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How To Sleep With Eczema

Relationship Between Sleep And Stress


Its not difficult to understand why sleep is so important. Healthy sleep gives us energy throughout the day, improves our performance, regulates our metabolism and immune system, decreases inflammation, and so much more.

But it doesnt only do that! Sleep can actually reduce the risk of certain diseases. In fact, poor sleep increases the risk of obesity by 55%, increases the risk of type 2 diabetes by 50%, and doubles the risk of having a stroke or heart attack.

There is no doubt about it, we need our sleep to stay optimally healthy.

Unfortunately, when stress comes into play it can be very difficult to get a good nights sleep, especially with eczema stress remember thats the worry you have about your eczema. This is because of the bodys physical and psychological response to a perceived threat. Stress can actually cause many physical changes such as quickened or shallow breathing, as well as the release of adrenaline or cortisol that provide bursts of energy. When your body is in a continuous stressed state, sleep becomes almost impossible, creating even more stress. Not at all what we need when managing eczema.

Eventually, this sleep-stress cycle can impact your overall health and well being, causing fluctuations in your gut health, weight and respiratory system.

It can also cause or trigger eczema as we defined above as stress eczema. So, getting a good nights sleep can be crucial in eczema healing. Keep reading for our tips for better sleep!

Materials Can Impact Your Ad

Find the right ones to get a more comfortable night’s sleep.

  • Chang YS et al. J Allergy Clin Immunol 2018 142:1033â1040.

  • Alomayri W et al. Cureus 2020 12:1â9.

  • Gupta MA and Gupta AK. Clin Dermatol 2013 31:118â126.

  • Healthline. Itchy Skin at Night? Why It Happens and What You Can Do About It. Available at: Accessed July 2021.

  • Murota H and Katayama I. Allergol Int 2017 66:8â13.

  • Davis S. S Afr Pharm J2020 20:12â14.

  • AAAAI. Allergic Skin Conditions. Available at: Accessed July 2021.

  • National Eczema Association. Bathing, Moisturizing and Wet Wraps. Available at: Accessed July 2021.

  • National Eczema Association. Advice From a Paediatrician to Help Your Child With Eczema Get Good Sleep. Available at: Accessed July 2021.

  • Scratching Hand To Soothing Hand

    Have you been trying to stop scratching with willpower? It simply wont work. Your itch keeps building, keeps calling out for help. Your hand nally reaches to relieve it, almost of its own accord. The hand is quicker than the will.

    Why cant you just tell yourself to stop scratching? Very simple: you never told yourself to start. Your conscious willpower self isnt running the show.

    Then who is in charge here? Neither your conscious mind nor your unconscious mind. You dont direct the scratching, but youre not aware of it either. Your scratch control center is directly linked to the healing part of the mind. But as you well know by now, if you want help from this part of yourself, you have to speak its language. You cant push, work, or insist. You need to be subtle and wily.

    For example, try to not think of a hippopotamus. Now try harder. Bulldozing yourself with willpower is not effective. Now have each hippopotamus turn into an elephant. Much easier?

    Rather than struggling to restrain your scratching hand, you can convert it: You can turn the pesky hippopotamus into a loyal, powerful elephant of an ally.

    It probably took you years to learn to catch a ball smoothly and without thinking. But you can learn to transform your scratching hand into a healing hand through daily practice sessions with the help of the imagining of your own personal healing state.

    Here is a sample exercise. For a more thorough version, please refer to Skin Deep:

    Recommended Reading: How To Clear Up Eczema On Hands

    What Is It Like To Live With Eczema

    Atopic eczema can occur all over the body. It causes dry, reddened skin that may be very itchy, scaly or cracked. Constant scratching can split the skin, which may lead to infection usually characterised by weeping or wet eczema.

    Having a skin condition like eczema can affect the way you look, how you feel about yourself, other people and the world around you. It is not just a matter of physical discomfort or inconvenience. Eczema can affect your emotional, social and personal wellbeing. It can disrupt family life, personal and social relationships, leisure, holidays, and all sorts of day-to-day activities.

