How can I count scratching when I am asleep? How does habit reversal help with this?

author/source: DrB



Scratching during sleep is common for people with atopic eczema. When it is happening it may not disturb the sleep of the person concerned, though it can be very disturbing for anyone sharing the same bed. In the morning blood on the sheets and newly damaged skin are clear evidence of what has been happening through the night.

It is not necessary to register the sleep time scratching - it does not count! It's only scratching while awake that is counted - it is the majority of the total for every 24 hours.  Before registration has been completed, this may not seem to be the case. However, it is not scratching during the day that is absent, but the awareness of scratching. A great deal of habitual daytime scratching occurs unconsciously. The registration week clarifies what is happening, and what can be achieved with habit reversal, during wakefulness.

By the end of the second week of treatment with the combined approach one of the first benefits that is noticed is improved sleep for anyone sharing the bed - and cleaner sheets with healing skin, in the morning.

The healing that is achieved during the waking day is quite enough to reduce and eliminate sleep time scratching.

Habit reversal works during the day, during wakefulness -
as long as the registration period has converted the habitual daytime scratching from unconscious to conscious! 


From the Clinic: Night-time scratching and atopic eczema