People with psoriasis, and especially psoriatic arthritis, often have trouble getting the sleep they need. Indeed, nearly half of all people responding to a National Psoriasis Foundation survey reported that the chronic autoimmune condition interferes with their sleep. “Many people with psoriasis can have trouble falling asleep and frequently wake during the night because their skin is itchy and inflamed,” says Stefan C. Weiss, MD, a dermatologist at the Weiss Skin Institute in Boca Raton, Fla. Here, 10 ways to overcome your sleeplessness.
Set the Stage for Sleep
Make sure your bedroom is conducive to sleep. Keep the room cool, but not cold, to help soothe psoriasis symptoms. To fight insomnia, turn off all sources of light, including your computer monitor. If you’re very sensitive to sights and sounds, buy an eye mask and earplugs. Choose a mattress that fits your body type and provides support. If you have psoriatic arthritis, you might find that a waterbed allows you to move more easily and helps keep your aching joints loose.
Stick to a Sleep Schedule
To sleep well, you need to set your body clock. Go to bed at the same time every night, and wake up at the same time every morning, even on weekends. If you’re taking medication for your psoriasis symptoms, talk with your physician about the best time for you to take it, suggests Dr. Weiss. You don’t want your meds to interfere with your sleep. Also, ask your doctor about medications that can relieve itching.