The eczema sufferer's guide to sleep
Eczema and Sleep
A good night’s sleep is key to our health and wellbeing, however if you suffer from eczema you often have disturbed sleep, leaving you exhausted and at higher risk of a flare up. Eczema (also known as dermatitis) is a non-contagious skin condition that can affect people of all ages, including 1 in 12 adults in the UK. The extreme feeling of itchiness causes scratching, especially unconsciously in your sleep. This itch scratch cycle causes skin to become more red, sore, inflamed and often to bleed. Here are some ways you can make your bedroom a skin friendly place to be:
1) Deep clean
Give your bedroom a deep clean, hoover and use a damp cloth to remove irritating dust and moulds. This will also keep dust mites at bay, it is the protein in their droppings that can cause problems for people with atopic eczema.
2) Minimise dust catchers
Minimise soft furnishings such as cushions, curtains and fabric lamp shades. Instead opt for wipeable blinds, shutters and ceramic or metal shades. Opt for bamboo bedding sheets as they are an inhospitable environment for skin irritating dust mites.
Aim to keep your bedroom temperature slightly cooler at between 16-18°C. Not only will this trigger sleep inducing melatonin, it will also reduces the urge to itch. Hot temperatures cause the skin to dry out and also trigger sweating, two known triggers of eczema. Bamboo bedding and loose-fitting bamboo nightwear are temperature regulating, moisture wicking and smooth - the ideal choice to avoid over-heating and skin friction.
4) Fresh air
Air your room every day, however if high pollen count is forecast keep the windows closed. Many allergens are harmless in themselves but in sensitised individuals cause the body to overreact.
For information and help with your eczema visit the charity www.eczema.org