Home » How to Sleep With a New Tattoo? 9 Tips And Methods

How to Sleep With a New Tattoo? 9 Tips And Methods

Have you just gotten a new tattoo inked on your body? Well, first of all, congratulations! Getting a tattoo is an excellent way to showcase one’s personality and traits to the broader world. It is also a perfect way for an individual to pay homage to something or someone meaningful to them. And since the stigma attached to the tattoo has lessened considerably, opting for a tattoo design is an excellent option that one can go for.

But while getting a new tattoo might be easy, it could all quickly go downhill if one does not follow the proper procedure for tattoo aftercare. It is a concern that many first-timers have about their tattoo, and they should.

An inadequate aftercare procedure could easily affect the tattoo design. Not only must you follow the proper aftercare, but you should also be careful how you sleep with your tattoo.

Sleeping with a new tattoo could be worrisome. But do not fret, as we have covered answers to questions like how to sleep with a new tattoo and tips that will undoubtedly help you out.

These tips and methods will surely make it a tad more comfortable for you to sleep with your tattoo – whilst also taking proper care of it, especially during the hot summer.

How to Sleep With a New Tattoo?

how to sleep with a new tattoo
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The first thing that you need to be aware of is that a tattoo is a wound. The tattoo would get swollen and would need to be covered in an adhesive or a bandage that takes care of the swelling and inflammation that is likely to happen. It is what primarily makes it uncomfortable for people to sleep with a new tattoo. But luckily, there are simple ways that one can guarantee peaceful sleep at night.

1. Keep the Tattoo Wrapped During the Night

Keep the Tattoo Wrapped During the Night
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The very first thought that would have come to your mind when thinking about that uncomfortable pain is simply unwrapping the tattoo bandage. It is something that one should avoid at all costs.

Yes, there are tattoo artists that would recommend one remove the wrapping after a couple of hours. But it is widely accepted in the tattoo community that one should keep the bandage wrapped throughout the night.

Adhesive or even simple bandage plays a considerable role in tattoo aftercare. What this does is that it assists the tattoo bandage in healing the wound quickly, especially if the wound is still fresh. Do not disturb the process at all costs.

You should also ask the tattoo artist for recommendations about tattoo wraps. This would be helpful when you must change the tattoo wrapping in the future.

When changing the tattoo wrapping, use an antibacterial soap to clean the tattoo and the surrounding area and apply the wrapping. Remember that the tattoo wrapping must be made of hypoallergenic material and should be breathable and waterproof.

2. Sleep on the Opposite Side

Sleep on the Opposite Side
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Keeping the tattoo wrapped throughout the night is the most crucial advice that you must follow. You need to carefully observe it, especially if you are someone who tosses and turns while sleeping. You need to sleep on the opposite side where you have had your tattoo inked.

In the case of an arm tattoo, sleep on the opposite side; it is as simple as that. For tattoos on your back, you should sleep on your stomach.

What this does is that it ensures that the tattoo wound does not get squished, which not only would damage the tattoo but could lead to infection and bleeding. It is something no one wants to experience. So, yes, it would be best if you followed this advice strictly.

Another thing you need to keep in mind here is that this is something you need to follow for not just a couple of days but at least for a week or so. Yes, this does sound quite a lot, but to get the best possible result for your tattoo, you need to be patient.

3. Use Tattoo Wipes

Use Tattoo Wipes
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Tattoo wipes are an essential part of the tattoo aftercare process, and they should. These tattoo wipes are made from hypoallergenic and antibacterial materials, which is especially helpful for cleaning the tattooed area.

These tattoo wipes will clean the site efficiently. But they also relieve the burning sensation that one might feel, which is pretty standard in tattoo designs. So, keep the tattoo wipes on your bed stand.

Tattoo artists worldwide advise that one should frequently clean the tattooed area with tattoo wipes. This is because an unclean space is a hotspot for bacteria, which this antibacterial tattoo wipes combat.

They are predominantly used after a couple of days of getting that tattooed ink. Tattoo wipes also do an excellent job of providing relief to the user.

