Hands are opening and pouring out pills from a bottle with a crescent moon and stars on it, with a starry background.

Why I Chose to Take Sleeping Aids

Oh man. Here we go. Do I take medication to manage the pain? To help me sleep at night?

I’m just going to add my two cents here. At least for my particular situation as of right now. We know that topical steroid withdrawal (TSW) is one rude and complicated journey. So we do what we can to survive this insanity. I’ve been very stubborn about being as natural as possible while I’m going through TSW. Drugs are what caused all of this in the first place, right? So when I experience any pain or nights of sleeplessness I just bear it. Get through it.

Barely sleeping with eczema

This craziness is now my new normal. Wake up to another day with only a few hours of sleep under my belt. But we all know we need sleep. Duh. We need sleep to function. We need sleep to repair our bodies. But was I getting it? No. I was waking up every 30 mins, every hour. When I woke up in the morning, I tallied up the minutes and hours. After all those moments of interrupted sleep, I got a grand total of? A grand total of 2 hours. 2 hours. This ended up being my new normal. Getting 2-3 hours of sleep a night. I figured that at least I was awake during the morning hours of the day! That seemed to be progress in my eyes. 2-3 hours was my new normal for the next few months.

Something wasn't right

But my skin wasn’t healing properly. You know when you can just feel that something isn’t right? I know this is TSW and I know at times it is unexplainable. But something deep down inside me just knew that something was wrong. That I wasn’t supplying my body with what it needed.

Oozing eczema rashes on my legs

Yes, okay, I was eating right, exercising within my limitations, and was generally always in good spirits. Good. And I was trying several healing methods on my legs too - that is the problem area, my legs. My legs which for decades have basically been a non-issue besides the normal eczema issues. My legs which for the past few months have been wreaking havoc on my life. I’ve been trying several different methods to heal the lesions on my legs - from drying to moisturizing to light therapy and massaging...nothing was working.

Will getting better sleep heal eczema?

I finally decided that I had to do something about my sleep issues. Yes, issues. It’s not just that I don’t get enough hours, but that I have been sleeping in a chair(s) for the past few months in order to accommodate the oozing areas of my body. I balanced myself on chairs in order to not deal with sticking to my sheets and exacerbating the wounds that were already open. So I decided I would bare the sticking to the sheets and finally sleep on my back. But if I’m going to do this, I might as well do this all the way, right? As I stared at the bottles of Aspirin and Benadryl in my hand, I figured - well, all that other stuff was a no-go, so why not try two more things that I know have worked for me in the past?

Turning to sleeping aids and painkillers

So I took the Aspirin. I took the Benadryl. I knocked out like a baby, flat on my back, already sticking to the sheets. I had gone to sleep at 10 pm and now it was 2 am. Oh my goodness. I just slept for 4 hours straight. 4 hours! That’s double what I’ve been doing! Yup, I’m stuck to the sheets but my goodness I’m sleeping! So I went back to sleep for another 4 hours. I cannot tell you how different I felt when I woke up that first morning. A few more days after that, I started noticing my legs healing at a pace I’ve healed at before. Truly healing. Not staying in this weird, purgatory of neither healing nor getting worse, but healing.

Balancing natural and pharmaceutical healing

My advice is to take the sleeping aid and use those pain killers, especially if you are having big, repeat issues that are just not healing. None of us belong in purgatory especially if you're already dealing with TSW! Though my legs are nowhere near healed, the two huge problem areas are no longer in existence, and that is enough proof for me! I am more than grateful that I finally faced my anxiety in using medications. I believe that a healthy balance of natural and pharmaceutical healing is possible. You just have to try. It’s different for every single person, but as long as you try, you’ll be one step closer to that perfect balance. And of course, discuss any treatment changes with your doctor.

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