Sleep difficulties and their management in preschoolers with atopic eczema

Clin Exp Dermatol. 1995 Jan;20(1):38-41. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2230.1995.tb01280.x.


Sleep disruption is known to be common in preschool children. Those with atopic eczema (AE) would seem to be at particular risk because of itching. In this preliminary survey parents confirmed clinical impressions that sleep loss is a common feature when a child's atopic eczema is flaring. Sleep disturbance was reported by parents for 86% of the relevant nights with an average of 2.7 wakings per night and an average parental sleep loss of 2.6 h per night. Parents used a common core of strategies to help their children sleep at these times. Some of the strategies employed are likely to perpetuate sleep disturbance beyond the time of the flare. Parents gained most benefit from their own idiosyncratic approaches. For the majority of children (59%) sleep disruption is limited to times when their AE is flaring.

MeSH terms

  • Acute Disease
  • Child, Preschool
  • Dermatitis, Atopic / complications*
  • Family Health
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Male
  • Sleep Wake Disorders / etiology*
  • Sleep Wake Disorders / therapy