Sleeping With Psoriasis
I have had psoriasis for 55 years and psoriatic arthritis for 25. There has been night after night after night where sleeping through the night is a distant memory.
If you have psoriasis, then you know how important it is to get plenty of sleep and rest. If you have psoriatic arthritis, it’s even more important. However, psoriasis can make getting a restful night’s sleep impossible. The medical term for excessive itching and scratching is pruritus. Constant itching can prevent you from falling asleep. Your mind focuses on the discomfort and pretty soon, the frustrating itching is all you can think about.
The neverending itch-scratch cycle
In addition to disturbing your sleep, excessive scratching can lead to skin damage and bleeding. Psoriasis makes the skin extra sensitive and susceptive to infection. It’s really important to get the itching under control. You can’t just throw on some anti-itch lotion and think that will do the trick. Getting the itchy, scratchy feeling subdued takes effort and a dedicated skin care routine. It’s also a good idea to invest in the right sheets and quality bed.
Setting the stage for a successful sleep
There are plenty of products on the market that help with psoriasis. Derma therapy sheets were designed to make sleeping a bit more comfortable for people with psoriasis. The right fabric will reduce the friction between flared skin and the bed. Your skin won’t snag on the fibers, causing that annoying and irritating feeling. Mattresses are especially important to those who suffer from psoriatic arthritis in addition to just psoriasis. You should conduct your own research and determine what type of mattress works best for your aches. Psoriasis sufferers with sleep apnea, really need to invest in a high-quality mattress. While there may not be a specific mattress designed for psoriasis, there are plenty that are beneficial for inflammation and arthritis.
Bedtime routines are important too
Aside from physical products like creams, sheets and an actual bed; it’s imperative to implement a process or a bedtime routine into your daily life. Relaxing before bedtime is key to getting a peaceful night’s sleep. There are many ways to unwind and relax. Allow yourself time to shed the stress of the day and quiet your mind so it can rest. This is also a great way to get your focus off itching. Try breathing techniques, some yoga, reading a good book, reading the Bible or listening to some soft music. I have also tried drinking warm milk before bedtime.
An oatmeal bath is also a good idea to unwind before bed. Setting up a bedtime schedule works great too. This trains your body to know it’s time for bed and it will subconsciously start getting ready to power down. If you’re a habitual scratcher, then you may want to wear a soft pair of gloves to bed. This will help keep your nails away from your scales. Keeping your skin moisturized goes without saying, this is the biggest factor in controlling the itch. Wear nice cotton, breathable pajamas and underwear or sleep in the buff if it helps.
While sleep can be difficult for people with psoriasis, it doesn’t have to be impossible. Remember these tips: create a comfortable sleeping environment, keep moisturized, relax and unwind before bedtime. I know it’s easier said than done, but you can do it.
Does your psoriasis skin feel out of control? How are you managing?