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Sleepless nights? Don't let your eczema keep you awake

A good night’s sleep is fundamentally important to your health and wellbeing. Nighttime itching often keeps eczema sufferers awake, disrupting sleep patterns and leaving you feeling overtired in the morning.

So, what steps can you take to get a better night’s sleep?

 

Temperature control

Being too hot can irritate your skin, causing eczema. Try opening a window in your bedroom, using a lighter duvet or investing in a room air conditioning unit to keep the room temperature comfortable and prevent overheating. In the winter months, remember to turn off your central heating before you go to bed and avoid using hot water bottles or electric blankets.

Controlling the itch

Take precautions to prevent itching by using a suitable emollient or moisturiser to prevent your skin from becoming too dry. Apply your chosen product an hour or so before you go to bed so that it has plenty of time to be absorbed by your skin, rather than sitting in a layer that could trap heat. One effective way of quickly cooling down hot, potentially itchy patches on your skin before you go to bed is to use an ice pack wrapped in a thin tea towel to avoid ice burns.

Choose bedding carefully

It’s important that you choose a bed with a frame designed in such a way as to allow air to circulate while you sleep, helping to keep you cooler.

When choosing a mattress, do your research and try to find something that provides you with enough support to be comfortable, but which doesn’t cause you to overheat. A very soft mattress will allow you to sink into it, potentially causing hotspots that could irritate your skin. Similarly, memory foam can cling to your skin too much, causing sweating.

If dust mites trigger a skin allergy that sets off your eczema, you will need to use pillow, duvet, and mattress covers. Although they might be more expensive, it’s always best to choose pure cotton sheets, pillow cases, and duvet covers as these feel lovely and cool against your skin and are less likely to cause sweating and trigger your eczema. Nylon sheets should be avoided as these are almost guaranteed to make you overheat and will irritate your eczema. Choose washable pillows and duvets so that you can launder them regularly. Regular washing helps to get rid of dead skin cells, dust mites and emollient, keeping your bedding fresh and consequently reducing the likelihood of your eczema flaring up during the night.

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