How To Sleep With Sunburn: 17 Must-Know Tips That Will Help

Last Updated on February 14, 2023 by theworldofsleepstaff

If you’ve ever been unfortunate enough to experience a sunburn, you know how uncomfortable it can be. So naturally, the last thing you want to do when you’re in that much pain is put your skin against bedsheets!

And unfortunately, it’s when trying to sleep with a sunburn that the burning sensation is at its worst. Luckily, you can do a few things to make sleeping with sunburn easier.

And right here we will share some of the best tips for getting a good night’s rest when dealing with skin damage.

Disclaimer: Although we share tips here, as always, you must consult your doctor and ask their opinion about what is right for you, as every individual case differs. This article doesn’t constitute medical advice.

How to Sleep with Sunburn: The Best Tips for a Good Night’s Rest

Got sunburn? You know it’s not a pleasant experience. The good news is that you can do a few things to make it more bearable. Here are some tips for how to sleep with sunburn:

1. Apply a Cool Compress to Your Skin Before Going to Bed

You can wet a cloth with cool water and apply it to the affected areas for a few minutes. Or, you can take a cool shower or bath before bed – this will help soothe the burning sensation and make it easier to fall asleep.

Applying a cool compress is one of the best things you can do to relieve pain from a sunburn. People say this is helpful because it takes the heat from the sunburned area and rehydrates your skin.

Extra Tips:

– Use a soft cloth, so you don’t further irritate your skin.

– If you’re using a cool compress, make sure to replace it with a fresh one when it gets warm.

2. Sleep on Your Back

If you sleep on your side or stomach, you’ll likely put pressure on the sunburned areas, only worsening the pain. Sleeping on your back will allow your skin to heal without any added discomfort.

You can prop yourself up with some pillows to make it more comfortable. This will help to prevent any irritation from the sheets.

Extra Tips:

– Use a soft pillowcase made from natural fabric like cotton.

– If you’re using multiple pillows, make sure they’re fluffed, so they don’t put pressure on the sunburned areas.

3. Use a Light Cotton Sheet

A lighter sheet will help to keep you cool and won’t irritate your skin as a heavier fabric would. However, if you’re struggling to get comfortable, you can try sleeping without a sheet.

You can also try sprinkling some cornstarch on your sheets to help keep you cool and dry.

Extra Tips:

– Make sure your sheet is loose-fitting, so it doesn’t rub against your skin.

– If you’re using a top sheet, tuck it under the mattress, so it doesn’t touch your skin.

4. Stay Hydrated

Drinking plenty of water will help to prevent your skin from drying out. This is especially important if you’re taking any medication for the pain, as some can cause dehydration.

Bored with drinking water? You can also try sucking on ice chips or popsicles – this will help soothe the pain and keep you hydrated simultaneously.

During the day, you must drink a lot of water to replace the water lost due to sunburn and prevent dehydration. And at night it is worth keeping a glass of water next to your bed too.

Sleep deprivation can contribute to dehydration and sunburn, so make sure you have a glass of water to drink before bed and during the night.

Extra Tips:

– Set an alarm to remind you to drink water every few hours.

– Keep a jug of water next to your bed, so you don’t have to get up to get a drink during the night.

5. Use a Humidifier

If your skin is feeling dry and tight, try using a humidifier in your bedroom. This will help add moisture to the air and keep your skin hydrated.

The benefits of using a humidifier are that it also can help with congestion, coughing, and sinus pressure that often accompanies a sunburn.

But make sure to clean your humidifier regularly, as unclean humidifiers can make you sick.

Extra Tips:

– Use distilled water in your humidifier to prevent any build-up of minerals.

– Empty and clean your humidifier every day to prevent the growth of mould or bacteria.

6. Take Ibuprofen

If you’re in a lot of pain, taking an over-the-counter pain reliever can help. Ibuprofen is a good option as it will also help to reduce inflammation.

Just be sure not to take it on an empty stomach, and drink plenty of water throughout the day to avoid dehydration.

Extra Tips:

– Follow the directions on the package.

– If you’re unsure about taking medication, speak to your doctor or pharmacist.

7. Try a Cooling Gel or Lotion

A cooling gel or lotion can help soothe the pain of a sunburn. Look for one that contains aloe vera or menthol, as these ingredients can help cool and numb the skin.

Apply the gel or lotion to the affected areas before going to bed and again when you wake up in the morning. Doing so will help you sleep with a sunburn.

Be sure to read the labels carefully before purchasing, as some products may not suit people with sensitive skin.

Extra Tips:

– Avoid products that contain alcohol, as this can dry out your skin.

– If you’re using a lotion, choose an unscented one to avoid further irritation.

8. Use Aloe Vera

This natural remedy has been used to treat sunburn for centuries. In addition, Aloe vera gel can help calm and soothe the skin and is also said to have healing properties.

You can find aloe vera gel at most pharmacies or drugstores or use the gel from a fresh aloe vera leaf.

To maximize its cooling effect, store the gel in the fridge before applying it to your skin.

Extra Tips:

– If you’re using a store-bought gel, check the label to ensure it doesn’t contain any other ingredients that could irritate your skin.

– You can also try applying a thin layer of pure aloe vera gel to a cloth and placing it over the affected area.

9. Avoid Further Sun Exposure

It’s essential to protect your skin while healing to avoid further sun exposure. This means staying out of the sun altogether and wearing protective clothing if you have to go outside.

A wide-brimmed hat can help protect your face, and loose, light-coloured clothing will help to keep you cool and comfortable.

Extra Tips:

– Wear sunglasses to protect your eyes.

– Use a sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher if you have to be in the sun.

10. Drink Herbal Tea

Herbal teas can be soothing and relaxing, which can help you to fall asleep more easily. Chamomile and lavender tea are excellent options.

