We know that AD can sometimes make it hard for you to get a good night’s sleep. The itchiness can often get worse during the evening – and even keep waking you up throughout the night.1
In fact, it may be that certain sleep disorders can be traced directly back to AD.1
It’s no surprise that people with skin conditions like AD are more likely to suffer from insomnia.2 And, of course, this can have the knock-on effect of making you feel tired the next day – perhaps resulting in more sick days, accidents at work and trips to the doctor.2
What’s more, in disrupting your sleep cycle, AD can also have a detrimental effect on your mental health and increase your stress levels.3
Find out how to manage stress and your AD.Learn More
If children with AD have their sleep disrupted, they may find it hard to wake up in the morning, experience behavioural problems, mood swings and disruption to their cognitive function.1 Which, in turn, could affect their education at school.
You’ve probably noticed that your AD flares up when you go to bed and perhaps you’ve wondered whether it’s partly psychological. But the fact is your AD symptoms really can get worse at night, increasing your urge to scratch that itch.1
And there actually are scientific reasons for this:
One myth, though, is that bed bugs can cause AD. The fact is, they can’t actually cause it.6 However, bed bugs can make your condition worse by causing ‘hives’, a rash which can produce red itchy lesions on your skin.6,7
Clearly, sleep disturbance caused by AD can affect your quality of life, especially over time. But the good news is, there are things you can do to help manage the itching sensation you may be experiencing at night.
Why not start by discussing a few of these ideas with your doctor:
Find the right ones to get a more comfortable night's sleep.Learn more
Caring for a child with AD, no matter the severity, can make life difficult for you too. Because, if your child has a sleepless night, so will you.
In fact, carers mention a child’s restless sleep as second only to the itch itself in impacting negatively on their lives.9 A broken night’s sleep may make children more susceptible to infection and sensitive to pain.9 It may also lead to behavioural and emotional problems as well as affecting a child’s ability to concentrate, which can make life pretty tough for you too.9
But, once again, there are all sorts of things you can do to help improve their night’s sleep:9
For more tips and tools on caring for a child with AD, download the caregiver guide.Discover the guide
Have you ever wondered what causes your AD? It might be time to think about it from a new perspective.Discover more
AD can take a toll on your mental health. Be sure to check-in with yourself – and consider how AD is really making you feel.Discover more
Is AD making you feel stressed? And is that stress making your AD worse? Learn more about that cycle, and find tips to get out of your rut.Find out more
Chang YS et al. J Allergy Clin Immunol 2018;142:1033–1040.
Alomayri W et al. Cureus 2020;12(12):1–9.
Gupta MA and Gupta AK. Clin Dermatol 2013;31(1):118–126.
Healthline. Itchy Skin at Night? Why It Happens and What You Can Do About It. Available at: https://www.healthline.com/health/itchy-skin-at-night/. Accessed August 2022.
Murota H and Katayama I. Allergol Int 2017;66:8–13.
Davis S. S Afr Pharm J2020;20(1):12–14.
AAAAI. Allergic Skin Conditions. Available at: https://www.aaaai.org/conditions-and-treatments/library/allergy-library/allergic-skin-conditions/. Accessed August 2022.
National Eczema Association. Bathing, Moisturizing and Wet Wraps. Available at: https://nationaleczema.org/bathing-moisturizing-and-wet-wraps/. Accessed August 2022.
National Eczema Association. Advice From a Paediatrician to Help Your Child With Eczema Get Good Sleep. Available at: https://nationaleczema.org/helping-your-child-with-eczema-sleep/. Accessed August 2022.