Five Tips to Help You Get Better Sleep if You Have Severe Eczema

The discomforts that the symptoms of severe eczema cause can interfere with your sleep. Therefore, it’s important to follow some strategies to help you get better sleep.
Five Tips to Help You Get Better Sleep if You Have Severe Eczema

Last update: 15 April, 2020

The symptoms of severe eczema may significantly affect your quality of life. While the discomfort decreases with some prescription drugs, it’s essential to supplement the treatment with some tips. In this article, we’ll review some tips to help you get better sleep.

Unfortunately, this skin disease causes problems such as fatigue, drowsiness, and insomnia. Due to the discomfort the itching, dryness, and the other clinical manifestations cause, it’s hard for those who suffer from this skin condition to get restful sleep.

The most worrying thing is that not getting enough sleep can affect the complications of this condition. In fact, in the medium and long term, it can compromise mental health and other health factors. What to do to cope? Read on to find out!

What’s eczema?

A man with severe eczema.
Eczema causes skin rashes, bumpy rashes, or blisters as a consequence of the inflammatory response that leads to itching.

Eczema, also known as atopic dermatitis, is a skin disease characterized by causing redness and inflammation. This is accompanied by intense itching, bumps, and extremely dry skin, among other discomforts.

Some common types of the disease include contact, seborrheic, and nummular dermatitis. It can affect anyone but it’s more common in babies and young children. Although experts still don’t know its exact cause, it’s believed to be an immune system response when exposed to irritants.

Flare-ups of the disease occur when one or more symptoms appear on the skin. This often occurs from exposure to triggers such as:

  • Chemical compounds of cleaning products or detergents
  • Perfumes and cosmetic products
  • Synthetic fabrics
  • High temperatures
  • Constant stress
  • Food intolerances
  • Animal dander
  • Rough materials, such as wool
  • Upper respiratory infections

Tips to help you get better sleep if you have severe eczema

A study published in the Journal of Investigative Dermatology revealed that patients with eczema are at a higher risk of suffering from fatigue and sleeping problems. According to the study, every day, there are more medical consultations related to sleep problems and severe eczema.

Fortunately, some simple tips can help you get restful sleep. Below, we explain the most important ones. Put them into practice today!

1. Regulate room temperatures

A man adjusting the thermostat.
Warm temperatures favor the appearance of eczema, as they create dry environments.

Body temperature and severe eczema symptoms are related. The greater the heat sensation, the more the symptoms of this disease worsen. Therefore, it’s common for sleep interruptions to occur due to overly hot environments.

As such, it’s essential to ensure cool atmospheres, especially when the weather is warm. The measures include:

  • Turn off the heating or lower the temperature (about three degrees)
  • Try different temperatures until you find the most comfortable one
  • Install an air humidifier

2. Use appropriate bedding

The bedding material can also affect your body temperature when you’re going to sleep. Therefore, another measure that you should consider to relieve sleep problems of severe eczema is to change your bedding. You must make sure the bedding you use is made of cotton or bamboo.

Both tend to accumulate fewer mites and skin residue, factors that can worsen symptoms. In addition, they’re easy to wash and dry in no time.

3. Use a moisturizing cream before bed

A woman applying cream to her skin.
Emollient moisturizing creams create a protective barrier and moisturize the skin at the same time.

Excessive dryness is a factor that worsens the symptoms of this skin disease. Thus, if the skin is overly dry, it’s more likely to suffer from severe itching and flaking. To fix this, the ideal thing is to apply a moisturizing cream in the affected areas approximately 30 minutes before bed.

The product you use must be suitable for sensitive skin or designed for the treatment of this disease. You should completely avoid applying scented creams or lotions, since they can worsen symptoms.

You should also read: Best Remedies to Treat Eczema

4. Maintain regular sleep habits

Having regular sleep habits can greatly help control the insomnia related to severe eczema. Although the symptoms can disrupt your rest, you’re more likely to sleep better if you have a fixed routine for going to bed and waking up.

Also, it’s useful to practice a relaxation technique before bed and remove distracting elements such as televisions, computers, or cell phones, among others.

5. Choose the right nightclothes

A woman sleeping peacefully in bed.
You have to use breathable nightclothes that don’t stick to your skin.

Due to the characteristic symptoms of the disease, you must be very careful with the clothes you use to sleep. Rough and synthetic fabrics can cause flare-ups. On the contrary, loose and breathable fabrics minimize the risk and increase the feeling of comfort.

Do your sleep problems persist despite these recommendations? If so, consult your doctor. This is because they can assess the possibility of accessing other types of treatment.

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Eczema can be referred to several types of skin swelling. Also known as dermatitis, eczema causes dryness and itchiness in most cases.

  • Silverberg, J. I., Garg, N. K., Paller, A. S., Fishbein, A. B., & Zee, P. C. (2015). Sleep disturbances in adults with eczema are associated with impaired overall health: A US population-based study. Journal of Investigative Dermatology.
  • Kelsay, K. (2006). Management of sleep disturbance associated with atopic dermatitis. Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology.
  • Jeon, C., Yan, D., Nakamura, M., Sekhon, S., Bhutani, T., Berger, T., & Liao, W. (2017). Frequency and Management of Sleep Disturbance in Adults with Atopic Dermatitis: A Systematic Review. Dermatology and Therapy.
  • Fishbein, A. B., Vitaterna, O., Haugh, I. M., Bavishi, A. A., Zee, P. C., Turek, F. W., … Paller, A. S. (2015). Nocturnal eczema: Review of sleep and circadian rhythms in children with atopic dermatitis and future research directions. Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology.
  • Gupta, M. A., & Gupta, A. K. (2013). Sleep-wake disorders and dermatology. Clinics in Dermatology.