Trying to get some Sleepio – week 3
It’s week 3 in our review of the Sleepio app – aimed at helping chronic insomniacs finally get a good night’s sleep. For many of us, sleeping through the night is an elusive dream, as we lie awake worrying about our responsibilities and what the future hold. Join me on my journey through the programme to see if it can really help.
I’ve been sleeping badly for years. I think it started with the arrival of babies, and I’m still waking for long periods in the night despite my children now being in their 30s.
It’s totally frustrating, and I know I’m far from alone. You only have to see how many people of a similar age are posting on Facebook at 4 o’clock in the morning.
That’s why I was delighted to hear about Sleepio, which is an app developed by sleep experts. I’m optimistic because they have a proven track record in helping people sleep better. And also because they understand that it’s not just about getting off to sleep in the first place. Many of us can do that, but can’t stay asleep through the night. And when we wake up, we lie there worrying.
I started trialling the app a couple of weeks ago, and you can read my progress and thoughts so far here.
What’s new this week?
I’ve been keeping my sleep diary every day for over 2 weeks, which is handy because Sleepio has now used the data to create a personalised plan for me for the next week. And it’s going to be tough.
But before we get to that, every week at the check-in with ‘the Prof’ he runs through some gentle science behind our sleep patterns and why they get disrupted, and then offers some fresh advice for getting back on track.
This week it was discussion around re-connecting thoughts about going to bed with sleep, rather than about sleeplessness. He also looked at how to prepare for sleep, and what to do if sleep won’t come, at any time of night.
While it’s not exactly interactive, the ‘Prof’ does respond to the answers that I give in the numerous multiple choice sections, so it’s still better than a lecture at arm’s length.
One of the tasks that was introduced last week was to challenge negative thoughts and replace them with positive ones. Filling in the negative space is very easy. Thinking of a positive replacement is incredibly difficult, and I’ve got rather a lot of blanks there.
Still feeling positive
Altogether though, I think this is actually quite exciting. It’s much more of an interactive, all-round, intelligent approach than simply following sleep hygiene advice, and I am still optimistic that it will work.
There was a time last week when I thought this app was going to go the way of all those illuminating diet advice programmes. Some success in the first couple of weeks, and then no more progress. But because this programme is developing week by week, it’s keeping me interested and challenged.
I’m enjoying the format too, with the cartoon Prof having little chats with me, and checking along the way that I’ve got what he’s said so far and that I’m ready to move on. And then he’s joined by a doubter at the end, who asks all the questions that I want answered.
I’ll be back soon with a new progress report.
Written by Kathy Lawrence, editor of When They Get Older.