Live Discussion with Dr Vicki Creanor - 9th September 2020

Dr Creanor will be hosting a live online discussion here on Wednesday 9th September, 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 3 Sep 2020 at 9:38 PM
  • 11 comments
  • 2 helped

Comments

  • Sleepio Member

    • 3 comments
    • 1 helped
    Graduate

    Although my sleep efficiency appears ok, I may still wake 4-5 times per night, but I go back to sleep quite quickly. In my mind I am still waking too much. Can you explain how waking so much does not affect sleep efficiency if it is short awakenings, when it is disturbed sleep? Thank you.

  • Sleepio Member

    • 453 comments
    • 181 helped
    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Graduate

    Left you a message Kathryn ;)

  • Sleepio Member

    • 28 comments
    • 3 helped
    Graduate

    Hi Doctor
    A while ago, I tried your advice to move my SW from 12-6am to 11pm-5am, it seemed to help because within days I was able to fall asleep quickly for about 50% of the nights and also sleep a little longer. SE varies between 50-80%, is improved but still not ideal.
    Is it ok if I move my SW back to 12-6am, preferred time? As winter is coming, getting up at 5am is still dark.
    It's been 2.5 months since I started Sleepio, have struggled quite a lot and there are a lot of ups and downs on SE. However it is slowly improving and I remain hopeful.
    I must admit I'm getting a bit lazy or tired with QHR, recently I tend to stay in bed longer because of feeling tired and sometimes I do get back to sleep after half an hour or so. Also the nights are vague and a blur to me because I am not checking up on time.
    Your advice will be very much appreciated.
    Thanks a lot.

  • Sleepio Member

    • 3131 comments
    • 555 helped
    Expert

    Hi and welcome to this week's Sleepio discussion session. I'm Dr Vicki Creanor, a clinical psychologist with a special interest in sleep behaviour. Tonight, I'll be here for the next 90 mins to answer any Qs about sleep/the Sleepio programme itself, so please feel free to get in touch if you're joining us live…

  • Sleepio Member

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

    Hi and thanks for raising what is a common issue – especially as gentlemen get a little older. One thing I'm sure you've already looked at is reducing the amount of fluid in the period before bed. This can help somewhat. The Sleepio programme can still be followed when this is happening. What I would say is that, if you feel you are getting back to sleep within 15-20 mins, there is no need to worry too much as it's not seeming to affect sleep much. However, if, as you say, it's a bit more tricky to fall asleep when you get back into bed, there are a few things to think about.
    – make sure your room is as dark as possible – if it's starting to get light outside and you wake to pee, your brain might start to adjust to this and start to wake up
    – similarly, try to keep lights to a minimum when you wake
    – if you can't sleep after 15 mins of going back to bed after going to the toilet, implement the quarter hour rule (get up and wait in another room until you do feel sleepy tired)
    – if there are worries that come into your heard when you wake, try and set aside some 'worry time' earlier in the afternoon where you use the scheduled time to note down anything on your mind – this makes it less likely that it will keep you awake later

  • Sleepio Member

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    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Expert

    Good question! So, put simply, sleep efficiency is how much of the time we spend in bed is spent actually ASLEEP. So, if you are only waking briefly throughout the night, it won't be affected too much. Whereas if you are in bed for a long time while lying awake and trying to fall asleep, this is when sleep efficiency will be reduced because you're in bed but not asleep. So sleep efficiency isn't really about the number of wakenings; it's about the ratio of bed time and sleep time overall. Hope that makes sense?

  • Sleepio Member

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    • 555 helped
    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Expert

    Hi and thanks for getting in touch. First of all, it sounds as if there are good improvements, so well done :)

    It's absolutely fine to shift your sleep window to a better time for you. All we do suggest is that people don't shift it about week to week as this confuses the system. But a one off move when it will suit your lifestyle better is totally fine.

    As for the sleep efficiency, sticking with the quarter hour rule will help this, although I appreciate this can be difficult in practice. Setting up a cozy area to go to during QHR can help – somewhere that has a blanket and low lighting make it more inviting!

  • Sleepio Member

    • 8 comments
    • 0 helped
    Graduate

    Hi,
    I go to sleep very quickly after I go to bed but I wake up after about 3 hours. After about 15 minutes, I go downstairs and read using very dim light. Unfortunately I rarely feel sleepy again. Should I stay up until morning time and then get dressed for the day? Please advise.
    Thanks.

  • Sleepio Member

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

    Hi – thanks for your question this evening. The aim of the quarter hour rule is to remove sleeplessness from the bed, but then the hope is that you will eventually feel sleepy enough again to allow you to get back to bed. It may be that the reading is keeping you from being sleepy again. It might be worth trying to just sit, without reading, during the QHR time – perhaps try doing some breathing or relaxation exercises instead and see if there is a difference?

  • Sleepio Member

    • 3131 comments
    • 555 helped
    Expert

    10 mins left of the session this evening if anyone has any burning Qs…

  • Sleepio Member

    • 3131 comments
    • 555 helped
    Expert

    That's all for this week's session – thanks for the great questions and I'll speak to you again soon.

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