May 9th, 2006
|04:18 am - nathan, this is unacceptable|
Is there a particular brand of insomnia that brings with it insane psychosomatic itching? I was rudely awakened around 2 by some jackass with whiskers and I can't get back to sleep. This is what happens every time: I roll over, snuffle happily, and as I try to slow down the breathing and think of fluffy white sheepy clouds and all that, suddenly EIGHT PARTS OF MY BODY ALL DECIDE TO ITCH AT ONCE. And it's always eight different parts, too. My kneecap is itching right now. One arm was itching a moment ago. The tip of my nose itched. The chin, good lord, the chin itches, too. And the less said about Below-The-Waist, the better. So I scratch, and I scratch all over, and I'm pretty sure tomorrow (aw, hell, it already is tomorrow) I'll find some nifty red welts and angry lines across the ol' chest, but I don't care; I'm exhausted and I just want to fucking sleep. And wake up in three hours and twelve goddamn minutes (another symptom of insomnia: OBSESSIVE MINUTE COUNTING.)
Please note that while I have not ingested any form of psychoactive chemicalia which often brings about the side effect commonly known as "robo-itch", it sure as hell feels like one of those crazy histamine reactions. Nathan, unacceptable, etc.
When I feel like that, it helps to take a shower. I think it's a combination of the water soothing the skin and the psychosomatic benefits of 'washing off' whatever is making you itch.
Next time this happens: if you've got many hours left to sleep (say, 5-6 or more), take a dose of the pink box Benadryl
. BIG FAT WARNING:
this drug will make you feel like a ZOMBIE. Seriously, it slows your brain, can make one slow to wake up, saps some energy in the morning, etc.
When I need to take this drug (I've dealt with eczema for almost 30 years and get flare ups involving the worst itching imaginable), I prepare myself for a "morning after" involving lots of sweet, sweet coffee. It works, but I wouldn't drive a car 3 hours later. ;)
And wwhy is it that this sort of itching ALWAYS happens when waking up at 2AM? Never at 6PM, oh no. 2AM and I need to be up in 5 hours. Aaah, biology. :P
Yeah, it's big pollen time. quodlibetic
's post about Benadryl is true.
I live on Claritin these days so this isn't quite as much of a problem, though there have been days lately when the gunk in the air just powers right over that stuff. But the thing about Claritin is that it's an approximately 24-hour dose, which is nice except that the first couple of hours of that will completely obliterate sleepiness and the last few hours will often give you substantially reduced effectiveness, so timing the doses is key.
Also, it will probably help if you change your sheets.
Sounds like you may want to change laundry detergents in your sheets. You may have a mild allergy. That or bed bugs. ;) I'm thinking the laundry detergents are more likely.
One of the ongoing theories of allergies is that of a threshold. Once that threshold has been reached, things that are normally not triggers but mere sensitivities, become full blown allergens. Seeing as it's spring, lots of trees are attempting to procreate in your nose and all the various other things filling the world, you may be close enough to your threshold that this slight sensitivity could be leaking over when you are resting.
Worth trying a change of sheets....
I recommend Claritin and that eco-friendly laundry detergent you can get at Whole Foods (can't remember what it's called, but any of 'em will do).
I developed an allergy to Purex detergent that killed two nights of sleep. Nasty.
|Date:||May 9th, 2006 12:52 pm (UTC)|| |
It's probably your sheets (even if they're clean).
It sucks to have fair skin of irish/scottish/english-whatever-it-is descent. As others have said, change your detergent, benedryl if you can sleep for several more hours, but I'd reccommend zyrtec rather than claritin. Long before they started advertising that's it's the only one that addresses skin allergies, I found it to be a godsend. I have this thing where the dog goes outside and then jumps on me, and then i break out in hives wherever the grass under his nails touches me. Zyrtec all the way.
Taking a shower might help, if you're not sensative to the chemicals in the water. When I was a teenager, the well water at home used to make me break out in hives all the time. Skin just sucks.
As the owner of several jackasses with whiskers, I feel your pain. Literally.
As a slight counter to the allergic-to-sheets-or-detergent theory, I'll report that this also happens to me. And it happens whether I've made it to my bed or not. I seem to be allergic to being tired. Late at night, whether I'm able to fall asleep or not, and whether or not I've tried, suddenly EVERYTHING ITCHES. And also, I get sniffly in a very histamine sort of way. I've never figured out what's up with this. It happens even when I'm not at home, so I don't think I'm allergic to my house or anything.
I often will take a Benadryl if I'm having trouble falling asleep. And the cause and effect seems to be the other way around. I always am itchy at night. If I'm having trouble falling asleep, the itching just becomes extra-noticable and annoying. I don't think it causes the insomnia.
This is especially weird since, as far as I know, I am not allergic to anything, and never have been. But I do have that darn sensitive Irish fair skin.