When Can I Lay On My Tattoo?
Download Article Download Article You’ve researched a tattoo, found an artist, gone under the needle, and now it’s time to rest. If you got a tattoo on your back, chest, or side, you’ll need to protect the tattoo while you sleep. This means putting clean sheets on the bed, letting air circulate around the tattoo , and changing your sleep position. Fortunately, your tattoo will heal quickly if you get lots of quality rest and you’ll soon be sleeping like normal.
- 1 Put fresh sheets on your bed before you go to sleep. Old sheets contain dead skin cells and bacteria that could cause infection, especially when you stop covering your tattoo. Change your bedding before sleeping with your new tattoo. 
- If you have enough sheets, put clean sheets on the bed every night.
- Use dark bedding instead of light-colored sheets since ink from your tattoo might stain the sheets.
- 2 Follow your tattoo artist’s care recommendations about wrapping. Ask your tattoo artist if you need to keep the tattoo covered while you sleep and when you should remove the wrapping. They might advise you to keep their bandage on for the first night before removing it. To put a new bandage on at home, you may be told to put a sterile absorbent bandage on the tattoo. 
- If the bandage doesn’t have adhesive, use medical tape to secure the bandage around the tattoo. Ensure that you don’t apply tape to the tattoo, which would be painful to remove.
- Avoid wrapping the tattoo with plastic clingfilm because it traps sweat and bacteria against the tattoo.
- 3 Choose a sleeping position that keeps you off of the tattoo. Your tattoo needs circulating air in order to heal faster. If you lie on the tattoo, you’ll irritate the skin and trap moisture against it as you sleep. If you got a tattoo on your: 
- Back, sleep on your belly.
- Side, lie on your opposite side.
- Chest, sleep on your back.
- Leg, raise your leg with a pillow or cushion.
- 4 Wait 4 to 7 days before you sleep on your tattoo. Your tattoo will ooze and bleed for a few days after you get it. Avoid sleeping on the tattoo at this point since it needs air circulation. Once the new layer of skin has formed over your tattoo, usually after 4 to 7 days, you can begin to sleep on it. 
- You’ll also see the old skin scab and flake off, which can make the tattoo feel itchy.
- 5 Try to get at least 8 hours of sleep. Since your body treats a tattoo like a wound, it’s important to get more sleep than usual. This gives your body more time to recover and helps your tattoo heal faster. 
- Remember that your immune system is responding to the tattoo, so support it by eating nutritious foods as well.
- 6 Wet any bedding that sticks to your tattoo during the night. If you wake up and see that your top bedsheet is sticking to your tattoo, do not pull it off, which could slow the healing process. Instead, hold the sheet and carefully walk to a sink. Get the sheet wet to loosen it and then remove the sheet. 
- To prevent the bottom fitted sheet from sticking to your tattoo, lay a clean towel or cloth under you before you go to sleep. Then, replace the towel or sheet if it sticks to you during the night.
- If the sheet is stuck to a tattoo that’s in a hard to reach place, such as on your back, get in the shower with the sheet stuck to you.
- 1 Wear loose clothing that doesn’t rub against the tattoo. Your tattoo site is extra sensitive and might still be painful, which can make it difficult to sleep. Prevent scratchy fabric from pressing hard against the tattoo and wear loose, soft clothing to bed instead. 
- If you prefer, don’t wear pajamas if they cover your tattoo.
- 2 Arrange pillows under your knees to make sleeping on your back more comfortable. You’re more likely to stay off of your tattoo if you have pillows or cushions that support you as you sleep. If your tattoo is on your chest and you’re trying to sleep on your back, put small pillows or rolled-up towels under each of your knees.
- Add extra pillows under your head if you feel like you’re leaning too far back on the bed.
- Raising your knees with the pillows supports your lower back so it’s more comfortable.
