Sleep Well

Sleep! That oft elusive state that takes up so much of our conversation … ‘I’m soooo tired’… ‘I can’t wait for my weekend lie-in’… ‘I’m promising myself a duvet day’… ‘If I could just get a full night’s sleep’ … Throw some psoriasis into the equation and then the fun really starts! Too hot and your skin gets itchy. Too cold and your skin begins to crack. Bed linen is scratchy. Your pyjamas are irritating. What should be the most restful part of your twenty-four hours, can often be the most frustrating. I can’t be the only one who has tossed and turned and watched the clock slowly work its way towards morning whilst desperately trying to get some sleep?
Well! Happily for you guys, I have over twenty years of experience at this, so today I’m going to share all the tricks that I’ve learned along the way. Let’s start with your bedtime routine. On nights when you are really tired and desperate for some sleep, I would always strongly recommend a bath. A gorgeous warm bath, filled with an emollient such as Aqueous Cream that will moisturise your skin and help you to unwind from the stresses of the day. Use a paraben-free body wash or soap such as Caudalie. Light a few candles and really relax!
Next step is your skin treatment. I know from the many messages I get, that there are lots of you who are loathe to constantly put steroid ointments on your skin. If you are trying to keep the itch at bay, then I would recommend moisturising liberally with Suu Balm. If you are a long term blog reader, you’ll know that I rarely recommend creams or lotions, but this is one product that does exactly as advertised – a steroid free cream that will eradicate itch! Don’t let the strong menthol scent put you off, as this dissipates very quickly, leaving you with skin that is no longer itchy. The dream! (Don’t believe me? Click on this link and order your free sample – trust me, you won’t regret adding this to your daily arsenal of psoriasis products!)

But of course, this is primarily a blog about clothes, so now the fun bit … what to wear! Let’s throw all the rules out the window and forget style in favour of comfort. It’s really important to get the fabric right, so cotton is going to be your best friend. This doesn’t have to be expensive and in the past I’ve found some fabulous cotton pjs in Primark for under a tenner. Really, your nightwear needs to fit around your requirements.

If you’re planning to apply the full complement of treatments from emollients to steroid ointments, then the key is to ensure they remain on your skin rather than on your sheets! A perfect solution is these incredibly cute Pure Cotton Striped Long Sleeve Pyjama set from M&S Collection, £35/€49. Also ideal if you’re planning a sleepover night away with pals and want pjs that will cover you whilst still looking cute!
Another great cover-up that will also ensure your treatments stay on your skin, is this Tommy Hilfiger Cotton Iconic ¾ Sleeve Pyjama, £56. Complete with an appropriate slogan!
If you don’t care who sees you at night and you want something old school that will allow you to channel your inner ‘lady of the manor’, how gorgeous is this Pure Cotton Embroidered Nightdress, £35/€35? And before you give me grief about possible bloody scratches during the night leading to marks on the nightdress, may I please point out that this is cotton and will wash perfectly? And frankly a little extra laundry is worth it, just for those few hours of feeling lovely!
Unlike the daylight hours when so many of us are at pains to conceal our skin, in the privacy of our own homes, it’s an entirely different matter. If staying cool is an issue, then ditch the full length nightwear in favour of a shorts set like this Pink Floral Print Woven Button Through Sleep Set, €35/£28 from Next. Not necessarily ideal of you’re applying steroid ointments, but absolutely perfect on nights when all you are using is a moisturiser like Suu Balm that will absorb into your skin.

Last, but by no means least, a set that ticks all the boxes and would make a truly lovely gift if you know anyone with psoriasis. This Multi Coloured Hanging Gardens set from Ted Baker is just gorgeous and comes in a variety of shapes and styles that would work from summer through winter. (Irish friends, try not to scream at the outrageous currency conversions!)
Short Sleeve Pyjama Top, €32/£22

Pyjama Bottoms, €38/£26

Sleeveless Pyjama Cami, €30/£19.50

Pyjama Shorts, €25/£17.50

Short Sleeve Pyjama Shirt, €35/£24

Finally, two more top tips! Firstly, after ensuring that your nightwear is cotton, the same should apply to your bed linen. Again, you don’t need to spend a fortune and you will find cotton bed linen in high street stores such as Dunnes Stores or Next. Secondly, and this I have to admit I was very sceptical about initially … a lavender scented pillow spray such as This Works Sleep Plus Pillow Spray, will genuinely help to relax you and send you to the land of Nod!
It’s Easter folks … so take the time to catch up on some well planned rest during your few days off. Sleep well and go easy on the chocolate!



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