A new report, conducted by the Psoriasis Association and LEO Pharma, has found that over 40% of people with psoriasis experience regular sleep disruption, with many losing up to two weeks of sleep a month.

As a result, lack of sleep can induce flare-ups, creating a vicious cycle and putting patients at risk of serious additional health challenges and emotional difficulties. Unfortunately, the study also found that those affected may not be sharing this with their healthcare professionals, in order to get the help and support that they need.

Further to the findings, the report shows that those who suffer sleepless nights often get fewer than five hours of sleep a night, which is actually an hour less than parents with three or more children in the UK. In addition to this, 53% of psoriasis patients find that their condition can make it more difficult to form close or intimate relationships and 37% of people whose psoriasis impacts on sleep feel despondent about their skin.

The findings of the report are “extremely worrying”, according to Helen McAteer, chief executive officer of the Psoriasis Association. She went on to say: “People need to be open and honest with their GP if their psoriasis is impacting on their life, or if they feel that it is not being effectively managed and agree how to address this together. A gap in GP education and levels of awareness of the associated psychological impact has been identified, and it’s important that healthcare professionals think about a holistic approach when providing support.”

Psoriasis is a chronic disease, affecting between 2% and 3% of the population. Over 40% of people with psoriasis experience regular sleep disruption as a result of their condition and supporting research shows that in the short term, sleep loss on such a scale can lead to mood disorders and heightened stress response.