Sleep's connection to mental and physical wellbeing

Posted 6 Dec 2011 at 12:27 PM
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  • Sleepio Member

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    Dear Always,
    Maybe you should stop trying to tell yourself you will feel fine after a bad night if you know this to be untrue. You might find it more helpful to be straight with yourself. Try accepting that you will feel ill, but that it is natural to feel like that after a really rough night and try to take the pressure off yourself that you must get some sleep.
    It is horrible to have that hollowness from sleep deprivation, but it will pass. Plus it will build sleep pressure for the next night.
    Do you take some light exercise each day to combat the restless legs? My partner suffers from this occasionally and has tried many remedies. He finds that it is less likely if he has had a walk around the block in the evening.
    I'm afraid there is no “magic pill” for insomnia! It is a long and difficult road to recovery – but it really IS worth the effort. Hang in there and feel free to rant on sleepio if you need to – you will find many sympathetic ears…
    Best wishes. xx

  • Sleepio Member

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    Hi Laurel Thanks for your understanding. It actually helps to know that other people have been helped with Sleepio. I do walk a lot and am grateful to live in a beautiful part of Derbyshire. Must stop grumbling, but don't expect I will!
    take care x

  • Sleepio Member

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    Grumble away!!

  • Sleepio Member

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    Hi just started week 3 – finding it terrible – particularly making myself stick to the regime and also getting up during night when I can't sleep. Up three times last night for over 2 hours – feel awful.
    I can only hope it gets better – reading the comments makes me feel much less isolated.
    Thank you.

  • Sleepio Member

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    Hi Orpierre1,
    If you have just started week 3 and sleep restriction, you are already aware of the basic needs your body has for sleep. There's no easy way through sleep restriction, unfortunately!!
    The most important thing to remember is that your health and wellbeing are paramount. Yes SR will only work well if you stick to the regime, but if you need a lie-in to help you cope with the tiredness then have one: no one is checking up on you!
    Please don't feel like a failure if you don't achieve perfect sleep after 1 week of SR – it takes time to re-connect your brain and body to the new routine.
    Also, if you are unwell, feel free to leave the SR until you feel well again. There is no point putting your body under unnecessary stress. If you have any other conditions – and many people using sleepio do – then work with your body to improve your sleep.
    Many people with fibromyalgia &/ or ME find a flat-rest during the day helps them get through the day. Do what feels right for you and keep adjusting your routine until you are happy with it.
    Best wishes. xx

  • Sleepio Member

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    It's difficult for me to do SR when I can't actually fall asleep and am waiting all night for the morning. I expect I need to do the QHR but I haven't had any success with that so far. I suspect that is really what I need to persevere with in order to improve my bed sleep connection. Does it really work?

  • Sleepio Member

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    Hi Mialoux,
    QHR definitely does work! It is the absolute hardest part of SR, especially when you are so exhausted you just want to lie in bed. It is the part of SR that helps your body re-establish its bed-sleep connection.
    I used to save myself mundane household chores to do when I had to get up; loading or unloading the dishwasher, wiping down the sides in the kitchen etc. Anything that didn't require a lot of thought, but that would keep me on my feet, so I didn't fall asleep on the sofa!
    I also used to reason with myself that I had been able to function on 3-4hrs of broken sleep per night since childhood. So although I would feel crap the next day I knew I could function, plus my sleep pressure would be increased the following night.
    There is no easy way around it, unfortunately! But it does get easier as your body adjusts.
    Best wishes. xx

  • Sleepio Member

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    Hi Laureloakwood

    Thank you for your comments. I am sorry to hear you have had to manage on little sleep since childhood. I've only had it since March and I'm finding it hard to come to terms with.
    I will try the QHR tonight and line up a few things to do. I can see preparation is important.
    Have you attended a mindfulness course? I went to a workshop on Saturday and found it, interesting and I am thinking of doing the 8 week course.
    Mialoux

  • Sleepio Member

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    I would like to draw your attention to this brand-new (and yet small) study on the possitive effect better sleep have on depression.

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25689725

  • Sleepio Member

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    I think that my poor sleep pattern has affected my ability to lose weight. I have had poor sleep for over 22 years. Now that I am a widow and retired I decided after watching the TV programme that 2016 was the year that I need to sort sleep out. I have noticed that I need to brush my teeth about an hour before bed or else it seems to wake me up en route to bed. Does anyone else have any other thoughts on this?

  • Sleepio Member

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    Hi Laure, I used to have dreadful restless legs but was prescribed a combination of potassium and magnesium plus vitamin e from a respected Herbalist. Now only have to take them occasionally

  • Sleepio Member

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    Hi
    yes, I have also noticed that I need to used my powered toothbrush well before I retire as it has a wakening effect. I just make sure I brush my teeth earlier in the evening and only take water after I have brushed them.

