Study: Poor Sleep Common in Psoriasis
A study published in the British Journal of Dermatology confirms the connection between poor sleep and psoriasis. The study revealed that people with psoriasis tend to have more problems sleeping than the general population.
The study, which involved 179 individuals with psoriasis and 105 without, found that 25% of those with psoriasis reported clinical insomnia, versus 10.5% of those who did not have the skin condition. In addition to the data, 53.9% of those with psoriasis were poor sleepers versus 21.9% of those without.
This latest study stresses that reducing the symptoms of psoriasis is the key to getting better sleep. Using properly prescribed treatments such as topical creams, phototherapy, and wet-wrap therapy would help with the itchy flares on the skin. Proper hygiene is as important as regular treatments, but taking long hot showers in the winter is not advised. Instead, short lukewarm showers and the use of moisturizers after patting the skin dry keeps the skin from excessively drying out.
Keeping fingernails trimmed would also reduce the damage when scratching cannot be helped, as well as wearing cotton gloves. It reduces the impact that the nails might have on the skin while a person with psoriasis sleeps. Dermatologists also prescribe oral antihistamines to induce sleep and at the same time, reduce itch.
Poor sleep is a common problem for many patients, particularly those with skin conditions and sensitivities. Chronic sleep dysfunction, according to the CDC, is associated with decreased concentration and impaired performance and is also associated with the following comorbid conditions: cardiovascular disease, hypertension, obesity, type 2 diabetes mellitus, and depression. In fact, another study showed that psoriasis patients with sleep disorders had a higher incidence of ischemic heart disease and strokes.
Managing chronic itching would help individuals with psoriasis to get enough sleep, and at the same time, reduce their risk of getting cardiovascular diseases. Besides reducing itch, a person with psoriasis should develop other habits to improve sleep quality. One major sleep disturbance would be stress. Yoga and meditation, exercise, and proper skin care regimen are said to be better stress relievers. Setting a regular sleep schedule and turning cell phones, tablets, laptops and televisions off reduces ambient noises and could improve the quality of sleep. Finally, discussing sleep patterns with a healthcare provider would shed light whether or not something else could be affecting your sleep.