Live discussion with Dr Vicki Creanor - 8th June 2016

Dr Creanor will be hosting a live online discussion here on Wednesday 8th June, from 8:15pm until 9.45pm British Standard Time or 3:15pm until 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.

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Posted 2 Jun 2016 at 11:48 AM
  • 19 comments
  • 3 helped

Comments

  • Sleepio Member

    • 30 comments
    • 3 helped
    Graduate

    I'm a graduate, my sleep is mostly good. However, I asked my partner to sleep in a different room while I was going through the “reconnect with bed” phase. I've improved (80% efficient) but still needs improving. My question is about when should I let my partner come back into the room? This has gone on for a while and although my partner understands why, it's equally putting pressure on the relationship. When we try to sleep together, I end up very disturbed sleep and efficiency drops down to 50%.. It's mostly down to my psychology rather than snoring/ fidgeting etc.

  • Sleepio Member

    • 3 comments
    • 0 helped
    Graduate

    Dear Expert,
    Another graduate here. I followed the course very successfully and had my sleep up to 90%. After the last session I got a bit more loose with my sleep window and saw it dropping to 80% again. So I got back into the habits that got it up to 90%, but I seem not able to get back on it. Somehow the progressive relaxation lost it's power (I used to fell asleep during it) and I'm not sure what to do now. Also noise is bothering me more then during the course (same level of noise).
    Any tips for after the course?
    Many Thanks

  • Sleepio Member

    • 4 comments
    • 1 helped
    Graduate

    I am beginning to fall asleep with the PR and breathing exercises. How can I incorporate breathing while using the C?PAP? I am afraid I will lose sleepiness if I stop to put on mask.

  • Sleepio Member

    • 2 comments
    • 0 helped
    Graduate

    My question concerns when it may be appropriate to taper off a sleep aid? I am taking a fairly low (25 mg) dose of Elavil one hour before bedtime. While this has been very helpful, I prefer to rely on cognitive behavior being reinforced with Sleepio. Is two weeks of pretty good results sufficient to consider making a reduction and eventual elimination of the medication? Thanks!

  • Sleepio Member

    • 9 comments
    • 1 helped
    Graduate

    My doctor has recommended CBT-I for me. Wonder if it would blend with or conflict with my Sleepio curse.
    Thanks.

  • Sleepio Member

    • 1389 comments
    • 225 helped
    Expert

    hello and welcome to the live Sleepio session. Here we will discuss the psychology of sleep and the Sleepio programme. I'll wait a few minutes to let people have a chance to post any other questions, then start answering those already left…

  • Sleepio Member

    • 1389 comments
    • 225 helped
    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Expert

    HI there,
    Thanks for this question. It's often something people do when recovering from insomnia – sleeping separately from their bed partner to try and get back on track with the sleep. It is, understandably, difficult on the relationship. With regards to when to start co-sleeping again, this is a personal choice, but some people like to do it gradually so it's not a significant change to a full night right away.You're probably right with regards to it being a psychological barrier rather than anything else; what people can do here is to use the cognitive techniques (challenging negative thoughts) to challenge the illusion that the night will be much different from when you sleep alone. Another thing people could try is to do the night time wind down routine together so that the full evening is spent together and in sync regarding your activities, so that it's more natural to then go to bed together as well. Hope that helps.

  • Sleepio Member

    • 1389 comments
    • 225 helped
    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Expert

    Hi there,
    Thanks for your question. Sleepio is actually a form of CBT-i (Cognitive Behavioural Therapy for Insomnia), just done online, so you will find that other forms of CBT-i use the same type of techniques.

  • Sleepio Member

    • 1389 comments
    • 225 helped
    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Expert

    Hi there,
    It's a very good idea to get the techniques more routined again, so well done for spotting that it was slipping in this regard (many people don't spot this). There are often blips in people's sleep after the course (the same as with any treatment and with most types of recovery) – the key here is not to spend too long worrying about it or put too much emphasis on the blip. See it as common, because it is. Underlying anxiety often causes people's sleep to slip and perhaps this is something to look at? Stressful life events, changes to routine or lifestyle, or simple things like changes in temperature in the summer months can also all have a negative effect on our sleep, but when people identify the problem, put the blip in perspective and work on the techniques, they often see results again. If it is an underlying anxiety that is ongoing, speaking to your doctor/GP for support here is usually a good step and, with help, sleep problems usually lift, too.

