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Diseases & Conditions

Why do I itch more at night?

June 1, 2022

Ask the doctors

photo of a woman scratching her forearm while in bed

Q. Lately I lie in bed each night scratching itches I either didn’t have or didn’t notice during the day. What’s going on? What can I do about it?

A. You’re experiencing a fairly common problem called nocturnal pruritus. This maddening condition can be triggered by several things, including our own circadian rhythm, the body’s natural 24-hour cycle. This shift can trigger nighttime skin changes such as greater blood flow, feelings of warmth, and lower levels of corticosteroids that might otherwise tamp down inflammation (and itching).

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