Do you find yourself waking during the night because of your irritated skin? Sleep is key to good health and plays an important part in helping your body recover. Try one or more of these expert-approved tips and see if they improve the quality of your sleep.
Keep your emollient by your bedside
Pre-refrigerate an emollient (cream or lotion, but not ointment) and keep it by your bedside each evening. If you wake up itching, re-apply your cold emollient to help soothe your skin and reduce the need to scratch.
Control your room temperature
Heat and humidity changes can affect your skin and cause it to dry out. Keep your bedroom cool and turn your radiators off in the evenings, if possible, as central heating can also dry out the skin. When it’s warmer, you can use a fan to keep the room cool, and if possible and pollen isn’t a trigger, try keeping a window open in your bedroom during the day and open just slightly at night. Also, try using cotton bedding and a low tog duvet, even in winter months.
A nightly soak
The evening is the perfect time for re-applying your emollient to restore the skin barrier, lock in moisture, and reduce itching. Try having a 10-15-minute soak (or a shower if you prefer) before bed, using an emollient rather than soap to cleanse your skin. Liberally apply an emollient within three minutes of getting out of the bath/shower too and allow it to soak in. This will help prevent evaporation of water from the skin’s surface. Always pat yourself dry, with a clean towel, rather than harsh rubbing, to avoid irritating the skin further.
Try new nightwear
Your nightwear may be tight, or made of synthetic fibres that don’t allow your skin to breathe during the night. Try loose-fitting cotton nightwear that can help keep itching to a minimum as it allows the skin to breathe and prevents overheating.
“A poor night’s sleep can negatively impact your mood and consequently affect your day in many ways. Doing what you can to prevent those disturbed nights due to itch and scratching can make a big difference, helping you and your skin get a well-deserved rest.” Julie Van Onselen, Independent Dermatology Nurse
“Cooling my emollient and then keeping it by my bed for when my skin felt itchy is a great idea and worked really well for me on a few occasions. Having a shower before bed and using my emollient to wash with rather than a shower gel, stopped me getting dry itchy skin on my legs. I previously scratched them too much so I will do this tip more. I think keeping my room cooler, turning down the radiators and wearing lighter pyjamas also helped.” Ling Yip