Live discussion with Dr Vicki Creanor -27th January 2016

Dr Creanor will be hosting a live online discussion here on Wednesday 27th January 8:15pm-9.45pm GMT.

She will discuss as many topics as possible in the hour and a half and, as always, you’re welcome to ask any questions at all about sleep or the Sleepio program.

Please do note that, as per our guidelines, Dr Creanor won’t 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 22 Jan 2016 at 11:38 AM
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  • Sleepio Member

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    Expert

    hi Isabel123,
    It is very common for people in their later years to wake up more during the night – whether this is for the toilet or simply just waking up out of a sleep phase. This is very normal. What is important for these people, however, is to get back to sleep quickly. If this is happening, I wouldn't worry about night time wakenings – good sleepers tend to wake up once or twice every night – it's just that they manage to get back to sleep and don't view the wakenings as abnormal. I'm pleased to hear that there have been improvements in the length of time you're awake at night since starting the programme – well done!

  • Sleepio Member

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    Expert

    Hi the Stables,
    What you describe is very common and most people with sleep problems feel this way. The problem lies in the connection the brain has made between the bedroom/bed and sleep – a negative one! So, even when we feel relaxed before bed, as soon as we see our bed or go into our bedroom, we find that we tense up, because our thoughts move to, “here we go again – another night I won't be able to sleep…” – which makes us anxious. And then come the anxiety symptoms you describe. The Sleepio programme is designed to target these negative thoughts and also the negative link between your bed and lack of sleep via behavioural methods. So it's all set up to help this problem. What we can do to help the symptoms of anxiety when they actually occur in the short term is the relaxation methods set out in the programme – you can download a relaxation technique via Sleepio too to listen to to help calm you at bedtime. Hope this helps.

  • Sleepio Member

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    Expert

    Hi Hayleybob,
    Unfortunately we cannot give advice on medication, even if it seems general. The reason is that medication works differently for everyone and so it would be irresponsible for us to comment on this with someone whose medical history we are not aware of. I'm sure you'll understand that this is to keep those in the community as safe as possible. This is an important question for your medical doctor, however.

  • Sleepio Member

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    Graduate

    When one finds oneself nodding off during the day, any suggestions on what to do?

  • Sleepio Member

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    Expert

    HI there, Carolann,
    THanks for your post. Many people feel like this – avery confusing state!! I would like to point you in the direction of the library article, “Can you think you're awake when actually you're asleep?” to read a bit about it. In terms of completing your sleep diary, there is little you can do apart from record your own subjective beliefs about when you were awake/asleep. Even if you feel you were asleep at a certain period and you talk to your husband – people still do this in their sleep. I would recommend recording what you feel to be the truth as often this is more accurate than we think.

  • Sleepio Member

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    Expert

    Thanks for your understanding, Hayleybob. Hope your doctor can help with that. Feel free to ask any other questions that you would like answered!

  • Sleepio Member

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    Expert

    Hi Ronald,
    Many people with sleep problems do find that they get very sleepy during the day (actually, even some good sleepers do too, depending on a variety of factors). If you notice that it's at a particular point in the day, we would suggest doing some sort of activity at this time to avoid falling asleep – as long as you're safe if you do fall asleep by mistake. Other people use caffeine in small doses to help them stay awake at certain points in the day – just make sure it's not when it's too close to bedtime as this can keep you awake. Fresh air can also help – even standing at a window to freshen up when you feel sleepy can help people stay awake.

  • Sleepio Member

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    Graduate

    Hi. I'm in week 3 and my sleep window is 1230-530. I don't get out of bed immediately. How long would you suggest is OK to stay in bed and wake up for without it affecting the sleep-bed connection? Thanks

  • Sleepio Member

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    Graduate

    Helpful advice. Thank you.

  • Sleepio Member

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    Expert

    Hi mkels,
    That's a great question and I doubt you are alone in these concerns. My advice to everyone would be to take some notes while completing the Sleepio programme on the different techniques covered, so that people can access these whenever things start to slip a bit. Most people will find they have times when their sleep slips again…but!...if these are caught early (you will likely notice them quickly) then they can be easily put straight again using the techniques here. It's also helpful to expect these blips – and not view them as a full relapse, because they won't be – so that it doesn't cause huge anxiety when they happen. This will help you fix them quicker too if the anxiety about it remains low. Good sleepers have bad periods of sleep too…but the fact that they don't worry about it helps them get back on track quickly. Hope this helps.

  • Sleepio Member

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    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Expert

    You're very welcome.

  • Sleepio Member

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    Expert

    Hi Crozzers,
    That's another good question. I would say try and get up immediately as the longer you stay in bed, the more it will affect this connection you mentioned. Realistically (!) it usually takes most of us a while to get up, however I wouldn't recommend staying in bed any more than 15 mins, however when trying to get the sleep back on track, I'd aim for as quickly as possible. You can help this by some preparation…often, it's nice to have a warm dressing gown etc waiting for us or slippers ready, or even a louder (irritating) alarm to make sure we do not want to stay in bed any longer!

  • Sleepio Member

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    Graduate

    That makes total sense. Thanks very much :)

  • Sleepio Member

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    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Expert

    Hi there,
    Thanks for your question. Unfortunately we are unable to answer questions on medication simply because it's important to have knowledge of a person's medical history to discuss such things. We would recommend redirecting this to your medical doctor so that they can answer this more accurately and safely, with more knowledge of your history. Thanks for understanding.

  • Sleepio Member

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    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Expert

    You're welcome…

  • Sleepio Member

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    Expert

    We have about 15 mins left for the discussion – any more burning questions, fire away…

  • Sleepio Member

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    Graduate

    Hi there Dr Creanor
    I'm a bit confused by the fact that I seem to be allowed to watch TV as part of my wake up plan, but am also advised to avoid blue light in the pre bed wind down.

  • Sleepio Member

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    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Expert

    Hi suphil,
    I believe it's more the tablets and phones and LED screens on laptops that have the blue light and hence are a problem rather than TVs due to the wavelengths of light they emit.

  • Sleepio Member

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    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Graduate

    Thank you that's good to know.

  • Sleepio Member

    • 1426 comments
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    Expert

    Thanks for all the great questions today. Look forward to speaking to you all again soon.
    Take care,
    Vicki

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