Eczema Bedtime Tips for Better Sleep
Does your eczema get in the way of a good night’s sleep? Sleep is essential to our overall health and 7 to 9 hours is ideal. Eczema disruption can prevent you or your child from sleeping through the night and can cause tiredness and irritability, negatively impacting your daily activities and quality of life. There are steps you can take to improve your eczema and your restfulness, starting with these night time routines:
Get Aggressive with Your Moisturizer
Don’t wait for skin to become red and bumpy. Make heavy moisturizing a part of your bedtime ritual from the start. Eczema may be present underneath the skin and waiting for it to show means that you’re not treating it until it’s already become uncomfortable. Moisturize every night, whether the eczema is visible or not to prevent your eczema skin from flaring.
Create an Itch-less Environment
If you or your child are prone to itching, make sure that the room is kept cool at night because overheating can be one of the triggers for itchiness. To help keep cool air circulating throughout your home, open the window during the day, then close it at night, and put the central heating on low.
When dressing for bedtime, remember to choose plain lyocell sheets or 100% cotton sheets and bedding that aren’t too heavy. Also, try to choose tencel® fabric or loose fitting 100% cotton pajamas that are comfortable for sleeping in. Tencel® fabric is ideal for eczema but hard to find. If you can't find tencel® fabric in your size or your child's size, 100% cotton is the best option.
Bathe (and Moisturize) Before Bed
To help lock in the moisture barrier, take a lukewarm bath at night before bed followed immediately with full body moisturizer. We recommend a lukewarm bath over hot water as hot water can strip dry skin of essential oils. Lukewarm baths are best for eczema.
Wet Wrap Therapy for Moderate to Severe Eczema
Wet wrap therapy (wet wraps) for eczema has been recommended by doctors for 20 years as an excellent treatment to bring down inflammation and itch. Recent research reports a decrease in eczema symptoms by 75% in 5 easy treatments. Done at night, wet wrap therapy can calm the itch for a more restful sleep. We highly recommend this treatment if the itch of eczema is affecting you or your child's sleep.
Other Helpful Tips
Eliminate Digital Disruptions
Electronics with bright screens like cell phones and iPads can lead to a poor night’s sleep because the blueish light confuses our bodies into thinking it is day time. Turn off all electronics including the TV well before lights out, and try to remove all electronics from the bedroom at night. If you have a clock radio as your morning alarm, set the light to its lowest setting and turn it away so that it isn’t facing the bed. Reading before bed in a quiet room is the best way to prepare for bedtime.
Don’t Eat Before Bed
There’s some truth to the idea that eating before bed can cause nightmares, or at least sleep disruptions. On the other hand, going to bed on an empty stomach makes falling asleep equally challenging, and can also be a problem for your blood sugar levels. Allow for at least two hours between your last meal or snack and bedtime.
Develop a Regular Sleep Schedule
Going to bed at the same time every night helps to regulate the body’s internal clock and hormones that control your wakefulness and sleepiness. Regular sleep routines set your body’s clock on the right track. Try to create a relaxing, regular sleep routine that includes bathing, moisturizer, maybe a glass of water, and some quiet reading before lights out. These habits can help put your brain and body into bedtime mode.
Eczema doesn’t have to get in the way of a good night’s sleep. Follow the 6 steps outlined here to create habits that will help you to get a healthy 7 to 9 hours sleep each night. You’ll feel better rested, less irritable, more comfortable, and happier overall – and it will help your eczema too!