Pruritus and sleep disturbances in patients with psoriasis

  • Tomasz Hawro
  • Marlena Hawro
  • Anna Zalewska-Janowska
  • Karsten Weller
  • Martin Metz
  • Marcus MaurerEmail author
Original Paper


Psoriasis is a prevalent skin disease that impairs multiple domains of quality of life (QoL). Pruritus, a common symptom in patients with psoriasis, may directly affect sleep, but studies investigating this are limited. We investigated the relationships between pruritus and sleep in 104 in-patients with psoriasis, who underwent dermatological assessment and completed questionnaires to determine psoriasis severity, pruritus intensity, sleep quality, QoL (skin disease-specific and generic), depressive mood and anxiety. In total, 80% of patients reported pruritus, and 39% had sleep disturbances, most commonly awakenings during sleep (33%) and sleepiness during the daytime (30%). Sleep impairment was more frequent in patients with pruritus, who had more difficulty falling asleep (P = 0.031). Overall, 14% of all patients and 34% of the patients who reported sleep disturbances reported that their sleep problems were caused by pruritus. Patients who reported sleep disturbances had lower generic QoL. Pruritus in patients with psoriasis was frequent and relevant, as evidenced by the higher rate of sleep problems in this patient group, and it was linked to a lower QoL.


Psoriasis Sleep Pruritus Quality of life Anxiety Depression 



We are grateful for the editorial assistance provided by Gillian Brodie of Orbit Medical Communications, Cambridge, UK, with the help of the urticaria network e.V. (UNEV, We also thank Professor Andrzej Kaszuba for enabling us recruitment of patients at the Department of Dermatology, Pediatric Dermatology and Oncology, Medical University of Łódź, Łódź, Poland.


Intramural funding.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

MH, AZJ, KW, MM and MM have no relevant conflicts of interest. TH has served on an advisory board for Galderma.

Ethical approval

All the procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee (Ethics Committee of the Medical University of Łódź; approval no. RNN/240/09/KE) and with the 1964 Helsinki Declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

Informed consent

Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.

Supplementary material

403_2019_1998_MOESM1_ESM.docx (15 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOCX 16 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Tomasz Hawro
    • 1
  • Marlena Hawro
    • 1
  • Anna Zalewska-Janowska
    • 2
  • Karsten Weller
    • 1
  • Martin Metz
    • 1
  • Marcus Maurer
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of Dermatology and AllergyCharité-Universitätsmedizin BerlinBerlinGermany
  2. 2.Psychodermatology Department, Clinical Immunology and RheumatologyMedical University of ŁódźŁódźPoland

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