When Can You Sleep On Your Tattoo?

When Can You Sleep On Your 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. 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. [1]
    • 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. 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. [2]
    • 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.

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  3. 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: [3]
    • 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. 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. [4]
    • You’ll also see the old skin scab and flake off, which can make the tattoo feel itchy.
  5. 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. [5]
    • Remember that your immune system is responding to the tattoo, so support it by eating nutritious foods as well.
  6. 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. [6]
    • 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.
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  1. 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. [7]
    • If you prefer, don’t wear pajamas if they cover your tattoo.
  2. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. [8]
    • Consider cutting back on caffeine during the day so you have an easier time drifting off to sleep.
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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.

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Can I lay on my tattoo when I sleep?

Can you sleep on a new tattoo? – In an ideal world, you would be able to sleep and not have to worry about the tattoo. Actually, tattoos are effectively open wounds. This means that you need to take some precautions. Going days without sleep isn’t an option.

People have different techniques. If you can, you should try to avoid sleeping directly on the tattoo. For instance, if you have a tattoo on your back, try to sleep on your front and let the tattoo breathe.

A lot of tattoo artists recommend sleeping with the wrap that was put on. Others recommend re-wrapping, or just applying healing ointment and keeping the tattoo clean. The important thing is avoiding infection.

What happens if you sleep on a new tattoo?

Sleeping Is Your New Tattoos Worst Nightmare! Tips ON Sleeping With A New Tattoo

Don’t sleep on your tattoo – This is the difficult part – especially if you always sleep in the same position and have a very awkwardly-placed tattoo. What you will ideally want to do is keep your tattoo free from touching anything as much as possible, and definitely don’t be lying on top of your tattoo so that it’s pushing against your mattress.

  • This could not only cause the tattoo to stick to the sheets while you’re sleeping, but it could also starve the area of oxygen, which can delay healing times;
  • Your wound needs good, fresh air in order to breathe and regenerate effectively;

Finally, if your tattoo is pressed firmly into your mattress all night, it’s likely to get hot and sweaty , and this warm, humid environment is a perfect breeding ground for germs and bacteria – therefore try to keep your tattoo as open and free as you possibly can. When Can You Sleep On Your Tattoo Try to sleep in a position where your tattoo will not likely get stuck to any bedding.

Can I lay on my tattoo after 24 hours?

This info should guide you through the care of healing your tattoo, but if you have any other questions while it is healing, do not hesitate to contact your artist directly or call the shop for immediate reply. There are no stupid questions about healing.

– After your tattoo is completed, your artist will bandage your tattoo for your trip home. Leave the bandage on for one to three hours. When you take the bandage off, wash it with very warm water (as hot as is comfortable) and mild liquid hand soap (like Dr.

Bronner’s, Dial or Softsoap, just no perfumed or exfoliating body washes). Pat it dry gently with a paper towel, and let it air dry the rest of the way (never scrub the tattoo with a towel or sponge). Then you will apply a very small amount of Aquaphor Ointment or plain, unscented skin lotion (we recommend Aveeno, Lubriderm, Curel, or any of their generics) to the tattoo, just enough to lightly moisturize.

  • Your first night sleeping, your artist might recommend you re-wrap the tattoo with plastic wrap (like Saran Wrap) to sleep without the tattoo sticking to your sheets. This is generally for larger or solid-color tattoos. If your artist did not recommend re-wrapping, just let the tattoo stay exposed to air overnight.
  • Every day from then on, you will wash the tattoo in the morning and at night, and apply lotion 3 times a day or so, or whenever the tattoo feels dry or tight.
  • Always wash your hands before touching the tattoo.
  • DO NOT apply Vaseline, Neosporin, Bacitracin or any other medicated or perfumed product to your tattoo.
  • After a few days, the tattoo will form a thin scab over it, and in about a week the scab will begin to flake off in the shower. DO NOT pick or scratch at the scab, just keep it clean and moist and the scabs will all fall off by themselves in about two weeks. Picking any of the scabs off will cause faded color and damage to the skin.

During healing do NOT:

  • Wrap the tattoo after the first night (wearing breathable clothes over it is fine as long as they are not causing friction. (Keeping tattoos wrapped in plastic or bandages will stop air from getting to the tattoo, slow healing, and make gross stuff grow in there. )
  • Submerge the tattoo in water. This means baths, pools and oceans. Regular showering is fine.
  • Expose it to strong sunlight (Like outdoor activities or beach days. Walking to your car is fine)
  • Shave over the tattoo (ouch!)

