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Sleep is an integral part of good health. And when you’re battling severe eczema, your sleep may be getting cut short. It’s easy to understand why: scratching and itching can wake you up in the middle of the night and leave you exhausted during the day. But there are ways to get more sleep, even with severe eczema. And better sleep means a healthier body and mind.
What Causes Eczema-Related Sleep Problems
According to the National Eczema Association, “sleep problems are among the most common complaints of people with atopic dermatitis (eczema).” Many factors determine how well you sleep. Some of these include:
Irritated or damaged skin
Flaky, raw, or oozing skin can cause discomfort and itching that keeps you up at night. This is especially true when your eczema covers a large surface area, such as your back and legs. Even if only a tiny portion of your body is affected by eczema, scratching can still interfere with sleep and cause pain and discomfort. But there are ways to make your skin less irritating – including protecting it from the elements and following a moisturizing routine.
Sleeping can also become complicated when your skin is flaring. Flare-ups can make you more sensitive to itching and scratching, which means it’s even harder to sleep at night. Plus, bursts take their toll on your body and mind. Suppose you’re not sleeping well every night. In that case, eczema flare-ups will also prevent you from getting enough rest during the day – which could eventually lead to other health problems associated with exhaustion.
Stressful conditions around bedtime
It’s common for stress to interfere with sleep – anywhere from making it hard to fall asleep at night, waking up in the middle of the night, or disrupting the quality of your sleep. People who live with severe eczema tend to be stressed by their condition and may not know how to handle it (and the emotional baggage that often accompanies it). This can make sleep even more complicated, leading to fatigue and daytime sleepiness.
A daily routine
Getting enough sleep every night is essential to overall health. And when you’re living with severe eczema, the best way to get healthy sleep is through a routine. Your bedtime routine can help relax your body and mind so that you fall into a deep slumber at just the right time – no matter what’s going on with your skin or how stressed you are about managing your condition.
- Making minor adjustments to your daily routine can have significant benefits for both your mental and physical well-being. Here’s how:
- Establishing a bedtime routine can reduce stress, clear your mind of distractions, set the mood for restful sleep, and prepare your body shut-eye by slowing down your metabolism.
- Daily exercise is essential for managing eczema and stress, but it can also help prepare your body (and mind) for sleep by increasing melatonin levels.
- Having a regular meal schedule is another crucial part of good health – including healthy skin and restful sleep. But when you’re not getting enough sleep at night, it’s easy to make bad food choices during the day.
- Consuming the wrong foods or beverages (like caffeinated drinks) can interfere with your ability to fall asleep and stay asleep through the night.
- Try having a light snack before bed instead – such as warm milk, low-fat yogurt, turkey, whole grain crackers, rice cakes, or toast with jam. These selections are easy to digest, gentle on your stomach, and can do everything from helping you fall asleep to giving you enough energy for the next day.
Eczema creates various problems for your skin, but lack of sleep can create problems for your entire body. By adhering to a regular bedtime routine – coupled with the proper treatment and lifestyle habits – you’ll get healthier sleep throughout the night, allowing you to manage your eczema more effectively during the day. Always talk to your doctor or dermatologist about your concerns and guide how best to deal with them. Please do not use this information to diagnose or treat any medical condition without consulting a medical professional first. Here are the things you must adhere to for good night sleep:
- Adjust the temperature around you:
Sleeping in warm rooms can make it harder to fall asleep and stay asleep. Check out the temperature at night by placing your hand under your cheek (like you usually do) – if it feels cool, you’re ready for bed. But if it’s warm, try turning down the heat or opening a window for some fresh air before shutting off the lights and hitting the sack. A room that is either too hot or too cold can cause sleep problems. In the winter months, it may be necessary to use a humidifier or an electric blanket.
- Keep your bedroom quiet:
Noise can prevent you from falling asleep as well as waking you up during the night, so turn off electronics and reduce any other distractions that might keep you tossing and turning. If noise is still an issue, use earplugs or listen to sounds of nature on a white noise machine to drown out distractions. Even the slightest noise can keep you from sleeping well. If you live in a noisy area, use earplugs, put up drapes/curtains, hang shades on your windows or play some soothing music on your stereo system to help cover the sounds of traffic or loud neighbors.
- Keep your room dark at night:
Sunlight interferes with sleep by suppressing melatonin, which helps increase deep sleep and prevent early-morning awakening. So avoid sunlight exposure during the day – including bright indoor light – and avoid bright lights in your home after sundown. Using lamps with dim bulbs, wearing paper “blackout” shades, or using masking tape to cover your bedroom windows are simple ways of making your room darker at night.
- Keep your bedroom cool in summer:
When the temperature climbs at night, you may have trouble falling asleep and staying asleep if nighttime sweating interferes with sleep comfort. A slight rise in body temperature is normal during the day when it’s warm outside, but that same increase can prevent sound sleep when it happens at night. So controlling the heat by lowering the thermostat with air-conditioning or opening windows with fans when it is hot can help keep you comfortable and sleeping well.
