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Is Eczema affecting your Child’s Sleep?

Taking a nap

About 60 to 80 percent of children with eczema suffers from sleep disturbance, resulting in about 2.5 hours less of sleep per night. As you know, as a parent of eczema child, our sleep is affected too! (and usually we get cranky, tired, irritable when sleep is disturbed for consecutive days, usually days when there is an eczema flare, resulting in more itch and more scratching)

I have often wondered if my baby has enough sleep and how does a lack of sleep affect her?

Number of Hours of Sleep for Your Child

There is no standard must-sleep-how-many-hours and if your child is putting on healthy weight gain and alert and happy during the day, you should not be unduly worried. My baby girl Marcie has always slept 10 hours per day, no matter what different routine we adopt to increase her sleep. The rough guide for a new born is 16 hours per day, 3-6 month old is 13 to 15 hours/day, 6-12 month old is 12 to 14 hours/day and 1-year old onwards is 10 hours/day.

How a Lack of Sleep affect Your Child

Sleep is important and a lack of sleep results in:

–          Low weight gain, due to less growth hormones (lack of sleep may also lead to obesity and diabetes due to imbalance of hormone that regulate hunger and metabolism of sugar)

–          Slower healing of the skin  and aggravate eczema, lower the immune system (haven’t we fall sick before when burning the midnight oil?)

–          Behavioral disturbances such as irritable, impatient, fussy, moody, hyperactive and impulsive

–          Difficulty in concentrating, poorer memory (as long-term memory improves with adequate sleep)

–          Accident-prone (think overnight drivers who suffer from lack of sleep)

–          Tired (If possible, send your child to school later when sleep is badly disturbed by eczema flare)

All is not lost though, since (keeping my fingers crossed) eczema child is brighter (see this post) and the better the eczema is managed, the better the sleep will be. Read my 5 tips to help your child sleep better (I co-sleep with my baby and I think I will as long as she wants to and still scratches at night…)

10 replies on “Is Eczema affecting your Child’s Sleep?”

Hi MarcieMom
Do you still co-sleep with Marcie? My boy is 4 and I co-sleep with him and a younger girl. I have to help with his scratching every night and I wonder if it is psychological that he is whining more because I am around and looking for me out of habit rather than the actual itch. It’s been a weary 2+ years handling his sleep nights (he used to have night terrors but recently has reduced) and I want to wean both kids from my bed. It affects my relationship with my spouse a lot. Father hates the co-sleeping arrangement, but hey, he’s not the one managing the eczema. Thanks

I still co-sleep, in fact we kind of take turns to co-sleep. Sorry to hear that it isn’t quite working in your family – it’s ok for mine as we usually knocked out as our bedtime is very not exactly using the bedtime to do anything..

I think when the child is bigger, may not need to cosleep. Marcie is turning 4 too, we still do cos we haven’t had the time nor energy to work on alternative arrangement, plus we threw our master bed away (it was an old one), replaced by bunk bed to create space. (and yes, one adult and one child still co-sleep!)

I do think it helps a little with the scratching – cos we’d know and we can do something to help. Her condition isn’t so bad as to need wet wrap or special clothing.. if yours require, maybe can try that to see if it helps with scratching.

Take care!

Sleep was a huge concern in our house – not only for my little one covered in eczema, but for my husband and I who were up half the night trying to help soothe our son from the relentless itching. Eczema takes a big toll on families – stress, lack of sleep, frustrations – it builds up. As parents we have to help our little ones cope, but we need to take time for ourselves too.

its nice to know were not alone, our family has been dealing with this terrible condition for 3 years. its consuming our whole lives cos jonah is allergic to everything dust mites, pollen, grasses, nuts, eggs, dogs and cats and a variety of other foods some we know of some we dont. we cant go outside but we cant stay inside. its a double edge sword.we have had numerous trips to the hospital and jonah was recently admitted for 5 days. we find it very hard to control the flair ups and dont really know what causes them. recently murray wanted to stop dairy again so i offered jonah a green tea, he drank the whole cup and wanted more, we did some research and were informed that green tea has many good properties, anti-inflamitry, anitoxidant, skin hydration and also great for the bath. we havent tryed the green tea bath yet but will keep u posted. stef. x

thank you very much 4 your reply.. when he was in hospital he had the wetraps but he just screams the hole time hes in it [kids ha] .. we have bought a dehumidifier and a hand held steamer and steamed cleaned the hell out of everything in his room.. i no that anything below 50% humidity slows down the mites reproducting.. hes just started drinking green tea so hopping that may help in some way so .. if any of this doesnt make sence its because of lack of sleep .. once again thanks 4 input hope 2 hear from u again cheers

thank u 4 replying. when he was in hospital he had the wrapps n screamed the hole time it just breaks our heart putting him through it .. we cream the hell out of him all day with epaderm and other creams.. we have dehumidifier in his room and bought a hand held steam cleaner and clean everything in his room..lastnight scratched , screamed from 1000 till bout 330 this morning.. have b n thinking of ripping carpet up but its a rental house.. must go the prince of darkness is calling.. lol must keep ckin up n stay positive.. thanks again


It’s a fine balance with the humidity, but do be careful as too low humidity can strip moisture from skin. I actually have a humidifier when my girl sleeps.

Take care!
Mei son is nearly 3 and has verybad eczema… his number 1 allergy is dust mites with a very high reading.. we have b n trying everything under the sun… just recently he has not b n sleeping waking every hr screaming, itching and getting out of his cloths is there any natural herbs or anything that can help him sleep? we live in austraila thanks

hey murray… i don’t know if there’s an age limit on this but you should look into immunotherapy. unless you have already and it didn’t help. i don’t know where in australia you live but i’m in adelaide and there’s a great allergist here. my fingers are crossed for you… i know what it’s like to be the kid.

Your sharing will help others!