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Sleep Loss and Eczema Often Go Hand in Hand

Sleep Loss and Eczema Often Go Hand in Hand

Tips for Improving Sleep

Sleep loss is perhaps the most notable quality of life aspect impacted by eczema. Itchiness, discomfort and pain can all keep eczema sufferers up at night. Lack of sleep negatively impacts mood, and daytime functioning, and this can create a vicious cycle. Here are some tips for improving sleep, and hopefully getting better rest over the long term.

Tips for Improving Sleep

  • Create a solid, reliable bedtime routine which includes the same sequence of events each night, and ensure they occur at the same time each night. For example, start bath every night at the same time, followed by the skin care routine, then a story, and then lights out.
  • Avoid electronics before bed. It has been shown that the blue light emitted from electronics makes it more difficult to fall asleep. Create a rule in the house regarding electronic use, such as no electronics for the rest of the evening after dinner or even after school.
  • Create a cool and comfortable environment for sleep. Over-heated rooms can make eczema worse, and sleep more difficult. A cooling fan may be helpful.
  • Let your child provide input on what helps them sleep. Which cotton pyjamas are most comfortable? Which cream feels the best on his/her skin? Is there a stuffed animal, a blanket, or specific bed sheets that help them sleep?
  • You can also help to reduce nighttime scratching by covering and protecting the skin; access to the skin usually means a gateway to scratching.
  • Dress your child in soft breathable cotton clothing that covers the skin. Cotton pyjamas with long sleeves and long pants are helpful, as are soft cotton wristbands or wet wrappings.

Credit: Eczema Society of Canada thanks Melissa Cresswell-Sweet, Behaviour Therapist, for her editorial contributions on this article.

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