Zocdoc Answers

Medical questions & health advice by licensed doctors

"Why do I itch only at bedtime?"


I am a 41 year old man and weigh approximately 150 lbs. When I go to bed each night, approximately within 30 minutes of lying down, I begin to itch terribly. It disrupts my sleep and honestly, is driving me crazy. The only relief I seem to get is taking an extremely hot shower before lying down for the night. I sometime get a very uncomfortable felling in my legs and feet as well, but not every night. I am not on any medications.


Pruritus, or itching, is a very interesting symptom that can have many causes, but it is always unfortunate for the patient. There are some other questions that need to be answered before we can say for sure why you are having these problems, such as what your past medical history is, how long this has been happening for, what medications you take, what other symptoms you have, if anything other than a hot shower helps, etc. If this problem has bothered you for life, then it is likely something within you that is causing the itching.

See a doctor who can help

Find a Primary care-doctors near you

This would be less common, and it is more likely that the itching has bothered you for a finite amount of time, that you could likely identify. A month, a year, etc, would be very helpful, as you might be able to arrive at something that has changed in that time period, e.g., changing the type of detergent or fabric softener you use on your sheets. As there are so many potential causes, the entirety is beyond the scope of this reply. The most common cause of itching is dry skin, which can be worse in the winter. By taking a shower, you are obviously hydrating, temporarily, the skin. Itching is also relieved by pain, which is why very hot water helps. Try applying lotion generously after your shower and see if it helps. Your primary care doctor will be able to help you with more details and by doing an examination to see if there is anything else, perhaps more serious, causing the itch.

Zocdoc Answers is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice. If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor (in the United States) 911 immediately. Always seek the advice of your doctor before starting or changing treatment. Medical professionals who provide responses to health-related questions are intended third party beneficiaries with certain rights under Zocdoc’s Terms of Service.