- Use comfortable sheets:
It may seem like an obvious suggestion, but picking out sheets that feel good against your skin can make a big difference in how well you sleep. Having sheets that feel soft and smooth against your skin helps reduce the itching, stinging, and other bothersome sensations that can disrupt your sleep. So pick out some nice-looking sheets to help get better sleep through the night.
- Do not scratch:
While you can easily ignore an itch during the day, it’s nearly impossible to tune out one at night. Frequent scratching can disturb your sleep quality so much that you’ll feel exhausted in the morning. So try to resist scratching when it occurs – if this is not possible, use antihistamines before bedtime to help suppress the urge to scratch – and keep your fingernails short, so scratches from sharp nails don’t exacerbate any itching.
- Try using a warm compress:
A heating pad or warm washcloth placed on affected areas of skin can come in handy for making your discomfort more tolerable at night. Make sure whatever you’re using is warm but not too hot – just enough heat to remove some of the pain and itching that can keep you awake.
- Limit naps during the day:
While occasional daytime sleep may not help when it comes to insomnia, doing it too often can make a bad problem even worse. Erratic sleep schedules – going to bed and waking up at different times every day – can make you more tired during the night. Keep your naps short if they must happen, no more than 30 minutes, and don’t take them later than early afternoon, or else they may interfere with nighttime sleeping instead of helping it.
- Exercise regularly:
Exercising for as little as 20 minutes three times a week can help ease the stress getting in the way of sound sleep. Regular physical activity can also help you get better quality sleep by increasing deep REM (Rapid Eye Movement) restorative periods during earlier hours of the night, so you’ll wake up feeling refreshed when you get up in the morning.
- Create a bedtime routine:
Try to go to sleep simultaneously every night and wake up at the same time each morning – even on weekends or days off work – because doing so can help reduce insomnia symptoms by stabilizing your body’s internal clock. Using tools like an alarm clock, cell phone timer, kitchen timer, or clock radio can serve as helpful reminders that it’s time for bed or waking up in the morning. Try using your cell phone to set daily reminders for yourself of when you need to start getting ready for bed, so it becomes part of your routine.
- Reduce stress by making relaxation part of your night-time ritual:
Relaxation therapies such as deep breathing, yoga, meditation, and progressive muscle relaxation can help reduce the physical manifestations of stress that often cause insomnia symptoms. Try practicing your favourite relaxation technique right before getting into bed so it’ll become part of your routine. For some relief from night-time itching and pain, take a warm bath with Epsom salts to relieve irritated skin – just be sure not to get water in your eyes or mouth while doing this.
12 Avoid caffeine late in the day:
Drinking caffeinated beverages during the day can interfere with sleep quality at night by increasing alertness and energy levels when you should be winding down for bedtime. So, avoid drinking coffee, tea, colas, chocolate drinks, and other caffeinated beverages after lunch to help lessen insomnia symptoms at rest.
13 Moisturize your skin:
Your skin may become dry and itchy at night, so moisturizing can help you feel more comfortable when trying to fall asleep. Try using a heavy moisturizer like udder cream or lanolin to relieve itching throughout the night. These products contain ingredients that stay on your skin for many hours instead of being absorbed quickly, like some lotions are.
- Wear loose-fitting, cool clothes made of comfortable materials:
Wearing tight-fitting or scratchy clothing can prevent you from relaxing at bedtime, so choose your nightclothes carefully to help reduce stress and get more restful sleep. Itching can be worse in the heat of summer, so wear lightweight cotton pyjamas instead of wool or other itchy fabrics that could keep you up all night long.
- Avoid alcohol before bedtime:
While a drink or two may help you relax enough to fall asleep, its sedative effects typically last only for an hour or two before insomnia symptoms set in again. If you must drink alcohol, limit yourself to one serving no later than 2 hours before getting into bed.
These are some tips that you can use to get better sleep if you have eczema. You can also use homeopathic treatment for eczema. Homeopathic treatment for eczema can be effective, and you can use it just like other treatments. You do not need to take pills because homeopathic treatment for eczema is different from other treatments.
Benefits of using the homeopathic treatment for eczema:
Homeopathic remedies for skin conditions such as eczema effectively alleviate the itching and inflammation associated with the disease. The medication involves tiny doses of natural substances that would produce similar symptoms if taken in more significant amounts and stimulate your body’s ability to heal itself. However, since each person has a unique set of symptoms, homeopathy treats each case individually. It considers all aspects when prescribing remedies which means no two patients receive the same remedy or a mix of medications. Also, there is no over-dosage involved when taking homeopathic medicines because self-prescription is very unlikely. You can use homeopathic treatment for eczema if you do not want to go with other treatments. You can book an appointment through OHO Homeopathy for an expert homeopathy doctor’s opinion regarding eczema treatment.