How to Sleep With Piercings

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Sleeping on fresh cartilage piercings can cause discomfort.
Sleeping on fresh cartilage piercings can cause discomfort. (Image: Thinkstock Images/Comstock/Getty Images)

Sleeping with a fresh body piercing can be uncomfortable or even painful, depending on the location of the piercing and the position in which you normally sleep. Earlobe and cartilage piercings may be particularly problematic, especially if you have both ears pierced at the same time. Small jewelry like nostril screws can become dislodged in the night, causing you to wake up with a closed piercing. Make adjustments to your bedding and clothing to maximize healing and minimize discomfort.

Things You'll Need

  • Antibacterial soap
  • Saline solution
  • Paper towels
  • Travel pillow
  • Sports bra

Clean your piercing every night before you go to sleep and every morning when you wake up. Soak the piercing in saline solution according to your piercer's aftercare instructions, and follow the saline soak immediately by washing the piercing with antibacterial soap. Always dry your piercings with a clean paper towel, as cloth towels can snag jewelry and harbor bacteria.

Use a U-shaped travel pillow instead of a regular pillow if you are healing ear or facial piercings. Cradle your neck in the center of the pillow and sleep on your back.

Change your bedding frequently. New piercings often ooze blood or plasma in the night, so you may have to change your sheets or pillowcases every day at first.

Wear a sports bra to bed to protect new nipple piercings. Slight compression of the breasts keeps nipple jewelry from being jostled or rubbed by clothes or bedding. Wash your bra daily, or keep several on hand so you can always wear a clean one.

Wear silicone plugs in stretched earlobes to keep the holes from shrinking overnight without jewelry. Silicone is a soft, flexible rubber that bends with your body, making it a much more comfortable material on which to sleep than wood, glass or metal.

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