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Eczema and Sleep: How to Sleep Soundly With Atopic Dermatitis

Up to 87% of adults with atopic dermatitis report sleep disturbances as a result of eczema.  Losing sleep reduces the amount of time your body has to restore and replenish itself. It also greatly impacts your quality of life.


Losing sleep, having trouble falling asleep, or frequently waking up at night creates fatigue during the daytime, difficulty regulating moods, attention troubles, a negative impact on your social life, and poorer overall health status. The effects of sleep loss due to eczema are so great, those affected are likely to take more sick days and have more doctor visits. 


Practicing healthy sleep hygiene and properly treating eczema can help minimize eczema’s impact on your quality of sleep.

Does Eczema Itch More at Night?

If you notice your symptoms flaring up in the middle of the night, you’re not alone. Itch often increases during your sleep. Why? There are a few reasons:


  1. You have greater transepidermal water loss at night.
  2. Your circadian rhythm causes your body temperature to increase at night. This increase in temperature can cause you to itch.
  3. You may have a possible dysfunction in circadian rhythm.
  4. Cortisol levels begin to increase two to three hours after falling asleep. Spikes in cortisol can set off an inflammatory reaction that leads to more severe eczema symptoms.

5 Tips for Better Sleep With Eczema

You don’t have to settle for sleepless nights. You can improve your sleep during an eczema flare by:

Using Cotton Sheets


Sheets made of cotton or other natural fibers such as linen or bamboo are often more breathable than their synthetic counterparts, such as polyester, fleece, or nylon. Breathable sheets help cool air come through the fabric, while letting warm air out. This will help prevent your body from overheating, which can worsen itchiness and other eczema symptoms.

Heat and sweat are both triggers of eczema and can make itch worse. By lowering your thermostat at night, you can help prevent increasing your body temperature and sweating in your sleep.

Keeping Your Bedroom Cool


Heat and sweat are both triggers of eczema and can make itch worse. By lowering your thermostat at night, you can help prevent increasing your body temperature and sweating in your sleep.

Showering and Moisturizing Before Bed

Unwind by taking a lukewarm shower or bath. After bathing, be sure to lather on a fragrance-free moisturizer to lock in moisture and help rehydrate your skin. Moisturizing within three minutes after your shower or bath is ideal. You can take this a step further by using plastic wrap or gloves to help maintain the moisture in your skin.

 

Asking Your Doctor About Antihistamines

 

Antihistamines may help improve your sleep by reducing itch and making you drowsy. While you don’t want to become dependent on taking medication to sleep at night, antihistamines are a helpful solution during instances of severe eczema flare. 

Implementing Healthy, Consistent Bedtime Habits


Managing eczema symptoms is important to enjoying restful sleep. However, outside of taking care of eczema, it’s critical to practice overall healthy sleep habits to maximize your hours of rest. Helpful bedtime habits include:

  • Going to sleep and waking up around the same time each day
  • Making your bedroom (especially your bed) a place of sleep and rest
  • Avoiding using electronics about an hour before sleep
  • Limiting caffeine intake six hours before bed

Catching Zzzs With Eczema


The itch associated with eczema leaves many people tossing and turning at night. If you’ve tried at-home remedies to fix your sleep with no luck, consider talking with your doctor about your sleep troubles and how to better address your eczema symptoms. 


When eczema improves, sleep does too. Gladskin Eczema Cream is clinically proven to reduce eczema itch and irritation. Plus it’s gentle and steroid free. Learn more and be on your way to itch-free sleep.

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