You can find these teas at most supermarkets or health food stores. Better yet, try growing your own herbs to make tea with.

Extra Tips:

– Steep the tea for 5-10 minutes to release the herbs’ full flavour.

– Add a bit of honey to sweeten the tea if desired.

11. Take a Lukewarm Bath

Soaking in a lukewarm bath can help to ease the pain of a sunburn and hydrate your skin. Add a cup of baking soda or oatmeal to the bathtub to help soothe your skin further.

Avoid using hot water, as this can dry out your skin.

Extra Tips:

– Soak in the bath for 10-20 minutes.

– Apply a moisturizer to your skin after bathing.

12. Wear Loose, Comfortable Clothing

When your skin is on fire, the last thing you want to do is to put on tight, constricting clothing. But what should you wear if you have sunburn? The answer is loose, comfortable clothing made from natural fibres.

Thinking of a better choice? Cotton is a good choice, as it is breathable and won’t irritate your skin. Linen is another good option, as it is also light and airy. And, of course, you’ll want to avoid synthetic fabrics like polyester, which can make you feel even hotter.

Extra Tips:

– If your sunburn is on your feet or legs, consider wearing loose-fitting shorts or skirts.

– If your sunburn is on your arms or torso, consider wearing a loose-fitting tank top or dress.

13. Don’t Pop Blisters

There are good reasons to leave blisters alone. For one thing, popping a blister can cause it to become infected. The skin around a blister is already tender and susceptible to injury, so it’s best to avoid further damage.

Additionally, the fluid inside a blister protects the skin beneath. If you pop the blister, you may increase your risk of developing a secondary infection.

Finally, popping a blister can cause additional pain and irritation. So if you’re dealing with a sunburn, resist the urge to pop those blisters. Just let them heal on their own.

Extra Tips:

– If a blister does pop, wash the area with soap and water. Then, apply an antibiotic ointment to the blister and cover it with a bandage.

– See a doctor if you develop a fever or if the blister becomes red, swollen, or oozing pus. These could be signs of an infection.

14. Don’t Use Soap

If you have sunburn, avoid using soap before going to bed. Soap can further dry out your skin and irritate already sensitive skin. Instead, rinse with cool water. You can also use a gentle, fragrance-free cleanser if you need to remove makeup or sunscreen.

You can also opt for cleansing milk, particularly soothing for sunburned skin.

An alternative option is to take a calm, soothing oatmeal bath. Add a cup or two of oatmeal to your bathtub and soak for 15-20 minutes. The oatmeal will help to relieve itching and dryness.

Extra Tips:

– Avoid letting the water and soap run over your sunburn if shampooing your hair.

– Gently pat your skin dry after bathing or showering.

15. Put Your Feet Up

If you have sunburn on your legs or feet, put your feet up when you go to bed. This can help to reduce swelling and pain.

You can also try placing a pillow under your ankles to keep your feet elevated while you sleep.

Another option is to soak your feet in a cool foot bath for 15-20 minutes before bed. This can also help to reduce swelling and pain.

Extra Tips:

– If you have sunburn on your hands or arms, try placing a pillow under your elbows to keep your arms elevated while you sleep.

– You can also try sleeping on your back to avoid putting pressure on your sunburned skin.

16. Don’t Smoke When Sleeping With a Sunburn

When you have sunburn, it’s essential to avoid smoking. Cigarette smoke can further irritate already sensitive skin. It can also increase your risk of developing an infection. So if you have sunburn, make sure to avoid cigarettes.

If you need help quitting smoking, talk to your doctor or pharmacist. There are many resources available to help you quit.

Extra Tips:

– Avoid being around others who are smoking. Secondhand smoke can also irritate sunburned skin.

– If you have sunburn on your lips, be extra careful not to lick your lips. Licking can further dry out and irritate your lips.

17. Don’t Drink Alcohol

You may be tempted to reach for a beer or a glass of wine to help you relax after a day in the sun. But alcohol can make your sunburn worse. Alcohol dehydrates the skin, which can lead to further irritation and dryness. So it’s best to avoid alcohol if you have sunburn.

If you want to drink something, stick to water or another non-alcoholic beverage.

Extra Tips:

– Avoid caffeinated beverages as well. Caffeine can also dehydrate the skin and make sunburn worse.

– If you’re feeling particularly thirsty, try sucking on ice chips or drinking a sports drink like Gatorade. These can help.

How To Sleep With Sunburn: FAQs

Should You Sleep With Clothes On With a Sunburn?

It’s generally best to sleep without clothing if you have a sunburn, as this will help keep the affected area cool and dry. If you’re uncomfortable sleeping without clothing, you can try wearing loose, light-coloured clothing. Avoid wearing anything tight or constricting, as this could irritate your skin.

How Do You Get Rid of a Sunburn Overnight?

There is no surefire way to get rid of a sunburn overnight. However, there are some things you can do to help ease the discomfort and speed up the healing process.

Some home remedies that may help include:

– Applying a cool compress to the affected area

– Taking a cool bath or shower

– Using moisturizing lotion or cream

– Drinking plenty of fluids

– Taking ibuprofen or another over-the-counter pain reliever

If your sunburn is severe, blisters are present, or you have any other concerns, be sure to see a doctor. Severe sunburn can lead to severe complications and should be treated by a medical professional.

How To Sleep With Sunburn: oUR Final thoughts

Sleeping with sunburn can be uncomfortable. But there are things you can do to make it more bearable. Follow the tips above, and you’ll be on your way to a good night’s rest.

And remember, always practise sun safety! Wear sunscreen, stay in the shade, and cover up when you’re out. These simple steps can help you avoid sunburn in the first place.