If you’ve had other piercings on your body such as your earlobes, you’ll probably think that a belly button piercing involves a similar experience. However, your navel is more sensitive than other areas of your body and can take more time to heal, especially at night, when complications can arise.
How to Sleep With a Belly Button Piercing
- Sleep on your back
- Use light, soft sheets
- Wear loose clothing to avoid friction
- Keep your sheets clean
- Elevate your head
- Wash your hands before bed
- Don’t take the piercing out
- Let the pierced area breathe
A belly button piercing requires a great deal of care since it will be quite sensitive during the first four to eight months. It is essential to understand how to care for it and sleep with it properly, especially in the early stages.
Having a body piercing can sometimes be an irritating or painful process. Some of the most sensitive body parts that require tender care when pierced are the tongue, nose, ears, and navel. The most painful part can be the navel area, especially the belly button.
It isn’t just an ear or tongue piercing where the piercer directly inserts the needle, then the jewelry. Navel piercing is painful since the nerves near your abdomen are among the most sensitive nerves in the body (this also explains why it is painful to get punched in that area).
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Can I Sleep on My Stomach After Getting My Belly Button Pierced?
The most challenging part of having a belly button piercing is sleeping with it. It is dangerous to sleep on your stomach when you have just gotten your navel pierced for two reasons.
- The wound made by the piercing can be excruciatingly painful when it comes into contact with any force, especially when lying on your stomach.
- The jewelry might catch itself on the sheets, which would leave a painful sensation all night.
Cleaning the New Navel Piercing
During the first seventy-two hours after you have your belly button pierced, you need to clean it regularly and avoid contact. This means touching or playing with it.
Cleaning the new navel piercing requires more than just water and a clean cloth. Use antiseptic wipes or cotton balls soaked in medical alcohol to clean the area around your new belly button piercing and wipe the excess moisture off with a clean cloth. Don’t use hand or face towels, since they can get caught by the jewelry and cause extreme pain on your new navel piercing.
It can be tempting to play with your new belly button piercing; however, it is highly advised not to touch it until its sixth or eighth month when it has fully healed. Touching it may even cause infection and delay the piercing’s healing time. This advice also applies to all kinds of piercings.
How Long Does It Take for a Belly Button Piercing to Stop Hurting?
Depending on the level of care for your belly button piercing, healing time usually takes six months. Some individuals claimed they recovered faster with medicine. Most piercing artists, however, firmly believe that proper maintenance and regular cleaning can accelerate the healing time.
In the initial stages, you will most likely endure some level of pain, itchiness, and irritation. The swelling of the newly-pierced belly button usually stops within seventy-two hours.
Unintentional contact with your navel piercing in the first month can be excruciatingly painful, especially when it attaches to your clothes, blanket, bedsheets, or whatever cloth gets in contact with your navel during sleep.
Best Sleeping Positions to Avoid Pain in Your Belly Button Piercing
Sleeping can be a challenge with a new belly button piercing, but there are ways to get a good night of rest. Here are some techniques to follow to sleep properly and avoid discomfort.
1. Sleep on Your Back
While there’s still a possibility of getting your pierced jewelry latched onto your pillow sheet, many have found this technique useful. If you’re usually a side sleeper, place pillows on either side of your body to prevent rolling. Avoid sleeping on your stomach.
2. Use Soft, Gentle Sheets
Use high-quality sheets such as bamboo or silk that will not latch onto your belly button piercing or cause friction. They should be light and soft. During the warmer months, it may be better to sleep with a sheet up to your waistline only.
3. Wear Loose Clothing
Loose clothing will further help prevent unwanted friction with your piercing. A silk shirt or a tank top will free up the belly button and allow it to heal. Tight clothes will irritate the wound. It is better to opt for night clothes that will enable you to move freely and not stick to your skin. Sleeping with a wound is difficult enough without adding the discomfort of constricted garments.
4. Keep Your Sheets Clean
Clean your sheets and pillows regularly. Make sure to remove any dirt, dust, and anything else that may come in contact with your belly button piercing. Bacteria can cause infection, which will cause pain and slow down the healing process.
5. Elevate Your Head
Elevating your head above your heart promotes good blood circulation and faster healing. You may also find it to be more comfortable. Poor blood circulation can make the piercing wound swell and cause discomfort while you sleep. Blood pressure usually decreases when we sleep, but blood circulation remains active.
6. Wash Your Hands
Since a piercing is an open wound, it is susceptible to bacteria. If you accidentally touch it with dirty fingers, it can get infected real quick. An infection will create a host of problems. It is better to wash your hands before you go to bed and refrain from touching items that may be a source of dirt, like your phone. Unless you’ve sanitized your phone, it is probably a host to a lot of bacteria, and this can transfer to your hands before sleeping. That same bacteria may find its way to your belly button piercing if you touch it while sleeping.
7. Don’t Take the Piercing Out
Unless the piercing is causing you significant discomfort, you should not take it out before sleeping. The first four days of the piercing is for your body to adapt to the piercing. You should leave it there for a while until the body adapts to the material. Also, avoid changing your piercing regularly. Most piercing artists advise changing the jewelry three months after you get your piercing.
8. Avoid Using Gauze or Band-Aids and Let It Breathe
You may think that a band-aid will be good for protecting the piercing site while you sleep, but it may be worse. The area needs to be able to breathe, and putting anything over it like a gauze can aggravate it. It may also stick to the wound, which would cause pain when removing.
If it gets infected, you can clean the piercing site with a saline solution and put an anti-microbial ointment on the area. If the infection persists, go to a doctor for a possible antibiotic prescription.
Is It Really Worth the Risk to Have a Belly Button Piercing?
Getting your belly button pierced is a personal choice. If you go for it, you should understand the healing process and how to care for it responsibly. Many have grown to love their piercing. Just like a tattoo, it is a form of body art that is very popular to many.
Conclusion – How to Sleep With a Belly Button Piercing
Sleeping is one of the biggest dilemmas anyone with piercing art faces. It can cause worry on how their sleep will get disrupted as well as possible pain to the navel area.
As a summary, these are some things you have to remember when sleeping with a belly button piercing:
- Maintain cleanliness, especially around your pierced area. With your belly button piercing, it is best to clean the belly button, the navel, and the abdomen after walking or doing outdoor activities and before sleeping. Also, wash your hands in case they come in contact with the area.
- Consider any possible item that may come in contact with the piercing, such as clothing and sheets. Opt for soft material such as silk or bamboo.
While a belly button piercing may be painful, for many, it is worth it. Once the healing process is complete, you can confidently show your piercing to everyone and see the awe on their faces as they see how beautiful the belly button piercing is to you and your overall appearance.