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How Sleep Affects Your Psoriasis


By Multiple Authors


Reading time: 5 minutes

There’s a missing ingredient in your life that is negatively affecting your psoriasis. 

It’s not gluten, dairy, sugar, or caffeine. 

It’s not the sun, salt water, or smoking. 

It’s sleep.

There’s a bidirectional relationship between skin and sleep that is often neglected. Today, we’ll share our tips for fixing your sleep and its relationship with your psoriasis symptoms. At this point, it’s pretty much universally accepted that sleep is extremely important. There’s nothing new or controversial there. But what most people don’t realize is that sleep doesn’t just affect weight loss, energy levels, and brain function… it’s also integral in the way their body responds to their autoimmune disorders

Your psoriasis and the way it shows up is primarily downstream of other lifestyle factors, and it’s very possible you are underestimating how your sleep affects it. As psoriasis has now gained a reputation as a systemic disease, it makes far more sense that there would be common comorbidities.


Identifying the Problem

Your sleep is exasperating your psoriasis symptoms. We all know that sleep is essential and that stress affects psoriasis, so why don’t we associate superlative sleep with helping your psoriasis? It’s one of life’s great mysteries, and it is a true reflection of the gains we are leaving on the table. Other conditions may make it harder to sleep, too. People with psoriasis are more likely to suffer from comorbid diseases. Some of the following disorders can directly affect your sleep:

Sleep apnea

During sleep, the throat’s muscles relax and obstruct the airway, sometimes multiple times. This interrupts sleep and results in very low-quality restfulness. 


Restless legs syndrome

The uncontrollable impulse to move the legs in order to alleviate unpleasant sensations, such as tingling, itching, or pain. It almost always occurs in the evening while seated or lying down.

Arthritic Psoriasis

Pain, stiffness, and swelling in the joints and where the tendons and ligaments attach to the bones.

There are several ways to ensure you get a good night’s sleep, such as managing stress, improving your bedding, optimizing temperatures, and using some easy-to-follow strategies.

Stress is #1

The connection between sleep, stress, and psoriasis is a well-known one. Not only do people with psoriasis need to manage their condition on a daily basis, but the chronic stress of having the disease can also lead to other health issues like heart disease or depression. It’s also important for people with psoriasis to take care of themselves emotionally as well—and that includes getting enough sleep each night! When you get enough restful sleep every night, your symptoms may improve faster than if you don’t get enough restful sleep every night.


Psoriasis-Friendly Bedding is a Must!

If you’re not sure whether you have psoriasis-friendly bedding, there are 4 factors to consider:

  1. The pillowcase must be made of 100% cotton. If it’s not, toss it and get a new one. Cotton is naturally hypoallergenic, so it won’t aggravate your skin.
  2. The sheets are also made of 100% cotton. Again, if they’re not—and especially if they are polyester—get rid of them and buy some new ones that will be gentler on your skin.
  3. The duvet cover should be 100% cotton as well. Otherwise, dander from animals or dust mites (which live in synthetic fabrics) may aggravate your symptoms.
  4. Additionally, consider investing in all-natural bedding options like wool pillows, organic mattress protectors, and natural fiber blankets. Natural fiber blankets are superior to synthetic versions which might cause itching sensations during sleep hours due to irritation from rubbing against inflamed areas.

Tactical Tips for Your Psoriasis

Your skin, your scalp, and the itch can all be relieved by moisture. Additionally, taking a bath or a shower before bed can improve your quality of sleep once you are asleep. However, taking too many baths or showers or doing so incorrectly might cause dryness and irritability. Here are 2 tips for getting the benefits of showering without getting dry skin:

  1. Take a warm but not hot shower with Dermabon each night before bed.
  2. Keep showers under 5 minutes.

Additionally, maintaining a cool, dark, and quiet space will help you rest easier and give your body time to heal itself while you’re asleep. You might not think this is something that would have an effect on your skin, but the environment around your bed can make all the difference in how well (or poorly) you sleep at night.

If sleeping becomes a problem because of psoriasis, try these tips:

  1. Sleeping on your stomach can put pressure on your back, which can aggravate psoriasis symptoms. Sleeping on your side is also not advisable as it can worsen the inflammation and flaking of psoriasis. It’s best to avoid both positions if you have psoriasis.
  2. Get a supportive mattress—one that will help reduce pain from pressure on the skin or joints.
  3. Use a pillow under the knees instead of folding up blankets or clothes for extra support.

We hope you find this information useful!

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