    The physical severity of your eczema does not necessarily dictate the extent to which your life is affected. It may depend on how noticeable your eczema is or where it occurs on your body. No-one else can really say how mild or moderate or severe your eczema is for you it is how you feel about your eczema that counts.

    Having eczema may make you feel anxious, embarrassed, or lacking in confidence. It could also make you feel angry, frustrated or depressed. It may affect how you relate to other people, and how they relate to you. It may influence how you feel about life and the choices that you make. There is no single solution to coping with eczema we all have different ways of meeting challenges and new situations. If you feel that you are finding it hard to cope with your own or your childs eczema you may need to consider finding extra support.

    Still Having Sleeping Problems

    Advice From A Pediatrician To Help Your Child With Eczema Sleep

    Ive tried a lot of treatments and diets in the past, but the one thing that made the biggest difference is focusing on nutrition to heal from the inside out.

    Ive tried a lot of products and creams to fix my sleep but because I never addressed the root cause, I was never able to get 6-8 hours of sleep consistently.

    If you are embarking on the the eczema or topical steroid withdrawal journey and interested in a skin health coach to support you, please contact me via and for a complimentary 30min call!

    If you found these quick sleeping tips useful, feel free to share it and dont forget to follow me on and for more content like this!

    Also Check: Dr Richard Aron Eczema Treatment

    Good Sleep Hygiene Is A Thing

    Hygiene doesnt just mean keeping things clean. The concept of good sleep hygiene means considering healthy sleep habits that will give you the best chance of achieving good quality sleep. Such as:

    • Following our tips above for the right bedding, and having a cool, dark, quiet, clutter free bedroom
    • Aim to go to sleep and wake at the same or similar time each day, even at weekends, to train your body clock to get ready for naturally sleeping and waking
    • Avoid using your phone or other electronic device in the hour before bedtime – they emit blue light that tricks the brain into thinking its daytime
    • Also avoid eating a heavy meal , drinking alcohol or caffeine or vigorous exercise in the hours before bed in the evening, as they’re too stimulating on the brain
    • Use relaxation techniques before bed, such as reading, mediation and gentle yoga

    Why Does Atopic Dermatitis Or Eczema Get Itchy At Night

    Youâve probably noticed that your AD flares up when you go to bed and perhaps youâve wondered whether itâs partly psychological. But the fact is your AD symptoms really can get worse at night, increasing your urge to scratch that itch.1And there actually are scientific reasons for this:

    • It might well be your bodyâs circadian rhythms are causing these night itches, or what medical professionals call ‘nocturnal pruritis’4
    • At night, your body temperature and the blood flow to your skin both rise, the production of inflammatory molecules increases, and that of corticosteroids , is reduced4
    • Your skin also loses more water at night, which can make it drier and itchier4
    • At night there are fewer distractions, making the itch the one thing you can end up focussing on4
    • And, if itâs one of those warm, clammy nights, night sweats can affect your AD by also adding to the itch5

    One myth, though, is that bed bugs can cause AD. The fact is, they canât actually cause it.6 However, bed bugs can make your condition worse by causing âhivesâ, a rash which can produce red itchy lesions on your skin.6,7

    You May Like: How To Fade Eczema Scars

    Why Sleep Matters When You Have Ad

    Sleep is a main component of a healthy life. Itâs incredibly important for your mental function and emotional well-being. If you arenât sleeping well, you wonât do well at work or school. And being chronically fatigued makes you feel terrible. Plus, a lack of sleep can change how you interact with others. All that can boost your stress level, which, in turn, âhas a negative impact on your eczema and your skin,â Piliang says.

    Experts arenât exactly sure why stress makes AD worse, but it may have to do with a link between the stress hormone cortisol and inflammation levels in your body. At the same time, stress makes your immune system less able to do its job. Plus, when youâre stressed, you may not eat well or exercise often.

    It becomes a vicious feedback loop, because the stress makes your eczema worse, Piliang says. And that makes it hard to sleep, which increases your stress. Studies show that people who have atopic dermatitis that disrupts their sleep say they have a lower quality of life as a result.

    It can also impact you if you have a bed partner or child that often wakes up in pain or itching terribly. Studies show parents of children with atopic dermatitis have worse sleep, too.

