Sleeping With Sunburn: What You Need To Know

Sunburns are no fun. They’re painful, they itch like crazy, and you can’t sleep. But there are a few simple things you can do to make your sunburn more bearable. Sleeping with a sunburn may sound awful, but it doesn’t have to be! This article will show you how to get relief from the pain of sleeping with a sunburn so that you can rest peacefully and heal faster during the night.

How do you sleep with a sunburn?

We’ve all been there. You’re hot, sweaty, and in a lot of pain from your sunburn, so you want to sleep. But you know that means sleeping on your back or stomach. And that’s going to make your sunburn even worse!

You’re not out of luck though- there’s still a way for you to get some sleep while also helping the healing process. The best way to sleep with a sunburn is on your side. This will help your skin breathe better and reduce pain. You can just turn over if need be to take care of any itchiness or discomfort, but try not to lie on any rough spots if possible.

The other option is sleeping upright with pillows propping you up a little. This will keep you from lying on the burned skin (which is important because it’s sensitive) and give it a chance to breathe.

Propped-up sleeping isn’t quite as good for your sunburn as side-sleeping, but if that’s impossible for some reason or if you just don’t feel like turning over, it’s the next best option. The best place is up against a wall if you can, but if your bed doesn’t let you do that then leaning against some pillows will help.

Sleeping on your back with a sunburn



Sleeping on your back is a very common position for a person to sleep in. If you have not been burnt on your back, sleeping this way is the best way to go. Then you are able to avoid lying on the areas that have been burned.

A person who lies on their back is also able to avoid rubbing against the burn. As such, they will be less prone to blisters forming and will therefore heal better.

Tip: You may find it more difficult to sleep on your back or stomach if you have a sunburn near your face (check out how to help yourself rest easier with a sunburn).

Sleeping on your side

Sleeping on your side is also a very common position for a person to sleep in. This is the same as above. If you have not burnt your side, you should try to sleep on your side. Then you are able to avoid lying on the areas that have been burned.

You will also be able to maximize the air flow that can get to the burnt areas of your body. This is not only great for preventing blisters from forming but it also helps in the healing process. As long as you are lying on a non-rough surface, you should be able to comfortably sleep this way.

Sleeping on your stomach

Sleeping on your stomach is an odd position to sleep in for many people. If you do have a sunburn, this is not recommended because it will cause the burns to smother and will not allow for any air flow. Sleeping on your stomach can also cause blisters to form and will increase the risk of infection.

Because of these dangers, sleeping on your stomach with a sunburn is not recommended. The best way to get some sleep with a sunburn – especially if you don’t want to change positions or sleep upright – is by sleeping on your side with some pillows to prop you up a little bit. You can just roll from your back to your side if you need to, but try not to rub the rough skin against anything too much.

Disclaimer: The way you sleep with sunburn may not work for everyone. If you are uncomfortable while sleeping, you can always try changing positions or sleeping upright. Remember that there is no “right” way to sleep with a sunburn, and this information does not replace the advice of a professional.

Home remedies for sunburns

If you are prone to sunburns, there are some amazing home remedies that will help them heal faster. Aloe vera gel is easily accessible and can be applied directly to the burn for relief from pain and a quicker healing process. If you don’t have access to aloe vera gel, you can also use baking soda by applying it to your skin and then washing it off after five minutes, or lavender oil (which is great for its anti-inflammatory properties). If you don’t have access to either of those treatments, witch hazel is another option that will soothe any pain caused by sunburns.

Preventing future burns



Keep an eye on the time

Sunburns are usually caused by either long exposure to the sun or heat and humidity. By being aware of how long you have been in these conditions, you might be able to avoid sunburns in the future. For example, if it’s 90 degrees on a sunny day, then you should not stay out for more than one hour at a time. If it is humid outside, then you can stay out for two hours at most.

Apply sunscreen

We often forget about this during summertime until we see our sunburn develop! Sunscreen will protect the skin from harmful UV rays and reduce the risk of developing sunburns. The best way to avoid getting sunburnt is to apply sunscreen before going outside. It’s recommended that people use SPF 30+, but even SPF 15 can make a difference in how long you spend outside. Reapply sunscreen every hour or so and wear a shirt with sleeves if possible.

Get protection from the shade

If you are going to be outside, then try to find as much shade as possible. Some people like being out in the sun but it’s best to limit your exposure to these conditions. If you absolutely must stay out in the sun, then try to find a tree where you can get some shade from the leaves.

Sunscreen and clothing

When shopping for sunscreen, don’t just choose whichever one has the highest SPF! Take into account how thick it is as well because it won’t protect you as well if it isn’t spread evenly. Some clothing materials block out more UV rays than others as well, and you may want to consider this when shopping for new clothes.

If you follow these tips, not only will your sunburn heal better but you will be less likely to get one in the future! Furthermore, remember that any further sun exposure will only aggravate your burn, so be smart and take care of yourself!

What does SPF mean?

The sun protection factor (SPF) of a sunscreen will tell you how long it can fight off UVB rays. The higher the SPF, the longer it will take for your skin to start burning from sun exposure. If you’re going to be out in intense sunlight for an extended period of time, then look for a sunscreen that has at least SPF 30.




There are some ingredients that you should avoid because they aren’t very good for your skin! For instance, look out for the chemical oxybenzone because there have been reports of it causing allergic reactions in some people. It’s also best to avoid parabens and fragrances because these can irritate sensitive skin. ​Although some people are tempted to skip sunscreen and rely on other methods, the best way to prevent sunburns is by using a decent sunscreen. When buying a sunscreen, look for ingredients that won’t irritate your skin or cause allergic reactions.


Sleeping with a sunburn is pretty uncomfortable, especially if you’re prone to night sweats and hot flashes. There are some ways that you can make it easier though! Follow the tips in this article for sleeping comfortably when your skin is extra sensitive or irritated from being out in the sun too long. Remember to wear sunscreen before going outside, find shade whenever possible, and don’t forget about clothing either!

If you liked this article, please share with your friends and family so they can take care of themselves!

Gabriel Smith

Hello, my name is Gabriel and I LOVE to sleep. Okay, you’re right, a lot of people do like sleep. But my passion is actually not sleeping. My interest lies in the “theoretical part”. What to do before bedtime. What a good night’s sleep is. etc. In short, how to sleep well. I hope you share the same interest as me, and enjoy reading everything about sleep.

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