Welcome to the sleep section!

This section will look at:

  • Why can’t my child sleep?
  • Tips for helping your child itch less at night
  • What can my child do if they wake up scratching?
  • Tips for helping your child sleep

Every child is different so it’s about finding what works for your family. This section may give you some ideas of new things to try until you find a routine that works for your family.

Sleeping With Eczema 6

Why can't my child sleep?

Eczema might be causing your child to wake up at night if it is itchy. If your child’s eczema is waking them up at night, it is a sign that it is getting out of control. You may need a flare control cream to get control of the eczema.

Check out the ‘flare control creams’ section from the menu above to find out more.

The next few pages will give you tips on reducing night-time scratching and helping your child to get a good night’s sleep.

How can I create an environment that will reduce itching?

Lots of families find that itching is the main thing stopping their child getting a good night’s sleep. Itching can feel worse when your child is hot.

Tips for helping your child itch less at night:

  • Use a thinner duvet or just a few sheets in the summer for your child.
  • Keep the bedroom cool by opening the window during the day.
  • If your child is allergic to tree and grass pollen, you may want to close the window when it starts to get dark as pollen levels rise at sunrise and sunset.
  • Keep the heating in your child’s bedroom low or off in the winter.
  • Use plain cotton or bamboo sheets if you can.
  • Loose fitting cotton pyjamas will help keep your child cool.
  • Give your child a bath or shower about an hour before bed and use moisturising creams after. This can help soothe the skin during the night.

What can I do if my child wakes up scratching?

Some people find their child wakes up scratching. Sometimes this can break the skin and make it bleed.

  • Speak to your doctor or nurse if you are moisturising daily and using the flare control cream as directed and there is still no improvement after 2-4 weeks.
  • If your child wakes up scratching then putting on moisturising creams can be soothing and help to cool the skin down.
  • You can keep a moisturising cream near the bed in case your child needs it at night. Some people prefer to keep their moisturising cream in the fridge so that it is cool and soothing.

The cold moisturising cream from the fridge can be so soothing for her when she wakes up really itchy.Chris

  • Taking off some of the bed sheets or turning them over can be refreshing in the night and can keep your child cool.
  • If your child is scratching so much their skin bleeds, you may find their skin can stick to the sheets. Some families find it useful to put their child in loose clothing or use special bandages to protect the skin area. It would be best to speak to a doctor or nurse about using bandages.
  • Some families find it helpful to put scratch mittens on babies or young children to stop their scratching from causing damage to their skin.
  • You can find out more about scratching in the ‘Beat the Itch’ section, which you can get from the ‘Itch, stress and sleep’ menu above.


It can be so painful trying to peel off the sheets from where he scratched himself raw. With long sleeves at least if he scratches it won’t be directly on his skin.Bethany

Tips for helping your child sleep

Eczema may not be the reason for waking up often. Many children without eczema have trouble sleeping.  If there is no difference between when eczema is clear and when there is a flare-up, then it is likely there are other reasons for poor sleeping.

Other families have told us that scratching can happen right before falling asleep, especially during stressful times or if they’re feeling wide awake.

For younger children, you may want to keep track of how much they sleep during the day, as this will affect their sleep at night. Keeping them awake during the day can help them sleep better at night.

Below are tips that others have found useful to help your child get to sleep. Click on a box to read more: