#askNHS your questions about sleeping well

Does anxiety affect your sleep? On Thurs 25th April at 1pm #askNHS are having a live video hangout with nurse Kathleen McGrath from The Sleep Council, and Professor Colin Espie and Dr Simon Kyle from Sleepio.

If you'd like some tips or advice on how to sleep better send us your questions now via twitter to @askNHS or post them in the comments here, and we'll put them to our experts on the day.

Don't forget to watch on NHS Choices G+ profile:

bit.ly/askNHSlive

12 Replies

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  • I have trouble sleeping because I fear waking up and feeling the same anxiety fear etc as I did the day before and just want it to end so I can start living again.

  • Hi nannyann23, if you didn't catch the video hangout today you can still watch it here:

    bit.ly/askNHSlive

    We'll also try to get back to you over the next few days with some advice from one of the clinicians, but in the meantime the information on NHS Choices might help.

    On the below page, as well as the information about anxiety and panic, if you hover the video at the top of the page you can scroll to audio modules on sleep problems and anxiety control training:

    nhs.uk/Conditions/stress-an...

    And here's some more tips to help with insomnia

    nhs.uk/livewell/insomnia/pa...

  • Hi nannyann23, Clinical Nurse Therapist Ann McCreath has got back to us with some suggestions. She says:

    Having unhelpful thoughts can grind you down, and more so if they are present at night and are leaving you feeling scared etc.. A really useful technique is to have a pad/notebook and pen beside your bed, and write down all the unhelpful thoughts you are having. Put a date and time next to each thought of when you will sit down and work on that thought. At llttf.com there is an audio little book course and one of the modules is called ‘Why does everything always go wrong’? It looks at unhelpful thinking and teaches key tools that help overcome such thoughts. Best of luck!

  • Hi nannyann23, thanks very much for your comment. We'll ask during the hangout if the experts have any advice about anything that could help to cope with that.

  • My sleep has been terrible for the last 2 months or so, which was caused by stress and anxiety. Now a few months down the line i feel i am in a better place and my anxiety has decreased but my sleep hasnt improved much. Is it possible to get use to a bad sleep pattern? Ive been to my gp and they gave me sleeping pills which i have been taking nightly. Last night was the first night i went with out as i want to stop taking them and get a normal sleep pattern back. I am doing all the sleep hygeiene things and i exercise 3-4 times a week. Dont smoke or drink alcohol. So not sure why im not sleeping better now i feel alot more relaxed. I am starting cbt on monday to help, fingers crossed. When i spoke to the cbt guy on the phone last week. He said that taking sleeping pills is last resort which i agree with and that if i went without eventually my body would need to switch off and sleep so thats what im gonna try. Just not good when u have work. Any advice would be great. Thanks

  • Could you ask then is it possible to get back your regular sleep pattern. Thanks

  • Hi Jools, thanks for your question - we'll ask for some advice on getting back to a regular sleep pattern once it's been disrupted. Good luck today!

  • Thanks askNHS - just a little update, I have not taking sleeping pills for 4 nights now (really pleased with myself) first 3 nights I slept on and off and at least got a bit of sleep, number of hours I am not sure as I don't tend to clock watch, but I was a sleep on and off, then last night I was wide awake all night, didnt even manage to 10mins, this was after a 12 hours shift at work, in work now and feel dreadful. Is this the norm? When trying to get your sleep pattern back to normal? I no I'm asking a lot of questions - just desperate to sort this out, thanks Jools x

  • I couldn't access the google plus to watch it live - works computer has blocked it :(

  • Hello again, Clinical Nurse Specialist Ann McCreath has now got back to us with a response. She says:

    Often when stress and anxiety is in our lives, it can affect many areas, including the things we do (our behaviour) which can include our sleeping patterns. It sounds like you have been tackling it well in a lot of respects, i.e. exercise, alcohol etc.. A technique that some people have found useful is hiding the bedside clock. Make sure you set your alarm as usual, however face/place the clock somewhere you can’t check what time it is. And no matter how long you are awake, don’t get up to see what time it is. Remind yourself that the alarm is set and so it will wake you up when you're meant to be getting up. It may also be worthwhile looking at your sleeping environment, room temperature, nightwear, position of bed, noise etc.. At llttf.com you can watch a TV clip related to sleep problems and there are other free useful resources that may help. Best of luck!

  • Hi Jools, don't worry - it will stay up on our g+ page bit.ly/askNHSlive so you can watch it whenever you like. Also we're going to email your particular comments here to one of the experts so will post their response here.

  • Hi Jools

    It may be a few days before we can post expert answers but in the meantime as well as watching the video hangout (http://bit.ly/askNHSlive) there's some information on NHS Choices about anxiety and insomnia that may be useful:

    As well as the information about anxiety and panic, if you hover the video at the top of the page you can scroll to audio modules on sleep problems and anxiety control training:

    nhs.uk/Conditions/stress-an...

    And here's some more tips to help with insomnia

    nhs.uk/livewell/insomnia/pa...

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