    Top Tips To Sleep Better

    Does lack of sleep affect eczema?

    1. Laugh more

    2. Snack before bed

    3. Take a calcium supplement that contains magnesium, in the afternoon and again before bed. For children ensure it’s an unflavoured powder calcium supplement as the fruit flavourings will make them itchy like crazy.

    I hope you feel better soon!

    Much love,

    Karen Fischer and the team at the Eczema Life Clinic

    Also Check: Essential Oils For Scalp Eczema

    How To Sleep With An Eczema Flare

    Sleep is a super crucial component to everyones overall health. As Im sure you know, when you are going through an eczema flare-up, sleep can be a nightmare! What makes it worse is that a lack of sleep is not only bad for your overall health, it make your eczema worse too.

    This study found that eczema was associated with higher odds of fatigue, regular daytime sleepiness, and regular insomnia. The good news is that this doesnt have to be you! By following some of these tips and tricks, a good nights sleep with eczema is possible!

    Attacking The Problem By The Roots

    If you still find yourself itching constantly, then you might want to consider getting to the core problem. After all, it makes more sense to understand and attack the source of the itch, doesnt it?

    Eczema breakouts are a big part of what causes this itchiness. Whenever you break out in eczema or have a flare-up, that particular area becomes extremely itchy.

    The first thing youll want to do is to get to the root of the problem: stop the breakouts! Eczema is a symptom of something wrong inside our bodies, and taking steps to heal the root problem will stop the itchy breakouts from happening in the first place.

    If you want to find out whats really causing your eczema, watch my free training series. Ill help you get started!

    I hope Ive helped you on your way to becoming itch-free! Did these methods work for you? Leave a reply!

    PS: Don’t know where to start? Sign up to my free series The Clear Skin Plan !

    You May Like: How To Find Eczema Triggers

    Keep Your Child’s Sleeping Environment Cool

    Heat can make your child’s eczema worse. And if your child sweats, this will make their eczema even more uncomfortable.

    So, make sure their sleeping environment isn’t too hot.

      • Keep their bedroom temperature cool and comfortable, especially during summer.
      • Don’t cover them with too much bedding.
      • And rememberloose-fitting cotton pajamas are best for keeping your child cool and comfortable at bedtime!

    Why Does Eczema Itch

    Sleep Apnea Neck Size #SleepApneaDizziness # ...

    Prior to discussing tips on how to soothe the eczema itch, its important to understand where it comes from. According to Dr. Peter Lio, eczema is caused by a leaky skin barrier. . Once the skin is leaky, the barrier becomes more damaged, looses more water and in turn triggers an inflammation response. There is also a variety of other possible stimuli that can make eczema worse at night, but almost every eczema case is unique.

    That being said, prior to soothing your overnight eczema itch, its important to understand what might be triggering your flare-ups to begin with. Are you allergic to certain foods or materials? Are you experiencing more stress than usual? These are all questions which are important to ask in order to get to the bottom of what causes your eczema itch.

    Not sure whats triggering your eczema? Make sure to check out our blog post What Triggers Eczema? With Dr. Peter Lio to discover a variety of triggers that may be causing you itchy eczema.

    Also Check: Eczema Around Eyes How To Treat

    How To Deal With Sleep With Eczema

    If itches ever happen at night, you cant control them because you were unconscious. Here are several tips to make the best of it:

    Dust mites: did you know that millions of tiny little bugs are on your bedding, pillow, skin and clothes feeding off your dead skin cells right now? People can be sensitive to the protein found in their excrement, learn more about these tiny bugs.

    Air pollutants: install an air cleaner or purifier to get rid of all the harmful allergens and bacteria in the air.

    Humidity: use either a humidifier or dehumidifier in your room if the humidity levels in your place get too extreme.

    Temperature: depending on the size of your room, make sure your room is cool enough for you at around twenty-something degrees, because heat is an itch trigger.

    Topical treatments: apart from the regular moisturizing routine, you could also apply an anti-itch herbal skin paste before dozing off, this helps reduce your likeliness to scratch at night. Learn how to make your own herbal skin pastes for eczema.

