Eczema Itching at Night: How to Stop the Itch & Catch Some zZz's

Picture this: you’re deep into a peaceful slumber, dreaming about yachting through the Greek Islands with Idris Elba (or whoever your celebrity crush is). As they pour you another glass of pink bubbly, you can practically smell the saltwater in the air. The sun kisses your cheek as you cruise along the Mediterranean coast. Sigh…this is paradise. It’s one of those vivid dreams you never want to end… when BAM! You’re jolted out of your coastal fantasy by an annoying, unignorable itch. Not eczema killing your vibe again. Ugh! 😖

How many times has eczema itching at night brought your dreams to a screeching halt? Or even just kept you from getting a decent night’s rest? I 100% feel your pain, babe, and would be screaming in frustration, too. Eczema flare-ups are no joke, and they can make catching a full night of zZz’s seem downright impossible.  

I know that eczema can feel like an unsolvable puzzle sometimes. There’s no cure for it, which makes soaking up some savory sleep difficult. So, you’re obvi wondering: how can I sleep with eczema? I get it. The bright side? That doesn’t mean that you can’t keep eczema under control, even at bedtime! As your official skincare besties, there’s no way we’re going to let an irksome itch make you miss out on your much-deserved beauty sleep — and special time with Idris, or Dua, or… well, I digress.

So why is eczema worse at night? I’ll give you the low-down on this and more, like helpful remedies on how to stop eczema itching immediately so you can finally get some sleep and experience what sweet dreams are really made of — interruption-free! 

Why Does Eczema Flare-Up at Night? 

Dealing with eczema during the day isn’t always easy, but it can be a total vibe-killer at bedtime. If you’ve ever wondered, “why is my eczema more itchy at night?” you’re not alone. Almost half of all adults with eczema struggle with disrupted sleep from flare-ups.

We know eczema itching at night is hella annoying, but why does it happen? 

Itchy skin at night with bumps on skin can occur whether you have mild or severe eczema and spawn for many possible reasons, like:

  1. Body temperature

Did you know that your body temp fluctuates when you’re trying to sleep? Of course, you do because, like me, you’ve probably been caught in the tug of war of sheets. You know the scene: sweating-kick-them-off-immediately, freezing-pull-them-back on…, and the hours drag til morning. As it so happens, your cortisol levels, aka stress hormones, are on their own lil rollercoaster ride, too. Heat especially drives inflammation and that dreaded, persistent itch. Oy! 

  1. Inflammatory cytokines

Uhhh, inflammatory what? Our immune system and internal clock are always in sync. Cytokines (please do not say that five times fast — ya did, didn’t you? 😉) are teeny proteins that act as signals between immune cells and other cells in the body. They also help promote sleep. When combined with the work our immune system is doing, they can trigger the production of cortisol (a.k.a. our itch-inducing stress hormone). Yay, cytokines.🙄

  1. Itch-Scratch cycle

Eczema is often referred to as an “itch that rashes” rather than a rash that itches. Why? Scratching literally makes eczema worse. But it’s okay bestie, we’ve alllll done it. Unfortunately, we tend to scratch without even thinking about it, especially in our sleep. However, scratching triggers those — don’t make me write it again — inflammatory cytokines, which just leads to even more itch — hence, more scratching. It’s a vicious cycle. 

  1. Allergen exposure

Who doesn’t love soothing, lavender body lotion and relaxing, eucalyptus pillow mist before bed? How about snuggling up in thick blankets? I know I do. Unfortunately, our skin might not share the same sentiment. Our body’s allergic response? Inflammation, redness, and eczema itching at night

  1. Dry skin 

The dryer your skin, the worse the itch. And guess what? Our skin gets hella thirsty 💧 as we settle into sleep. As we sleep, our body temp increases. Meanwhile, our skin temp does the opposite. So what happens? We sweat. As a result, our skin tends to lose more water from the skin barrier as we sleep, hence dry, thirsty skin!

