Has this ever happened to you? You're looking forward to getting to bed after a long, exhausting day. But you can’t fall asleep because your skin is so itchy. You can't stop thinking about it. So you scratch, which only makes it itchier. What’s going on?
What Causes Skin to Itch Right When We’re Trying To Sleep
There's a name for the problem: nocturnal pruritis—and it’s quite common. About 90 percent of people who suffer from chronic itchy skin feel especially itchy at night. Often it’s just dry skin, sunburn, or stress, but a range of underlying skin conditions can trigger the itch, too, including eczema and psoriasis.
Whatever the case may be, expert believe it’s because our body follows a circadian rhythm, and the nocturnal ebb and flow of various molecules in the body (like corticosteroids, prostaglandins, and inflammation-inducing cytokines) can worsen the itch at bedtime. What’s more, increased blood flow and temperature can also make things really itchy-scratchy.
How To Stop the Skin Itching
When it comes to at-home remedies, a few options may help ease the evening itch.
- Soaking in a cool or oatmeal bath.
- Smoothing on a soothing moisturizer (such as Calendula Hydrate).
- Spot treating extra-rough spots with a super-hydrating ointment (such as Calendula Repair).
- Wearing loose clothing made of breathable materials, such as cotton.
- Giving your pets a separate room to sleep in.
- Trying meditation tapes. (Or, really, anything that can help distract you from the itch, such as listening to calming music or reading.)
If these tactics don’t work, consult your doctor. The culprit behind your itchiness may be an underlying skin condition, in which case, she could offer prescription remedies. (Photo credit: Yuris Alhumaydy)