    Light clothing: make sure you are not wearing anything artificial, tight or restrictive that will prevent your skin from breathing blocking the pores will irritate the skin tissues and cause itches.

    Safe scratch clothing: there are items that can prevent you from causing damage due to scratching at night, for example: long sleeved clothing, gloves and the popular Scratch Me Not .

    Identify And Avoid Eczema Triggers

    Have a consistent daily bathing and moisturizing routine.

    Antibacterial ointments should be avoided or used with care, even more so if it contains neomycin or bacitracin as they are known to irritate skin.

    Check to ensure baby wipes used do not contain isothiazolinones, which also irritates skin.

    Avoid using shampoos or other products that contain cocomidopropyl betaine as well.

    All in all eczema is a common skin condition that happens to people all around the world. It is non-contagious, but causes itching, rashes, pain and rough patches on skin. However most of children with eczema symptoms tend to get better with age. About 95% of children stop having eczema symptoms after 20 years.

    Although eczema may never fully clear up, its symptoms are still manageable. Dont be discouraged if you have any eczema symptoms, all you need to do is to adjust your lifestyle and adopt certain habits consistently. With that being said, people with eczema can still have a good quality of life.

    Also Check: Cetaphil Moisturizing Cream For Eczema Review

    Itching In Babies And Infants

    Unfortunately eczema can appear as early as during the infancy period. It usually looks like a rash on the scalp or face. Small as it may be it can also cause nighttime discomfort and itchiness.

    The same treatment for adults can be used for these little ones too, however extra precautions need to be taken to keep them comfortable, particularly during the night. Here are ways to reduce eczema symptoms in babies:

    Getting A Good Night’s Sleep With Eczema: Tips From A Former Eczema Sufferer

    Ask the Allergist: Sleep Problems In Children with Asthma, Allergies or Eczema

    Whether its the constant ferocious itch, your oozy skin sticking to the sheets, constantly waking up or scratching off your night time skin routine, having a good nights sleep with eczema is a challenging ordeal.

    We know sleep is essential for good health, both mental and physical well-being and without enough of it, not only can your physical and mental well-being suffer, but your eczema does not have the opportunity to heal. The vicious cycle continues.

    I suffered from sleep deprivation for years with my chronic eczema. As a child on the weekends I would often sleep-in well into mid-morning as my body desperately attempted to make up for the lack of sleep I was getting during the week. My growth rate was on the lower end of the graph. Many sleepless nights meant I had extra time to plan various hypothetical Hawaiian holidays and house renovations, but to be honest I would have much preferred 8 hours of deep, healing sleep.

    These following tips supported my sleep with eczema, and I hope they can help you too if your night time itch is compromising your slumber.

    Wearing gloves

    Although you go to sleep feeling like a mime artist, wearing cotton gloves to bed made it much more difficult to scratch during the night as you often do it without even realising.

    Short fingernails

    Moist bandaging

    Taking Skin Friend PM

    Every night before bed I take Skin Friend PM which contains magnesium, calcium, glycine and silica.

    Picking the right sheets and sleepwear

    Good night time routine

    Also Check: Best Cream For Eczema Around Eyes

    Start Bedtime Over If Needed

    What if you’ve tried these strategies and your child’s eczema still keeps them up at night?

    Sometimes, the best option is to “start bedtime over” with a middle-of-the-night moisturizing session. Spritz your child’s skin with a water spray bottle, apply plenty of moisturizer, and have them change into new clothes before tucking them in again. This will help both of you get valuable hours of sleep back!


    All health-related content on this website is for informational purposes only and does not create a doctor-patient relationship. Always seek the advice of your own pediatrician in connection with any questions regarding your babys health.

    These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. Products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

    See the FDA Peanut Allergy Qualified Health Claim at the bottom of our homepage.

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  • All health-related content on this website is for informational purposes only and does not create a doctor-patient relationship. Always seek the advice of your own pediatrician in connection with any questions regarding your babys health.

    FDA Acknowledges Qualified Health Claim Linking Early Peanut Introduction and Reduced Risk of Developing Peanut Allergy in 2017:

    If your infant has severe eczema and/or egg allergy, check with your infants healthcare provider before feeding foods containing ground peanuts.


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