How to Sleep with a Sunburn on Your Neck

Sunburns can be painful, especially when they’re on the neck. During the night, the neck comes in contact with the bed or pillow, which can further irritate the burn. So, how do you sleep with a sunburn on your neck?

  • Sooth the area before bed with coconut oil or aloe vera gel
  • Wrap a damp cloth on the area to keep it cool
  • Sleep on a gentle material such as silk or cotton
  • Avoid sleeping directly on the affected area
  • Keep it moisturized
  • Find a comfortable sleeping position

How to Sleep with a Sunburn on Your Neck

In Bed with a Neck Sunburn

Sleeping with a sunburn anywhere on the body will make it difficult to sleep, but having one on the neck can be quite tricky as this is what rests on the pillow. Unfortunately, you cannot fully take the pain away, especially in the early stages. However, there are some remedies and solutions you can try.

Sunburn Treatments for Better Sleep

A sunburn is a skin irritation you get after extended exposure to sunlight, which results in redness and sometimes swelling to the affected skin. It can be excruciating, depending on the degree of the burn.

Just as with wounds and cuts, sunburns can differ in many ways. Some are minor and others are a lot worse. Consider two main things about sunburn treatment.

  1. Sunburn treatment can immediately relieve the soreness and pain you get from burnt skin. A method is to merely numb the area of pain while you wait for it to heal. Use a wet cloth or certain gels such as aloe vera to provide some relief. Although this is only a temporary solution, it may be enough to help you sleep through the night.
  2. Treatment can also help prevent the symptoms of sunburn effects, such as peeling and itching. Proper treatment can also promote faster healing.

Sunburn treatments work best when combined with other types of remedies that can help reduce the pain or prevent the sunburn from worsening while you sleep.

Sleeping Techniques

If you have sunburn on the neck, try adopting a sleeping position that would best comfort you. You can try sleeping with a soft pillow behind the neck. Since contact upon a sunburnt skin stings, try sleeping sideways. If you have long hair, place and lay it above the head of the pillow so that the sunburn on the nape won’t get irritated. If that’s not enough, you could always experiment on what position works for you as people can have different shaped necked or postures.

If possible, try to avoid sleeping directly on the burn. Direct contact may slow down the healing process and irritate it throughout the night. Usually, neck sunburns occur only on the back of the neck, rather than side or front. Sleep on your side to help keep the affected area away from contact. You can also use pillows to prevent your body from rolling onto your back during the night.

Home Remedies

If you’re unable to treat the source of pain, you could try to ease the symptoms. If you want to get through the night and merely relieve the pain, you can try these home-made remedies.

  • Coconut Oil
    Coconut oil is undeniably a very versatile product. From cooking your favorite fried dish to treating many skin conditions, it is not surprising that it can help with sunburns too. Many users of coconut oil claim that it cools and soothes sunburned skin. It also relieves common symptoms such as itching and peeling. This relief has something to do with the high amount of saturated fats, which are exceptionally good for your skin’s moisture. Coconut oil is also great for relieving dry and itchy skin.
  • Aloe Vera Gel
    Aloe vera contains a lot of benefits and healing properties. The gel it provides can do more than give the skin with cooling relief. Its anti-inflammatory properties can also provide a soothing and cool sensation when applied directly. Before taking a nap, gently apply an adequate amount of aloe vera gel on the burnt area, then let it air-dry for about 20-30 minutes. You can expect that it will ease, if not wholly, the sunburn you have.
  • White Vinegar
    What’s worse than sunburn? An infected sunburn. To help take away some of the pain and inflammation from the burn and prevent it from getting infected, try applying white vinegar to the affected areas. White vinegar contains acetic acid, which can act as an antiseptic, eventually relieving the inflammation and pain.
  • Cold Compresses
    Applying cold compresses to your skin or taking a refreshing bath can soothe the burn. However, you should never cool the skin with ice directly as it may cause more damage to skin tissue.
  • Baking Soda
    When treating sunburn, you must be aware that human skin has a natural pH level at about 5.5. That is, what you apply on the skin must be safe and non-damaging to its moisture. Baking soda is known as an effective and tolerable substance used to improve skin quality. To use it as a sunburn treatment, make a cold compress composed of baking soda and water, then apply to the sunburned skin for 15 minutes.
  • Green Tea
    In addition to baking soda compresses, green tea can also be an alternative. Green tea leaves contain anti-inflammatory polyphenols. To use as a compress, merely steep green tea leaves and soak in a clean washcloth in the steeped tea. Make sure to allow the compress to cool in the fridge before applying it to the sunburned skin for 15 minutes.

