, but I need continued support with my sleep schedule. (One example is that I seem to fit my assigned sleep window one night, but not the next (as if I overslept on the “good” night.) If I continue to enter data as a post grad, will your algorithm continue to adjust the sleep window as a post graduate of the course? If Sleepio is not set up to adjust this, could you share the algorithm, so I may run my own mathematical trial?

  • Sleepio Member

    • 52 comments
    • 22 helped
    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Graduate

    Hello Kathan. I started the course in December. You can still visit the Prof every week after Graduation by clicking the green button in the top right hand corner of your profile page. It will tell you when your next session is with the Prof under this button. So keep filling in your Sleep Diary and entering the information about your nights sleep like you have have done from the beginning of this course every week. When you visit him on the date of the next session he will assess the information you have filled in on your Sleep Diary. If you get to 90% SE he will give you a 15 minute reward so your SW will keep adjusting.

    I hope this helps.

    Best wishes LoM.

  • Sleepio Member

    • 11 comments
    • 6 helped
    Graduate

    Hello Dr Creanor,

    Sorry about this, I have three questions.

    1) When I can't sleep for fifteen minutes I often move to my living room couch in an effort to regain some feeling of sleepiness. I close my eyes (especially if it's growing light outside) and try to reach a point where I might drift off. I often feel anxious while doing this because I'm attempting to force myself to feel sleepy. Is it better to try and regain the feeling of sleepiness via this route, or should I be doing something else – sitting down on a chair and reading for example?

    2) I have some melatonin tablets and I sometimes take them twenty minutes before going to bed if I don't feel sleepy I will take two. It was neither recommended nor prohibited that I take them as part of any CBTi treatment. If I'm not feeling sleepy before bed is it better to take the tablets or wait past my Time To Bed until I am?

    3) On that note – is it okay to go past my prescribed Time To Bed if I'm not feeling sleepy?

  • Sleepio Member

    • 3131 comments
    • 555 helped
    Expert

    Good evening! Welcome to the live session – I look forward to your questions! Let's get started…

  • Sleepio Member

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

    Hi there – thanks for getting in touch…

    So with regards to your first question, often you'll find that sleep will even itself out after a period of adjustment, so it's best not to recalculate this too soon after you see this pattern. Instead, look at ways to improve night time sleep, such as exercise and fresh air during the day (I'm aware this may be restricted at the moment depending on where you are in the world…), avoiding napping (this relates to your second Q!), avoiding caffeine and alcohol and introducing relaxation into the daily and night time routine. However, if you feel that this pattern has gone on for some time and isn't shifting, it can be recalculated so that the sleep window is more reflective of an average night's sleep.

    With regards to your second question…I would personally avoid the recliner if you're likely to have a nap (even if it's brief). You may notice a certain time that this occurs – trying to pre-empt this and going for a light walk if possible will help keep the body active when it's supposed to be awake. If the body is in pain, by all means, finding somewhere comfortable to sit or lie down may be needed, but try to think of ways you can do this without falling asleep.

  • Sleepio Member

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

    It sounds as if Life on Mars has suggested the way forward for you – let us know if there are any other queries once you've tried this and we'll be happy to help…

  • Sleepio Member

    • 3131 comments
    • 555 helped
    Expert

    Hello – thanks for your questions.

    In response to your first question, if you think about good sleepers, sleep happens TO them, rather than them doing something. So, we're trying to get to a point here where sleepiness happens to you when you're doing the quarter hour rule. I would suggest some form of relaxing (passive) activity that will take your mind of trying to sleep (this, as you have experienced, makes us less sleepy and more alert). Try to avoid screens and anything that will stimulate you. Listening to relaxing music might be an option, or doing some relaxation techniques? Reading works for some people but the problem is, it often draws us in too much, depending on how good the book is, of course!!

    In response to your second question, this is one for the GP/pharmacist who prescribed the medication – they are best place to explain when to take the meds.

    In relation to the last question, it's always recommended to go to bed at the Time to Bed time, but to increase sleepiness by engaging in a consistent bedtime routine and by maintaining good sleep hygiene (i.e. no caffeine past lunchtime, dark, cool, quiet bedroom etc)

  • Sleepio Member

    • 11 comments
    • 4 helped
    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Graduate

    Hi again Dr Creanor,

    In my case this did result from an acute period of anxiety, and things seem to be very slowly evening out as you predicted.

    The sofa reclining has been helpful, however. I get POHTs symptoms if I'm too tired to walk/sit upright and this just spirals into a lot of fatigue and anxiety if I can't recline, but I've been trying not to actively nap unless I'm so tired I can barely stop myself, and only for 15 minutes.

    A small further question if you have time: do we know why it is that sometimes it seems like a person is more tired on the days when they finally get sleep?

    Thanks again

  • Sleepio Member

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

    Hi there – thanks for the update that's good to know it's evening out. On the naps, even if it's a 15 mon nap this can impact night time sleep so again, if you do have to recline as you've explained, maybe try and play loud music or have a chat to someone at the same time, or do something to keep your hands/mind busy to avoid nodding off. Even opening a window can help.

    We do sometimes find that we are still sleepy on the days we have had sleep, but this is usually because of the type of sleep we've had. If we don't get enough deep sleep (even if we've had a good magic 8 hours), we can still feel unrefreshed. Getting consistent routines, consistent rise and bed times and good sleep habits in place will all help to improve the amount of deep sleep we achieve.

  • Sleepio Member

    • 11 comments
    • 4 helped
    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Graduate

    It's a fair point, I do try to avoid it wherever possible, but there are times when it's like someone's spiked my drink, and at that point even the soulful sounds of Napalm Death can't bring me back from the brink.

    Interesting that 8 hours doesn't necessarily equate to quality sleep! Thanks again.

  • Sleepio Member

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

    You're welcome :)

  • Sleepio Member

    • 3131 comments
    • 555 helped
    Expert

    That's all for tonight's session – stay safe and speak to you all again soon…

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