I have a love hate relationship with sleep. I love sleep, but I hate feeling guilty for sleeping in.
I often experienced insomnia, sometimes very conveniently right before exams, meaning I would go into them having not slept at all. I don’t know why my body and brain did that. But they still do. In London, I had the worst bout of insomnia, where 6 nights a week I wouldn’t fall sleep until 4am. That would go up to 7am when I was writing my papers. It was horrible, and by no means am I that kind of person who can function on little sleep, certainly not. I become crank, moody, sleepy, tired, hangry, you name it.
I really think that lack of sleep greatly contributed to and affected my eczema. My body was simply unable to recover from training, studying, emotional stress, and fight inflammation without proper rest. Often I would sleep in until 10am, sometimes 12am if I fell asleep at 7am, to recover the lost hours, but still 6-5 hours of sleep was not enough. I would feel so guilty for sleeping in.
However, when I went back home, I managed to sleep better, and it showed on my skin. It is called beauty sleep for a reason, and it is even more so when you have a skin condition. Remember that when you have eczema and itch, the microbes from your hands get on your skin. As a result, your body is constantly fighting to ward off pathogens, viruses and bacteria, which your raw skin makes incredibly difficult to do. All of that considering you are in a state of inflammation.
It is therefore no wonder that if we do not sleep we do not recover. When we get a cold, we rest, this is common knowledge. Yet we do not think of eczema in the same way. Our body even sends us signals such as fatigue, yet we ignore them most of the time. I believe that anyone suffering from eczema should go on a sleeping retreat. Even though that is unrealistic, giving yourself enough sleep is, prioritizing your health is. That is if you want to get better of course, but if you are reading this book then you must want to get better badly enough to take the necessary steps.
When I rest enough my body recovers, simple as that. Therefore, if you are not sleeping enough you are jeopardizing your recovery. My top tips for sleeping well are going to bed before 11pm, and waking up around 9am. Basically if you are getting ten hours of sleep, you are on the right path to recovery. Also, increasing your sleep is beneficial in the case of adrenal fatigue, which is often linked to eczema and other skin conditions. I also use CBD, which I take before bed, and in the morning. It will not make you sleepy, but it will help you relax and calm the mind, which is what mostly prevents me from falling asleep; I can’t stop thinking. I will talk more of the benefits of CBD later in this book. I hope you will love it as much as I do.
Therefore, the thing to take away from here, is that you shouldn’t pass up on sleep. Make sure that you get enough of it, and your skin, immune system, and adrenal glands will thank you.
So cosy up in your soft duvet blanket and ditch that alarm!