Live discussion with Dr Vicki Creanor - 8th March 2017

Dr Creanor will be hosting a live online discussion here on Wednesday 8th March, 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 6 Mar 2017 at 9:49 AM
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  • Sleepio Member

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    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Expert

    Hi there,
    For many people it's a little bit of trial and error when it comes to activities to do during the quarter hour rule. Some people listen to music, do relaxation strategies, do mindfulness – some people simply sit on a sofa and do nothing. Various things work for different people but it's good to hear that there's an acknowledgement that reading stimulates the mind/body too much and so new activities are being sought. Perhaps it would be a good idea to post this question to the community for their ideas?

  • Sleepio Member

    • 3 comments
    • 1 helped
    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Session 5

    Thanks for the reply. I'm not sure , however. I don't have much trouble staying awake late, and the sleep can be deep and good, so I score high on hours and quality. But it destroys my next day if I then wake up at noon and the cycle repeats. Regardless of what time I enter into the Sleepio system, it the results turn out the same. I suppose this might be helpful for someone working a night shift, but not for most 9-5 workers. For me, it would be good if the system included an incentive to get into be early, say, before 10pm. That would be life changing.

  • Sleepio Member

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    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Expert

    HI there,
    I have heard quite a few people talk about their sleep tracking devices not accurately reflecting how they thing their sleep is going. If this is the case, I would always recommend going by how one feels their sleep has been. This will be much more helpful in terms of monitoring sleep in the long run.

  • Sleepio Member

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    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Expert

    If I'm right in understanding the problem here is then sleeping in later? If this is the case, Sleepio does target the sleep window (time one will be aiming to be asleep) to ensure it's accommodating to one's lifestyle. It may be the case where the window simply has to be adjusted in terms of how many hours are required and then placing this at an appropriate time in the night, to then set an alarm to have a consistent wake time?

  • Sleepio Member

    • 3 comments
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    Session 5

    Thanks, I'll look for that option.

  • Sleepio Member

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    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Expert

    Hi and thanks for your post. I can imagine it is very difficult having such varied nights/weeks in terms of sleep. There are many things that affect the changes in our sleep across days/weeks. It can sometimes be that the activities we do, or our stress levels, or our lifestyles from week to week do change, and so does our sleep. It may, then, be wise for people experiencing this to keep a diary of what happens during the good and bad weeks (lifestyle, diet, stress levels, work patterns, social aspects etc etc) of sleep to help determine what might be changed to promote sleep.

    Another thing is that our thoughts can change from week to week – after a good week's sleep, for example, we might start thinking, “what if it changes back again – I won't be able to cope”...which can lead to worry, anxiety and thus poor sleep occurs.

    Another factor may also be that women go through changes in their sleep according to their monthly menstrual cycles – again, worth taking a diary of such potential associations to see what may be at play.

  • Sleepio Member

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    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Expert

    Hi there, it's a good question and a common one people ponder over. My advice would be that, if someone is awake enough to know that they're lying awake not being able to sleep, this is when they get out of bed after 15 mins of being in this state. If they're falling in and out of sleep, they're probably almost asleep and not really conscious enough to think about the QHR. So, people should get out of bed once they've been lying awake for approx 15 mins, aware that sleep is not coming at that time. Hope that makes things more clear?

  • Sleepio Member

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    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Expert

    Hi there,
    Some of us are naturally earlier risers and the main thing we focus on is getting a good length of sleep with good quality of sleep too. As per my previous post, people can try going to bed earlier if the early rise means less sleep and levels of tiredness, however it may also be that with sleep being back on track, the body may gradually start to sleep a bit later once it settles into the new rhythm/routines.

  • Sleepio Member

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    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Expert

    Hello,
    This is a common concern people have when recording sleep behaviour. My advice to those struggling with this is not to place to much emphasis on getting exact timings – provide the best approximation you can. Sometimes we aren't awake enough to make a record, this is OK. See my previous suggestion in this discussion re taking a screenshot of the time on a smart phone (if this is possible) as a quick record of wake times.

    As for medication, record times of going to bed and sleeping as they are, regardless of whether medication is taken or not – timings should just be recorded as normal. I haven't seen the diaries for a while so I'm not sure if there is a place where medications can be recorded?

  • Sleepio Member

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    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Expert

    HI there – I agree in terms of someone else recording one's sleep being the most accurate form of tracking sleep behaviour, however unless a partner is able to do this for us, we do have to rely on self-report. There will be inaccuracies, however all we're looking for is an approximate record of sleep so that we have something to work on and something to use for our goals. In terms of activity trackers, I have heard similar things, so the main way around this is to ensure people are entering in their own data about how refreshing their sleep was etc based on how they feel themselves. Trackers may provide helpful info for some, but if people notice inconsistencies, it'd be wise to work from their own judgements of their sleep.

  • Sleepio Member

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    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Expert

    Hi there,
    It may help to have a read through my previous posts on this topic from earlier – it seems to be a popular theme today.

    As for the sleep restriction – the main aim for many is to increase time asleep, however in order to do this, we need to squeeze all the fragmented bits of sleep into one block to improve how long we sleep for. Initially this may mean having to go to bed later than usual and rise earlier than planned. Once this is established, however, people can decide when they want to wake up, so the technique only serves in the short term until sleep is back on track and in a solid block again.

    Hope that's reassuring?

  • Sleepio Member

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    In reply to a deleted comment
    Expert

    Hi there,
    When the clocks change, or when we travel through time zones, the best way to maintain consistency during our sleep work is to get into the new time zone/time change as soon as possible and go on as before. So, if someone was due to go to bed at 10.30pm, they would still go to bed at 10.30pm in the new time. Hope that helps.

  • Sleepio Member

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    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Expert

    Hello,
    I can understand why the body might be struggling to settle with the amount of regular travel especially with the huge time differences, so yes I would expect some disruption from this. In terms of the reasons for the difference in sleep, it is possibly due to varied mental states in the different locations, but I would encourage anyone in similar situations to keep a diary of the differences during the daytime activities, too – is there anything that might be leading to differences in sleep (ie. environmental factors, lifestyle factors, social factors, relationship factors)?

  • Sleepio Member

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

    Hello,
    It's hard to say without knowing all the facts about someone as to what might be causing frequent wakenings as there are so many potential factors at work (se previous posts from this session). However it's also important to remember that even good sleepers do wake occasionally, too – usually twice a night – perhaps due to the cycles of sleep we go through. what matters here is the emphasis that's placed on these wakenings. If they are seen as abnormal/frustrating, it can cause underlying anxiety about them and can cause more wakenings. If they are deemed quite normal, and strategies are used to get back to sleep quickly, it's less worrying and promotes better sleep.

  • Sleepio Member

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

    HI there,
    If people feel they need to put their sleep restriction on hold for a period (often this is for travel or illness), I would advise them to contact hello@sleepio.com to alert the team and to ask them to adjust the data accordingly.

  • Sleepio Member

    • 2622 comments
    • 411 helped
    Expert

    That's all for this live session – thanks for all your great questions – speak to you soon,
    Vicki

  • Sleepio Member

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    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Graduate

    Great, that makes me more confident that I'm on the right path. Thank you!

  • Sleepio Member

    • 4 comments
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    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Graduate

    Thanks so much for your reply. I was wondering what the research is about sleeping in high magnetic field areas and sleeping in a particular direction..

  • Sleepio Member

    • 2622 comments
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    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Expert

    Hi there,
    Having checked this query with our helpful team, it would seem that there are no physical CDs voiced by this person as he is a voice actor used by Sleepio, however if people have an iPhone/iPad, they can download the Sleepio app which has other relaxation tracks in the “help me now” section.

  • Sleepio Member

    • 16 comments
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    Graduate

    Where is the “help me now” section?

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