When all the scabs fall off and the skin feels smooth again to the touch, it is all healed and you can shave over it again, and swim and everything else. Sometimes after the scab falls off there is a secondary shiny, raised or waxy coat over the tattoo. This is just another healing layer of skin. Continue to moisturize it and it will smooth out by itself over time. If you have any questions about your tattoo while its healing you are always welcome to come by the shop and have us check it out, or email the artist who did the tattoo with “AFTERCARE” in the subject line for an immediate response.

  • Do not slather a big, thick coat of product over it; just enough for it to stay moist and flexible;
  • If you are using Aquaphor, you can switch to a plain lotion after the first few days;
  • Lotion is generally fine for everyone, your artist will recommend if you would benefit from ointment;

If something doesn’t look perfect After your tattoo is finished healing, we’ll do our best to make it right. Sometimes with excessive scabbing, or other unpredictable reactions during healing, your skin can reject some ink, leaving a “light spot” that is closer to your skin color in the tattoo (or a line might get thinner or lighter in one spot).

  1. This is common as its unlikely your body will accept every spot of pigment uniformly, so just contact your artist via email after your tattoo is finished healing with a photo to see if a small touch up is in order;

Unless you were negligent during the care of your tattoo, touch-ups are very minor and quick, and guaranteed by our artists if you contact them about it within 3 months of getting the tattoo. Because older tattoos that have settled in fully and aged require more work to make uniform, we suggest coming in as soon as possible when it’s healed, as touch ups are performed for a fee at the artist’s discretion after 3 months.

How can I protect my new tattoo while sleeping?

Should I cover my new tattoo at night?

Like any art, we tend to have divergent opinions when it comes to tattoo aftercare methods. One of the most discussed subjects is whether tattoo wrapping is necessary before bed. Yes, you should wrap your tattoo before bed, but only if recommended by your tattoo artist, as they know best for your own personal situation.

Can I wear clothes over my new tattoo?

So, What Kind Of Clothes Should I Wear Over a New Tattoo? – After getting a tattoo, and during the healing process, which can last between 2 weeks and a month in its initial and most important stage, you should be wearing loose-fitting clothes. That is of course if the tattoo is placed on your body apart from the neck, head, and feet.

For those areas, you need to pay special attention, especially in the case of feet tattoo (the issues of wearing socks and shoes). Loose clothes will cover the tattoo so much so that it stays protected. There is a lower chance the fabric will stick to the tattoo and introduce contaminants as well.

There will be minimal or rubbing of the fabrics against the tattoo, which will significantly minimize healing issues or the chance of an infection. Note: After getting a new tattoo, it will be wrapped and well protected. You can wear loose clothes over the wrap and not really worry about it.

How do you know your tattoo is healed?

– It’s important to know the signs that your tattoo isn’t healing properly or has become infected. Symptoms of improper healing include:

  • Fever or chills. A fever may indicate that your tattoo has become infected, and you should see a doctor right away.
  • Prolonged redness. All tattoos will be somewhat red for a few days after the procedure, but if the redness doesn’t subside , it’s a sign that your tattoo isn’t healing well.
  • Oozing fluid. If fluid or pus is still coming out from your tattoo after 2 or 3 days, it may be infected. See a doctor.
  • Swollen, puffy skin. It’s normal for the tattoo to be raised for a few days, but the surrounding skin shouldn’t be puffy. This may indicate that you’re allergic to the ink.
  • Severe itching or hives. Itchy tattoos can also be a sign that your body is allergic to the ink. The allergic reaction to a tattoo can happen right after, or as much as several years after getting the tattoo.
  • Scarring. Your tattoo will scab over because it’s a wound, but a properly healed tattoo shouldn’t scar. Signs of scarring include raised, puffy skin, redness that doesn’t fade, distorted colors within the tattoo, or pitted skin.

How long should I keep my tattoo covered?

You’ll need to keep your tattoo wrapped in cling film from one to three days. Depending on the size of your artwork this may be longer and your artist will let you know but a general rule of thumb is: Small line-work pieces – keep the cling film on for one to two days.

Which part of tattooing hurts the most?

Can I sleep with a shirt on with a new tattoo?

If you had a big piece on your arm done, some people recommend sleeping in a long sleeve shirt so your bed wouldn’t be too affected by the fluids coming out of your wound. That works too, as long as the shirt is made out of breathable material, is wide and comfortable for you.

Should I put Aquaphor on my tattoo before bed?

