When Can I Sleep On My Side After Ear Piercing

Summary: After getting a piercing, it is crucial to take care of it properly to avoid infections and delay in the healing process. Sleeping on the side with the fresh piercing can cause irritation and pain. But when is it safe to sleep on your side after getting a new piercing?

1. Healing Process

The healing process varies depending on the type of piercing. Generally, earlobe piercings take about six to eight weeks to heal completely. However, cartilage piercings can take up to 12 months to heal. It is essential to follow proper aftercare instructions to speed up the healing process and avoid infections. Your piercer will provide you with cleaning instructions and advice on what to avoid, such as swimming, submerging in water, and touching your piercing.

While healing, it is best to sleep on the opposite side of your fresh piercing. Any pressure or rubbing against the piercing can cause irritation and discomfort, leading to a longer healing process. Additionally, sleeping on the jewelry can result in the formation of keloids or hypertrophic scars.

2. Signs of Healing

Before considering sleeping on your side with a new piercing, you must look for signs of improvement in the healing process. If you notice any redness, discharge, or swelling, it may not be safe to sleep on your side yet. These are signs of infection or slow healing and should be checked by a piercer or a healthcare provider.

If your piercing has shown significant improvement, such as reduced swelling, dryness, and no discharge, you can start sleeping on your side with caution. Start by placing a pillow behind your back for support and resting your ear on the pillow. Ensure that the jewelry does not come into contact with the pillow to avoid twisting or pulling on the piercing. Additionally, avoid sleeping on the piercing for long hours to prevent pressure build-up and discomfort.

3. Type of Jewelry and Sleeping Position

The type of jewelry you have can affect how safe it is to sleep on your side. For example, a flat back piece of jewelry is safer than a stud as it is less likely to get caught and twisted while sleeping. However, regardless of the type of jewelry, ensure that it fits correctly to avoid any discomfort or irritation.

Moreover, your sleeping position can also play a role in how comfortable and safe it is to sleep on your side with a new piercing. Sleeping on your back or propping yourself upright with pillows is a safe alternative to side sleeping.


In conclusion, sleeping on your side with a new piercing is not recommended until the piercing has healed completely. You must follow proper aftercare instructions, check for signs of healing, and choose the right jewelry and sleeping position. Sleeping on a pillow and avoiding contact with the jewelry can make it possible to sleep on your side with caution if it is necessary. Remember to consult with a piercer or healthcare provider if you experience any signs of infection or slow healing.

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