Psleep: The Worst Kind of Sleep
Last updated: September 2021
Living with psoriasis, sleeping is more of a suffering task than a relaxing one. Each year, with the onset of a new flare, my sleep was getting worse and worse. Throughout my life, especially early one, I was so occupied in taking care and observing my major symptoms that I did not care or even notice my sleep getting worse.
Going to bed with psoriasis
As I've gotten older, I’ve noticed that I am getting less sleep. I thought it must be due to the psoriasis stress. There are some nights I only sleep four or five hours. As it continues to get worse, I made the decision to discuss this with my doctor.
Sleep, itch, sleep, itch
During my conversation, I learned about the connection between insomnia and psoriasis. The culprit behind causing psoriasis-related insomnia is, you guessed it, the itch. Living with an incurable disease like this is difficult but disturbed sleep and restless body are an added misery. This type of stress can even bring on a psoriasis flare.
Nights with psoriasis are like an agonizing cycle of sleep and wakefulness. Every night I wake up to a spark of pain or itch as if someone scratched my sores. Then I struggle to put myself back to sleep. It is a constant fight between sleep, itch, and luck.
Find ways to manage the itch
After living with psoriasis for so many years, I have learned lessons from my suffering. As your psoriasis symptoms get severe, your sleep will worsen with it. So, my advice to psoriasis warriors is that the first thing you should do is manage your itch. Good luck!
To address the itch, keep your body moisturized. For scalp psoriasis and itch, I apply a topical treatment recommended by my doctor right after taking a shower. For the skin, I apply moisturizer and topical ointments twice or sometimes three times a day. After taking a shower, I apply the moisturizer right after towel drying my body.
What else can be done?
During the worst phase of my psoriasis and psoriasis-related insomnia, I was prescribed me oral antihistamines for inducing sleep and reducing itch. This approached worked for me, but it depends on the severity of your condition.
If you have a severe condition, discuss the issue with your doctor and you would have to go through several hit and trial sessions to find the best treatment that suits you. I lost count twenty-five years ago as the number of products that I have used.
Create good sleep habits
Apart from reducing and managing itch, try to work on your sleep habits. The first step towards establishing a good sleeping habit is to avoid stress. If there is something that is stressing you out, resolve it and then sleep in a relaxed state of mind.
Secondly, waking up early and going for a walk to give your day a fresh start can also help with your sleep habits. Try to keep yourself away from screens, such as television and cell phones. Try to put these things aside at least one hour before going to bed. Creating a comforting environment for you to relax your mind and body is key.
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