Sleeping Better At Night With Eczema
Sleep is the only naturally occurring state wherein our human bodies get their well-deserved rest. As the body functions non-stop 24 hours and 7 days a week, it is only during sleep when the body can take a breather. Getting 7-8 hours of uninterrupted sleep every day is substantial for a healthy body and a sound mind.
Living with a skin condition known as eczema, patients are susceptible to getting shorter amounts of sleep or even a low-quality sleep for almost every single day of the week. Sleep isn’t as easy as simply getting into bed and instantaneously dozing off right away. Eczema makes it impossible to find a comfortable position to fall asleep in and the itchiness of the affected skin is just unbearable.
Living with Eczema
People suffering from eczema, or atopic dermatitis as it is also called in the medical field, find it difficult to get the complete 8 hours of sleep that is needed for optimal functioning. Without the proper amount of rest and the added stress of the skin condition they have, the patients are prone to a variety of physical and mental problems, which includes:
- Higher chance of fatigue and exhaustion
- Daytime sleepiness, especially during the midday
- Chronic insomnia
- Lack of motivation in the workplace or even at home
- Heightened irritability and frequent mood swings
- Low self-esteem and poor self-image
With moderate to severe eczema burdening affected persons for months or even years, living with this cumbersome skin condition is a huge feat not only for the patient but for the family as well. Since the itchiness is triggered by diet and environmental factors, the entire household will have to adjust and revise their lifestyle habits to help alleviate eczema as it flares up during winter time or even during summertime.
Sleep and Eczema
Battling eczema may be a life-long journey to conquer but it can easily be won by establishing a vigorous day-to-day routine in terms of good hygiene, consistent skin regimen, proper nutrition, and trigger-free healthy environment. The condition may continue to reappear especially during the colder months but with the help of a constant skin maintenance and terrific body hygiene, you can get those straight 8 hours of sleep every single day of the week.
To start getting those well-deserved good night’s sleep, here are a couple of steps you can take to sleep better at night even with eczema.
Eczema worsens when the skin feels hot and starts to produce sweat and eczema also acts up when the air is too cold and the skin becomes dry and flaky. With these two situations in mind, get to know the right room temperature in which you feel comfortable in. Adjust the thermostat accordingly before going to bed, anticipate changes in the season and even sudden dips in the temperature at night so you won’t feel too cold or too hot right as you are in deep sleep. An automated temperature system can help you in cutting down the guesswork and keeping the desired room thermostat all throughout the night and into the early hours of the morning.
Learn your linens and fabrics
As the skin is in direct contact with the beddings you use and the sleepwear your have on when you sleep, it is important that you pay attention as to which ones feel comfortable to touch and which ones feel itchy, scratchy, or are just too rough. Fabrics made from 100% cotton or bamboo fibers are great for eczema patients because these are soft to touch yet easy to clean and maintain. Provide a dust mite cover for your bed mattress and for the pillows as well, as the tiny dust mite may also trigger and even exacerbate your exciting skin condition. Pajamas and sleepwear should also be made from breathable and absorbent fabrics that are still comfortable to wear even during winter season.
Moisturise, moisturise, moisturise
Keep the affected area fully moisturized right after taking a shower and right before going to bed. To make sure the moisture gets absorbed into the skin, apply a thick lotion 30 minutes to an hour before sleeping. If possible, wash the affected part daily and slather on moisturizers when it is still damp to lock in the moisture into the skin. Use emollients and creams rather than thin lotions as the heavier and thicker moisturizers offer the best and long-lasting formula when it comes to moisturizing. They won’t evaporate into the air after an hour or two and they can surely provide moisture for the skin all throughout the night.
Establish a healthy nighttime routine
Like a patient suffering from sleep deprivation, help yourself in getting the best possible quality of sleep by preparing for it. Keep off caffeinated drinks like soda and coffee right before bedtime. Stick to a regular sleep schedule and establish a relaxing environment an hour before sleeping, which means no heavy meals, no computer, and no stress-inducing activities. Avoiding stress and lessening anxiety not only helps in setting the ambiance for a good night’s sleep but it also reduces the chance of getting eczema flare-ups.
Uncontrollable scratching can still happen at night, especially during deep sleep. With all the precautions you do to prevent eczema from acting up, you cannot control what you tend to do while you are asleep. Hence, the solution to unintentional scratching is to wear soft organic cotton or bamboo gloves to cover your fingernails and prevent any wounds or scrapes from developing. Scratching with bare hands can also cause infection or bacteria to spread to other parts of the body as well as other people you might sleep within the same bed, like your spouse or your baby. Wearing eczema gloves can still allow you to relieve the itchiness caused by eczema and it also aids in letting you have the complete 8-hour sleep every single day of the week.