How to Achieve Restful Sleep with Eczema
A good night’s rest can be difficult under normal circumstances. When you throw eczema into the mix, it can be downright impossible at times. Between intense scratching and constant adjusting, it can feel like you’ve just closed your eyes moments before that alarm goes off. As someone who has experienced these antics for a good portion of my life, I have come to learn that there are many different approaches one can try to finally get some coveted sleep.
Bathing before bed
I’ve found that bathing before bedtime is one of the best preventative measures to avoid scratching at night. Cleansing my skin of all the bacteria and allergens that have accumulated over the course of the day is nothing but a step in the right direction. Take a bath or shower, apply your topical medications and moisturizer and get in that bed.
Select the right sleepwear
Avoid sleeping in materials that are rough or too tight. When dressing for bed, leave behind that cozy wool sweater that your grandma made you for your birthday and opt for some nice cotton clothing instead. Keep in mind the temperature of your room and be sure to wear attire that will prevent you from sweating throughout the night. The goal is to find something that will allow your skin to breathe while allowing you to stay comfortable while you sleep.
Finding the right temperature
I’ve found that sleeping in a nice cool room helps me stay relaxed. When I’m too hot I begin to scratch and move around on my bed to find a “cooler” spot to sleep in. To combat this, I use an air-purifying fan. Not only does it cool me down, but it also strips my environment of allergens at the same time. If a fan isn’t enough for you, I recommend cracking a window or turning on the A/C in your house or apartment. If your back is too hot, invest in a cooling pad. They have worked wonders for me.
If you’re still having difficulty with achieving deep sleep try a sleep aid. Personally, I like to use Benadryl and melatonin. Both are readily available at my local pharmacy and they are safely taken together. Speak with your health care provider to determine the best dose to fit your needs.
Practice good sleep hygiene
By practicing good sleep hygiene, you can improve your chances of falling asleep faster and longer. Some tips include:
- Avoid using any screens before bed. Examples consist of cell phones, tablets, televisions, and computers. The light from these devices tricks your brain into thinking it's not time for bed. This can prevent sleep-inducing hormones from being produced.
- Go to bed and wake up at the same time each day. This will ensure your circadian rhythm isn’t being messed with.
- Avoid stimulants before bedtime. Substances such as caffeine, nicotine or even alcohol can make it more difficult to fall asleep.
Next time you find yourself struggling to fall (and stay) asleep, give these suggestions a try!
On an average day, how would you rate your level of anxiety related to atopic dermatitis?