Naturally Free Eczema Treatment : SLEEP

Sleep is a luxury for eczema sufferers. Falling asleep is a challenge because our skin feels itchier at night and when you get woken up by the discomfort, it is tough to fall asleep again. For young babies or children with eczema, parents struggle to ensure their children are comfortable so that they don’t keep waking up at night. Caregivers too end up being sleep deprived. It’s a cycle – “Eczema causes sleep deprivation and that in turns slows the skin healing process”. 

We need to first be aware that sleep is essential to heal our skin and minimize skin inflammation. It is the most natural and FREE treatment – to get sufficient, quality sleep.

Why does lack of sleep affect your skin?

We feel groggy, irritable and tired when we do not get a good night sleep the night before. In addition to these feeling, the skin is also impacted by the lack of quality and sufficient duration of sleep.

  • Sleep deprivation induces abnormal stress level, which in turn will lead to increased inflammatory responses, this includes: itchy skin, wrinkles, acne and various skin problems.
  • Several research show that prolonged sleep deprivation affects the skin barrier function and mucous membrane. The collagen production is compromised, and this in turn affects the skin’s ability to keep our natural moisture in.
  • The skin immunity and protective barrier is fixed during our sleep. Lack of sleep prevents this from happening well and thus, our skin will not ward off infection and external irritants well.

How does the sleep stages relate to our skin?

Based on Stanford Sleep Book, sleep is classified by two types: REM (rapid eye movement) sleep and non-REM sleep. Here’s a better illustration :

Source :
Source :

REM Sleep:

REM sleep is the time where we dream and are in the deepest stage of unconsciousness, where the muscles become completely paralyzed and unresponsive . REM sleep is a vital for brain repair and restoration. Important particularly during early childhood development, as it is essential for the ability to learn complex tasks.

NREM Sleep :

NREM sleep is the period of time where your body goes through repair and restoration. It is the time for repairing and renewing of tissues and nerve cells, the neutralization of neurotoxins, and the restoration of normal levels of chemicals throughout our bodies. The physical healing of wounds, repairs of body tissues, including skin cell production is expedited by sleep, and sleep strengthens the immune system in general.

Key learning  : If you want to promote healing for eczema, you need enough deep-sleep ie. of stage 3 and 4 every night.

How To Get Quality Sleep With Eczema

By now, you would realize how important deep sleep stage is for our skin. If you are still reading this article, I believe you are looking for more tips to help you fall asleep or stay asleep longer. Our skin itches more at night, and most of the time, you scratch unconsciously.

Here are some tips to make your night routine more bearable :

Dust mites: Almost all eczema sufferers are allergic to dust mites. Did you know that your mattress contains the most dust mites in the house? Millions of tiny little bugs are on your mattress, bedding, pillow, feeding on their favourite food – dead skin cells which we shed every night. Learn more here if you suspect dust mites are causing you to itch more.

Temperature: Depending on the size of your room, make sure your room is cool enough for you at around 25-26 degrees. Heat is an itch trigger, but if air-condition is turned too cold the air will be too drying.

Topical treatment : Apart from the regular moisturizing routine, you could also put an anti-itch cream or ointment by your bedside. When you feel the itch sensation coming, you can apply some quickly before you start scratching. The cooling aloe gel or menthol-suu balm are some ointments that can help calm down the itching.

Comfortable pyjama: Make sure you are wearing loose, cooling, breathable pyjama to bed.

Set the mood : Wind down nearing bedtime is important to allow the body to relax and fall asleep easier. Ensure the bedroom is dark, avoid screen time before bedtime, lavender aromatherapy, inhale deeply 10 times (deep breathing).


Useful Sleep Resources

How Much Sleep Do You Need? – Information on sleep cycles and needs.

How To Sleep Better Tips – Tips to help your sleep.


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