- 3 Put a pillow under your chest if you need to sleep on your belly. If your tattoo is on your back and you find that laying on your belly and chest is uncomfortable, slide a pillow under your chest. The pillow raises you up a little so you’re not putting as much pressure on your chest
- If you’re still uncomfortable, buy a specialized stomach sleeper pillow or a face-down pillow that has a hole for you to lay your head in.
- 4 Place pillows in front and behind you if you’re sleeping on your side. If you got a tattoo on 1 of your sides, lie on your opposite side. To prevent you from rolling over onto your other side, arrange a long pillow, bolster, or sleeping wedge near your chest. Put another 1 right behind you along your back.
- If it’s difficult for you to position the pillows, ask a friend to help.
- 5 Sleep alone for the first few nights after getting the tattoo. If you share your bed with a partner, ask them to sleep in another room so you can get good sleep. This is especially important if your partner is a restless sleeper or you’re getting used to different sleep positions.
- You might find that your support pillows take up a lot of space and there isn’t as much room for your partner.
- If you have pets that get into bed with you, try to keep them out of your bed for the first few days after getting your tattoo. This will prevent animal dander and germs from getting into your new tattoo.
- 6 Create a soothing bedtime routine before you go to sleep. To help you fall asleep easier, avoid bright light from televisions, phones, or computer screens in the hour before you go to bed. Instead, do a relaxing activity, such as reading, yoga, or talking with a friend. 
- Consider cutting back on caffeine during the day so you have an easier time drifting off to sleep.
Add New Question
- Question How do you wash a new tattoo? Grant Lubbock Tattoo Artist & Co-Owner, Red Baron Ink Grant Lubbock is a Tattoo Artist and Co-Owner of Red Baron Ink, a tattoo salon based in New York City. Grant has over 10 years of tattooing experience and he specializes in neo-traditional, black/grey, and color tattoos. Red Baron Ink’s main goal is for each tattoo coming out of their studio to be one of a kind custom pieces that will look good throughout a lifetime. Tattoo Artist & Co-Owner, Red Baron Ink Expert Answer First, follow your artist’s instructions. Every tattoo artist has a different process so whatever they tell you trumps whatever instructions you find on the internet. As a rule of thumb, you should wash your tattoo with antibacterial soap twice a day. Lightly hydrate the tattoo with a tattoo ointment three times a day to keep it from drying out.
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- If you’re traveling or staying in a hotel after getting the tattoo, bring your own clean bedding instead of relying on the hotel’s cleanliness.
Can I leave my new tattoo on overnight?
KEEP THE ADHESIVE WRAP ON OVERNIGHT If your artist sent you home with adhesive wrap, you can leave that on the tattoo overnight and it should protect both the ink of your new tattoo and your bed sheets. Relieving extra worry about getting residue or ointment on your sheets makes for a better night’s sleep…and that is the ultimate goal!.
Is it OK to get a new tattoo 3 days old?
So, can you put lotion on a new tattoo? – Let me break the answer down for you: If you’re wondering if you can put lotion on a fresh tattoo , the answer is no. By fresh, I’m referring to the icky-and-gooey kind of fresh, which is what your tattoo is right after you leave the studio. If you’re referring to tattoo that’s at least 2-3 days old , and is now starting to heal and dry up, then the answer is a resounding yes ! At this point, your tattoo is still considered ‘new.
How to pick the right time and place for a tattoo?
When it comes to picking a time or place for your tattoo, think about what you do and how you choose to enjoy life. Plan your tattoo around your lifestyle and it will surely heal much faster. Now onto the big one – your skin type, tone, and complexion! #1 Your Skin Type, Tone, And Complexion.
Can you touch your new tattoo after getting it?
Don’t touch your tattoo to see if it is dry. Touch the skin about 3″ away from the new tattoo and see how that skin feels. If you are moisturizing the entire area of the body that got tattooed, you can just touch a non-broken section of skin and not introduce bacteria from your nasty ass hands.