  • Sleepio Member

    • 1389 comments
    • 225 helped
    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Expert

    Hi there,
    This is a good question. Using the CPAP machine for apnoea should be done as per the guidelines given to those using it, so I would recommend speaking to the specialist who gave you the machine about this question – I imagine though that you could use the relaxation while using the machine but may have to do the breathing exercises before putting the mask on. Relaxation can also be done throughout the day to reduce anxiety and stress in general. Worth speaking to those who gave you the machine, though, so your treatment for apnoea is followed properly.

  • Sleepio Member

    • 1389 comments
    • 225 helped
    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Expert

    Hi there,
    When it comes to medication and weaning off it, it's a very personal thing with regards to 1) whether to do it at all and 2) if so, when to start reducing it.

    Results for this type of sleep treatment have been found to be positive for those on medication and those not on medication.

    What is standard advice from Sleepio, however, is to always speak to the person who prescribed your medication before changing it in any way. This is vital for safety. They know your medical history so will advise you accurately on how to go about this.

  • Sleepio Member

    • 1389 comments
    • 225 helped
    Expert

    Pretty quiet tonight – any more questions out there?

  • Sleepio Member

    • 1 comments
    • 0 helped
    Graduate

    Hi,
    I'm a recent graduate and my sleep efficiency has never really gone over 85% during the course. I always wake up at around 5am to go to the toilet, but virtually always have major problems getting back to sleep. Often I can't get back to sleep at all. I drink hardly anything before bed and follow all the advice (blackout blinds, only sleep in the bedroom etc) but I still have to get up. I've tried the techniques to calm my racing thoughts but they don't seem to work – when I go back to bed I can feel my body giving me a shot of adrenaline, as though excited at the thought of getting up – even though it's not for another 1 1/2 hours! I can't change my getting up habits; I've been to the doctor and tried meds & been checked out – all is normal down there. ANy advice appreciated!

  • Sleepio Member

    • 1389 comments
    • 225 helped
    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Expert

    Hi there,
    It sounds as if you have tried a number of things already, all of which would be recommended in this situation. It could well be that getting up for the toilet is disrupting the sleep and it's hard to get back to sleep as anxiety kicks in. You're right to work on challenging thoughts here and sometimes it's about persisting with this until you find the core thoughts that are keeping you awake. However, with people who always wake early, it might also be that they are biologically predisposed to wake early – they are 'larks'. In these cases, you could try shifting the sleep window back so that you go to bed a bit earlier (including winding down earlier too) so that you get enough hours of sleep before waking up when your body needs to, even if this is earlier than you'd expect.

  • Sleepio Member

    • 35 comments
    • 1 helped
    Graduate

    Hi there
    Can sleep related anxiety affect you in different situations and at times of the day, when your not thinking about or discussing sleep?

  • Sleepio Member

    • 1389 comments
    • 225 helped
    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Expert

    HI there,
    Anxiety is a funny thing. It can affect us subconsciously at the slightest trigger, even if our conscious minds don't pick up on it. Daytime sleepiness can also be a subtle reminder that we aren't getting enough sleep. Some people even report that once it gets to the afternoon, their mood slips because they become aware (even at the subconscious level) that it's creeping towards bedtime…which means another difficult night. So yes, anxiety can affect us at any time and in any situation.

  • Sleepio Member

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

    Thank you, that helps me to understand.

  • Sleepio Member

    • 1389 comments
    • 225 helped
    Expert

    15 mins left of the discussion folks – any more burning questions?

  • Sleepio Member

    • 1389 comments
    • 225 helped
    Expert

    That's all for this time – thanks for the questions. Speak soon.

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