How to Sleep Easier When You Have a Sunburn

If you forgot to wear or reapply sunscreen and now your sleep is suffering, here is how you can rest easy as your sunburn heals.

It’s Hot, Your Skin Is Burnt, And Now You Can’t Sleep

Of course you already know that you should be wearing sunscreen every time you go outside. Of course you know that. But if you missed a spot or accidentally forgot (because it happens to the best of us), it can be quite painful. That pain doesn’t go away when you sleep, unfortunately, and can result in a lot of uncomfortable tossing and turning.

Sleeping and leaving your skin alone—no scratching or constant fussing—will help you, however. “Sleep is the time for recovery and healing of injured tissue,” explains Martin Rawls-Meehan, CEO and co-founder of the sleep tech company Reverie. To speed up that recovery, aloe is Rawls-Meehan’s top choice. “Aloe is my favorite remedy—sunburn or not. It has amazing healing and soothing properties and will protect your skin from rubbing when your skin comes in contact with your sheets at night.”

Related: 7 Basic Skincare Tips For Runners This Summer

When using aloe, going straight to the source and using the plant is best–Rawls-Meehan stresses that you should look for paraben-free gel or lotion. In addition to applying aloe, what you wear and the materials you sleep on can help you rest easier when healing from a sunburn. Wearing loose-fitting clothing is the best for sleep (Rawls-Meehan suggests a light cotton t-shirt or woven cotton pajamas). Make sure to wear breathable fabric when you run, too.

When it comes to your bedsheets, the key to staying comfortable may also help you get a better night’s sleep year-round. “Cooling sheets could help your sunburn,” he notes. “Silk or a breathable synthetic with cooling properties will help alleviate the soreness and inflammation you experience after a sunburn. Beyond helping relieve sunburn, cooling sheets maintain a lower surface body temperature, which helps you stay asleep.”

Other remedies include something else that you should be doing every day: drinking water! Even using yogurt (yes, you read that right!) on your skin can help.

“The combination of probiotics and dairy soothes and heals,” assures Rawls-Meehan.


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7 Basic Skincare Tips For Runners This Summer

A Runner’s Guide To Sun Protection