  • Sleepio Member

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    I am only on week 2 of sleepio and already new and used 90 % of the ideas suggested. I am anxious to get to the program as I sleep about 4-5 hours 1 night and the next, I am up the entire night. I have been doing this for about 2 months and don't want to wait to learn QHR and SR when I get to that week. Would someone just outline it for me please?

  • Sleepio Member

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    I know how frustrating it can be waiting for things to happen or improve!
    You need to understand that this course does not offer a “quick fix” for sleep problems. Even once you have completed week three and are using sleep restriction you will be in for a tough ride, although it is worth the effort.
    I used to sleep like you do, from the sounds of it and I found it helpful to vent in the forums when I was suffering from lack of sleep. Unfortunately without seeing your sleep diary there is no way I could help you with sleep restriction right now.
    You have already completed week two, so try to hold on until week three, keeping all of the sleep hygiene habits you have been taught so far. If you find yourself lying in bed unable to sleep, get up. This is part of sleep restriction but I'm sure I'm not breaking any rules by telling you this!
    I used to keep a few boring jobs for when I couldn't sleep, like folding washing or emptying the dishwasher. Tasks that don't require a lot of brain power, but keep you awake while you need to be.
    Wait until you are sleepy before returning to bed, even if that takes hours, which it sometimes can. I consider myself “cured” now, but even so I had an awful period of bad sleep over the last couple of months & had to return to the strict regime I used on the course. It helped me get back into the swing of bed/sleep again.
    Another recommended activity for wakeful times is colouring in. I got a lovely colouring book from a cheap shop & some pencils. This is a lovely activity to do, without having to worry about staying inside the lines too much, because it breaks the thought processes your brain will be going through. It can help you feel sleepy quickly, so you can then return to bed.

    Hang in there! Sleep restriction is coming & it's hard work, but worth it.
    Best wishes. xx

  • Sleepio Member

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    Session 2

    This program seems like it will be helpful.

    I would like this program to offer more professional advise to those taking sleep meds for years and would like to be “normal” and not take them anymore…..

    All this great advice almost doesn't apply to people who are on a medical carousel…..prescribed drugs. Every morning one has that “hangover” feeling…

    Zombie wolf behind the eyes???

    Please address “weening off” these drug cocktails often prescribed…. And how sleepio works with THAT!
    thank you…

  • Sleepio Member

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    Hi Sher22, have you had a look in the Library section to see if there are any articles in there? There's also a live discussion each week with a sleep expert. You can post your questions during the week. If you can't “listen” live at that time, you can view it on screen at a later date.
    EO

  • Sleepio Member

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    Hi Sher22,
    I'm pretty sure the sleep experts would advise you to talk with your GP about weaning yourself off your prescription medication. This is not because they don't want to help you, but because your GP is the medical practitioner who knows you best & can see your medical records.
    If you search the discussions, you will find that others have asked this before & received that response.
    You could also ask people in the discussions what their experiences have been weaning off prescription medications.
    Best wishes. xx

  • Sleepio Member

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    My sleep seems to go in cycles. During a cycle of good nights (lasting 4-5days), I still get up at least 3-4 times but I can get back to sleep fairly quickly and I sleep about 7 hours. On a cycle of bad nights (usually 3-4 days) I usually get to sleep ok but wake up after 4 hours and can't get back to sleep regardless of what I try . . . Sometimes it helps to get out of bed and sometimes it doesn't. Sometimes imagery helps, sometimes not. While it's highly frustrating after living with 20+ years of insomnia, I can say that the program has done these good things for me;


    • I'm thankful to know that the first 4 hours of sleep are often the deepest so this helps me feel more at ease when I can't get back to sleep at night

    • I'm on a more regular schedule for sleep – getting up near the same time every morning (no matter how much I slept that night). This makes me feel like I'm training my body and mind.

    • When I feel desperate and out-of-sorts after a cycle of bad sleep nights, I know deep down that it won't last forever if I keep to my schedule most of the time.

    • I appreciate people's suggestions for what to do when I can't sleep and it makes me feel less alone.



    • Finally – even if I don't reach optimal sleep through this program, I do think things have improved and SELF ACCEPTANCE IS KEY. “It is what it is” and I'm a valuable person even if struggle with sleep. Maybe it makes me more compassionate towards other people's problems . . .

  • Sleepio Member

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    Hi Molichka, I think you're right about the self acceptance; we put ourselves under a lot of pressure in this life, and acceptance can help break the vicious circle of being more stressed because we can't sleep, and beating ourselves up about it.
    You're also right about compassion. A little goes a very long way.
    EO

  • Sleepio Member

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    Thanks for the comment EO. I haven't been on the site for a while because my sleep got much better recently and I didn't feel as much of a need. It's partly because I've been meditating at a regular time most days. I hope things are going well/better for you too.

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