I never realized the importance of sleep until I became a mother, that too of an eczema child. As a teenager and young adult I slept whenever I felt like, and used to get up late over weekends. There were times when I felt tired because of oversleeping, not under.
Now things obviously are not the same anymore. Sleep has become a distant reality. My husband and I consider ourselves lucky if we get 3 hours straight…
It’s a well know fact that eczema becomes more active when a person sleeps, it’s mainly because of our dropping body temperatures. Our son due to this dreadful condition can’t sleep peacefully; the poor kid has no idea what a good night’s sleep is. He’s used to waking up every hour or so because of his non-stop itching. Even though I try to adjust the surroundings to provide a soothing environment to his skin, but still eczema is such a monstrous thing, as it always manages to creep in and disturb my baby. More troubling thing is, he’s 3 and about to start his school. But without a proper sleeping cycle how could he focus on school activities, it’s already difficult for him to focus on day to day activities. That’s something we would have to deal with.
Some nights are so horrible, that I don’t even bother to lie down. I just sit and keep on massaging my boy all over his itchy spots, so he could sleep better. But even that doesn’t soothe him completely. Prescribed antihistamines and topical steroids are part of his night time routine, only then can he survive the entire night. When I say night, that doesn’t mean he has a proper sleep cycle or anything. His idea of night is whenever he feels over exhausted he tries to take a nap, doesn’t matter what time of day or night it is. Because of his interrupted sleep, his cycle can’t be set, as it entirely depends upon his quality of sleep. He has actually come to a point where he dreads the word sleep, as his eczema haunts him more during that period.
Eczema leads to a vicious cycle – itching causes lack of sleep; that causes poor health, poor performance, lack of appetite, stress; these factors then combine and aggravate eczema even more… And the cycle goes on.
Eczema not only influences the life of the person who has it, it also has an impact on the people around, specially the parents of a child who’s born with it. Sleep deprivation is not a joke, it not only effects your mood, but also health and lifespan.
The funny things is, humans are so adaptive, for example my body has actually learned to cope up with these staggered sleeping patterns and tries to stay up and about most of the time, but still my mind is not ready to accept such a lifestyle as it’s not good in the longer run.
All the negativity aside, our son’s eczema Alhumdullilah is definitely getting better, and hopefully his sleep will too.
Sleep well, Live well.