When Should You Use Aquaphor Ointment? –

  • Once the tattoo healing has reached the final stage

We do not recommend anyone to apply petroleum-based products like Aquaphor or Vaseline onto a fresh tattoo. A new tattoo is basically an open wound. In order for it to start healing, you need to let it dry naturally. However, if you apply Aquaphor, you could prevent this process, which would keep the tattoo moist all the time, not being able to even start healing.

  • During showering

Petroleum-based products can be super useful in case you have to shower with a new tattoo. Because you want to protect the tattoo from water and moisture, you can apply a thin layer of Aquaphor ointment during the shower. After you’re done showering, clean the tattoo, wash it and tap it dry using a paper towel or a clean, soft cotton towel.

  • After the tattoo has healed

Many think that the tattoo aftercare stops once the tattoo is completely healed. However, that is not true. To keep your tattoo vibrant and prevent it from fading or reacting to weather and temperature changes, you still need to keep it hydrated and moisturized. The best way to do so is to continue using Aquaphor even after the tattoo is done healing.

  1. As a result, a fresh tattoo can become a perfect breeding ground for pathogens, which could lead to serious inflammation and infection;
  2. Instead, utilize Aquaphor once the tattoo has closed completely, to keep it hydrated and smooth;

Some tend to use this ointment for years to keep the tattoo looking brand new.

Can I drink 2 days after getting a tattoo?

Drinking before or after – That drink beforehand is not smart. Bruno Vincent/Getty Images If you’re thinking about downing some liquid courage before taking the plunge, think again. Drinking before and after getting a tattoo is a no-no. Alcohol thins your blood, which means excess bleeding. When you bleed more than normal, it can cause visibility issues for the artist, potentially compromising the quality of the design.

  1. Excess bleeding can also thin the ink;
  2. Of course, there’s also the fact that alcohol impairs judgment, and you don’t want to make permanent decisions while impaired;
  3. And it’s not cute if you have to stop and puke in the middle of a four-hour tattoo session;

Furthermore, drinking after the fact can compromise the healing of the tattoo because of its effects on your blood, so take it easy for a bit.

Why does getting a tattoo make me sleepy?

Your Skin Will Totally Heal – After a few weeks, that ink will be safe and secure in your dermis, it will be done peeling, and you’ll be left with a gorgeous and smooth tattoo! Want more fashion and beauty tips? Check out the video below and subscribe to Bustle on YouTube! Images: Drew Hays , Annie Spratt , Misty Pittman , Med Badr Chemmaoui, Annie Spratt /Unsplash; Pattaya Unlimited , mytat_2s , Shannon Archuleta /Flickr.

How long should I keep tattoo covered?

You’ll need to keep your tattoo wrapped in cling film from one to three days. Depending on the size of your artwork this may be longer and your artist will let you know but a general rule of thumb is: Small line-work pieces – keep the cling film on for one to two days.

Should I put Aquaphor on my tattoo before bed?

When Should You Use Aquaphor Ointment? –

  • Once the tattoo healing has reached the final stage

We do not recommend anyone to apply petroleum-based products like Aquaphor or Vaseline onto a fresh tattoo. A new tattoo is basically an open wound. In order for it to start healing, you need to let it dry naturally. However, if you apply Aquaphor, you could prevent this process, which would keep the tattoo moist all the time, not being able to even start healing.

  • During showering

Petroleum-based products can be super useful in case you have to shower with a new tattoo. Because you want to protect the tattoo from water and moisture, you can apply a thin layer of Aquaphor ointment during the shower. After you’re done showering, clean the tattoo, wash it and tap it dry using a paper towel or a clean, soft cotton towel.

  • After the tattoo has healed

Many think that the tattoo aftercare stops once the tattoo is completely healed. However, that is not true. To keep your tattoo vibrant and prevent it from fading or reacting to weather and temperature changes, you still need to keep it hydrated and moisturized. The best way to do so is to continue using Aquaphor even after the tattoo is done healing.

  • As a result, a fresh tattoo can become a perfect breeding ground for pathogens, which could lead to serious inflammation and infection;
  • Instead, utilize Aquaphor once the tattoo has closed completely, to keep it hydrated and smooth;

Some tend to use this ointment for years to keep the tattoo looking brand new.

Why does getting a tattoo make me sleepy?

Your Skin Will Totally Heal – After a few weeks, that ink will be safe and secure in your dermis, it will be done peeling, and you’ll be left with a gorgeous and smooth tattoo! Want more fashion and beauty tips? Check out the video below and subscribe to Bustle on YouTube! Images: Drew Hays , Annie Spratt , Misty Pittman , Med Badr Chemmaoui, Annie Spratt /Unsplash; Pattaya Unlimited , mytat_2s , Shannon Archuleta /Flickr.