THE BOTTOM LINE
- Sleep-related scratching can cause sleep disturbances and injuries
- It can be caused by skin conditions, allergies, and insect bites
- Treating any underlying conditions and improving your sleep routine & sleep environment can help you sleep without scratching!
Have you ever woken up covered in scratch marks? Before you wonder if you’re being attacked by Freddie Cougar every night, the source of your scratch marks may be closer than you think: yourself. If you’re suffering from sleep-related scratching, you might want to keep reading.
What exactly is sleep-related scratching?
How common is sleep-related scratching?
Although there are no stats amongst the general population, research has found that 65% of people who suffer from an underlying skin condition end up having an increased rate of itching at night.
Can sleep-related scratching impact my health?
Yes, it could impact your health in a couple of ways:
- Skin injury: The scratching can range from very mild to severely deep and painful scratch marks that cause bleeding and in some cases, scarring.
Sleep fragmentations: If the scratching is painful enough to wake you up, it can cause fragmented sleep, which can lead to sleep deprivation.
What causes sleep-related scratching?
The cause of this parasomnia may not be immediately clear to those that it impacts, however numerous skin-related conditions could be the cause:
Dry skin conditions: Skin conditions such as atopic dermatitis, eczema, psoriasis, or scabies can all cause itchiness and scratching during sleep.
Allergic reactions: The itchiness and scratching could be caused by an allergic reaction, which could be caused by the detergent you use on your clothes or bedding, or medications you’re taking.
Insect bites: A common cause of sleep-related scratching is insect bites through the night.
HOW TO TREAT
1. KEEP SCREENS ON YOUR WINDOWS
If you sleep with the window open, make sure you have a screen over it to reduce the chances of insects biting you while you try to sleep.
2. AVOID SUBSTANCE USE
Substances, such as alcohol or drugs can increase the risk of sleep-related scratching.