How to Soothe Eczema Itching at Night

Okay, so you get what causes nighttime flare-ups, but you’re still wondering: how do I stop itching when I sleep? The good news is that blissful slumber and nighttime relief are totally possible! And guess what? Now that you have an idea as to what the root of your eczema itching at night might be, figuring out how to relieve it is so much easier. 

To reiterate: we can’t cure eczema, but we can d*mn sure take steps to minimize the pesky symptoms caused by it.

With potential triggers in mind, here’s how to stop eczema itching so you can make like Coldplay and snooze away with a head full of dreams.

Resist the oh-so-tempting urge to scratch. 

We know it’s practically an automatic response, especially when all you’re thinking about is getting some shut-eye. But scratching your eczema flare-ups is just temporary relief. Instead, break the vicious, itch-scratch cycle and fight the urge. 

Okay, bestie, if I can’t scratch, then what can I do? Got you, boo.

Grab some ice, ice, baby instead.

Do you know what stops itching fast? Cold temperatures. Grab an ice pack or cold compress and apply it to the affected area. Not only does it soothe the itch, but using a cold wrap can protect skin while you sleep. Back to that yacht floating blissfully along the Grecian coast.

Keep your room cool.

If you know that cold temp helps soothe the itch, try dropping the thermostat a few notches before bedtime. Keeping your space too warm can promote dryness and produce eczema itching at night. Cooler temps, cooler skin.

Moisturize before bed.

Speaking of dryness, remember how we talked about your skin getting hella thirsty at bedtime? After you shower, lather on a fragrance-free, nutrient-rich moisturizer before bed to keep skin hydrated. The added moisture may help keep those roaring eczema flare-ups at bay or, at the very least, manageable.

Soothe skin from within.

Healthy skin starts from the inside; just ask those pesky cytokines we talked about earlier — last mention of those, pinky promise! So when it comes to soothing the itch, why not try doing it from under the skin? Reach for a tasty AF supplement! embody’s S.O.S. Gummy tastes like candy and is chock full of skin-soothing ingredients that restore hydration, soothe irritation, and support healthy skin barriers — so you wake up flawless, just like Bey. 

Things to Avoid Before You Snooze

You know what stops the itching of eczema at bedtime, but what else can you do to avoid night-time flare-ups? Here’s a list of what to avoid.

  • Irritants 

Fragranced products, household cleaners, moldy or dusty rooms, wool blankets, and scratchy polyesters can trigger eczema itching at night. Opt for hypoallergenic alternatives, keep your room clean, and snuggle up in natural, breathable fabrics like buttery silk, pure cotton, and bamboo. 

  • Sweating

Sweating is your body’s way of keeping you cool. Unfortunately, it also triggers eczema flare-ups. That’s why it’s so important to keep your bedroom nice and cool as you settle in for sleep. Wear lightweight, breathable PJs to stay cool — or better yet, go commando! 

  • Smoking

We all know that smoking can cause health issues, but did you know it can also worsen eczema symptoms? So if you smoke or live with someone who does, maybe it’s time to consider quitting, or ask your roomies or partner to smoke in a dedicated area outdoors. 

  • Stress

Stress is a b*tch 😩 and it manifests within our body in so many ways, especially our skin. It can also trigger eczema symptoms. So if you’re wondering how to stop eczema itching in adults, reducing stress is a big one! Try meditating, reading a book, or listening to ambient sounds before bed. Maybe it’s time to make journaling a nightly ritual.

  • Scratching

I know I sound like a broken record and that it’s so much easier said than done, but it bears repeating. Try fighting the urge to scratch eczema itching at night. Trust me, babe, your skin will thank you in the long haul. Following the tips in this handy guide may help soothe the itch so you can stop waking up to involuntary scratching.

Ready to Ditch the Itch & Soak Up Some zZz’s? 

Eczema itching at night can be brutal. But with these tips, you’ll sling a “Do Not Disturb” sign in the face of nighttime flare-ups in no time.😴 Now, getting back to that coastal fantasy. I am so gonna need more deets.

For more on soothing skin from the inside, meet your no B.S., skin BFF, the S.O.S. Gummy from embody today!