Sleep easy

How to get a good night’s rest

Studies show that people with psoriasis are more likely to feel anxious or depressed.1,2 The trouble is that lack of sleep has a way of making you feel even more stressed, anxious or depressed, making it hard to break out of the cycle of poor sleeping. And, as well as affecting mood, sleep deprivation can interfere with many other aspects of your life, from work and socializing to sex and relationships.3

The good news is that there are lots of simple things you can do to return to your regular sleep pattern.

Prepare well

Make sure your room is cool, dark and quiet,4,5 and your bed is comfortable – blackout curtains and a good-quality mattress could make a huge difference to how well you sleep.4,5 Also try to avoid drinking caffeinated tea or coffee for four hours before bedtime, and avoid big meals, spicy meals and alcohol in the evening, as these can all interrupt your sleep.4,5

Sleep is an important part of the healing process because it allows the body and mind to recharge themselves.



Relax

Setting aside some time to wind down in the evening will also help you to sleep better – perhaps have a bath, listen to music or read a book to calm your thoughts. Some people find meditation an aid to relaxation, while for others breathing exercises could be effective. Doing some moderate intensity exercise during the day could also help you feel more relaxed and sleep better.7,8

Offload your worries

If anxiety is keeping you awake, getting your worries under control can help you to get more sleep. Set aside 20 to 30 minutes of ‘worry time’ every evening, and write a list of all your concerns. Writing worries down stops them going round and round in your head, and they can often seem less serious on paper. The following day look at your list again and set some goals to tackle them.
If you struggle with stress, worrying, or anxiousness and you have trouble sleeping these simple techniques may help you.
However, you should always consult your doctor if you continue to feel anxious, depressed or stressed. He or she may be able to give you more guidance or refer you to more specialized help.

[References]

  1. Shanu Kohli Kurd, MD, MSCE, MHS; Andrea B. Troxel, ScD; Paul Crits-Christoph, PhD; Joel M. Gelfand, MD, MSCE, ‘The Risk of Depression, Anxiety, and Suicidality in Patients With Psoriasis: A Population-Based Cohort Study’, Arch Dermatol. 2010; 146(8):891-895. doi:10.1001/archdermatol.2010.186 http://archderm.ama-assn.org/cgi/content/full/146/8/891
    Last accessed date: 14 Jan 2013, page 893
  2. Gupta MA, Gupta AK, ‘Depression and suicidal ideation in dermatology patients with acne, alopecia areata, atopic dermatitis and psoriasis’, Br J Dermatol. 1998 Nov;139(5):846-50. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9892952
    Last accessed date: 14 Jan 2013, page 849
  3. WebMD, http://www.webmd.com/sleep-disorders/excessive-sleepiness-10/relationships
    Last accessed date: 14 Jan 2013, page 1
  4. NHS Choices, http://www.nhs.uk/Conditions/Insomnia/Pages/Treatment.aspx
    Last accessed date: 14 Jan 2013, page 1 
  5. The Help Guide,
    http://www.helpguide.org/life/sleep_tips.htm
    Last accessed date: 14 Jan 2013, page 3
  6. American Academy of Sleep Medicine (2009, June 9). Meditation May Be An Effective Treatment For Insomnia. ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 22, 2011, from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/06/090609072719.htm
    Last accessed date: 14 Jan 2013, page 1 
  7. Kathryn Reid et al, ‘Aerobic exercise improves self-reported sleep and quality of life in older adults with insomnia’, Sleep Med. 2010 October; 11(9): 934–940,  http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2992829/
    Last accessed date: 14 Jan 2013, page 938

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