Other Solutions to Try

Aloe Very Leaf Gel

If nothing seems to work out from home, check out some of these items you may find at your local store or online. They may just be the treatment you need to get a good night’s sleep.

  • Wild Thera Scorched Skin Balm (view on Amazon)
    Try this soothing and moisturizing Herbal cream with Aloe Vera for burns. The balm is completely natural and raw, which makes it ideal. No chemicals will threaten to affect your skin adversely. It will surely leave you looking young and beautiful as this product works as a skin balm.
  • Sunburnt After-Sun Gel (view on Amazon)
    Sunburnt After-Sun Gel combines an exceptional formula of pure aloe and skin-nourishing ingredients to sustain optimum hydration and soothing relief for skin dryness and irritations. Best of all, it leaves skin feeling silky smooth and not sticky at all. Aside from sunburn relief, it has an ultra-hydrating and moisturizing property, which leaves optimal skin moisture on the body and face. Aloe vera has been used for decades to help heal and soothe sunburns. The Sunburn gel is 98% natural and is so soothing that many have used it as a burn treatment as well.
  • Green Leaf Naturals Organic Aloe Vera Gel Spray (view on Amazon)
    What could be better than pure, natural, and organic products? The Green Leaf Naturals Organic Aloe Vera Gel spray contains 99.8% organic aloe vera gel. This makes the gel leave no sticky residues after use. It is best known as a treatment for sunburns, razor burn, and after-sun exposure dryness. It is also used as an aftershave gel/lotion. It can treat many skin conditions, such as scars, acne, itchy skin, rash, and age spots.

Prepare for Sun Exposure

Woman Wearing Sun Hat and Glasses Outside

Next time you go out into the sun, make sure to be prepared. Here are some things to remember to avoid sunburns, either on your neck or elsewhere on the body.

Apply sunscreen lotion – If you’re heading out the door without anything much to cover yourself from the sun, apply lotions with at least SPF 30+. Sunscreen lotion is the ideal protection factor to prevent the adverse effects of the sun on your skin. It should be applied about 30 minutes before exposure.

Stay hydrated – Drink plenty of water. People who aren’t hydrated are more susceptible to getting sunburns. That is, dehydrated people usually have drier skin than those who have lots of fluids throughout the day.

Avoid prolonged exposure in the sun – As much as you can, avoid extreme exposure to sunlight. Too much UV ray exposure can be very harmful to the skin. If you already have a sunburn, stay inside or in the shade until it heals.

Wear a hat and sunglasses – Use proper clothing to protect yourself from the sun’s rays. A hat should shade your entire face and neck. You can wear a baseball cap; however, ideally, you should wear a proper sun hat (view on Amazon) that covers much more. Sunglasses help to protect your eyes and also keep you from always having to squint.

Conclusion – How to Sleep with a Sunburn on Your Neck

After everything mentioned, it’s up to you to choose the best remedy to ease the pain, treat burnt skin, or prevent it from happening. Sunburns are irritating, and they can be very annoying at times. Most importantly, they may take away your much-needed sleep. Follow these tips to help manage the sunburn on your neck and get to sleep.

Kris Peter

I am a lifelong advocate of sleep, continually learning, and striving to be better than I was yesterday.

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