There are many different types of tattoo wipes available on the market. If you are unsure which one to go for, connect with your tattoo artists. It is crucial that you choose an antibacterial and hypoallergenic one; otherwise, what’s the point.

4. Get Enough Sleep

Get Enough Sleep
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Yes, your sleep cycle might get disturbed because of the inconvenience of sleeping with a tattoo. But it is nevertheless essential that you do not make any compromises when it comes to getting enough rest every day.

A night of adequate sleep not only helps one stay alert during the day but also restores the tissues and the muscles, which naturally helps in the tattoo healing process. So, yes, one must get enough sleep during the night.

A common cause for one having some issues with sleeping is the stress of the tattoo. It is understandable, and luckily for you, there are several things you can do to help you fall asleep. Try meditating for a bit before your bed and focus on nicer and calming things; this should certainly help you out.

Alternatively, opting for a light exercise in the evening serves the same purpose. The options are endless.

When stressed, the body releases cortisol which contributes to a lower pain threshold and irritability, which further fuels the stress, making it difficult for one to sleep. So, try meditation techniques and relaxing exercises to get that essential sleep.

5. Clean Frequently

Clean Frequently
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Something your tattoo artist would have tried to hammer into your brain during the tattoo inking process is the cleaning process of the tattoo. It is done to ensure that the tattoo wound does not get infected and moisturize it. The latter is crucial as a dehydrated tattoo would look bad and take a long time to heal – something no one wants.

One must clean the tattoo not just carefully but also quite frequently.

You need to ensure that the tattoo wound is expertly cleaned and moisturized with the right moisturizer. There are special antimicrobial tattoo moisturizers that you can take advantage of. Opt for an unscented one as otherwise, it could cause you even more difficulty sleeping.

Another benefit of these special antimicrobial moisture creams is that they also act as painkillers. By using these moisturizing creams, you can forget about aspirin or other headache pills to help make your sleeping process easier. This might result in your tattoo being stuck to your pillow or bedsheet at night. Don’t panic and start violently separating the fabric; it would not be helpful. Simply use lukewarm water to wash the tattoo wound, and it will do a marvelous job.

6. Do Not Let Your Pets Near the Tattoo Design

Do Not Let Your Pets Near the Tattoo Design
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Now, this advice might be hard for pet owners and lovers to follow, but sacrifices have to be made. And in this case, it is making sure that your pet stays away from the tattoo. The reason for this is simple enough. For the proper aftercare, one needs to make sure that the surroundings are clean.

Having a dog coming into your bedroom regularly would not help with that. They could easily leave their hair on the bed sheet, which would only be counterproductive to the whole process.

Your tattoo is an open wound that could get infected even with the smallest of microbes and bacteria. We have already mentioned earlier how crucial it is that you regularly clean the tattoo area.

So, having a pet near you at all times is not helpful. Luckily you and your buddy would have to suffer this only for a couple of days, as once the tattoo is healed off, you can go back to spending time with your best friend.

If your pet has a habit of ignoring your instruction and getting onto the bed, simply turn over the bed during the nighttime. This way, you will ensure that your tattoo stays protected. It may seem too simple, but it certainly does the job.

7. Stay Away From Alcohol And Tobacco

Stay Away From Alcohol And Tobacco
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It is one piece of advice that simply cannot be emphasized enough. Suppose you plan on getting a tattoo or have already got one. In that case, you need to stay away from alcohol and tobacco until the healing process is complete. The reason?

Ingesting alcohol and tobacco would affect your sleep quality and make the healing process trickier.

As we have already discussed earlier, having an optimal amount of sleep at night is essential for the aftercare process. Drinking alcohol and smoking tobacco would only hinder the process – which is why you must avoid doing so. Additionally, being wasted during sleep could also harm the tattoo wound.

You could likely damage the tattoo with all your turning, which could easily squish it, with you being none the wiser about it. So, yes, alcohol and tobacco are simply a no-go.

If you require a concrete time frame, you should ask your tattoo artist about the same. However, it is widely accepted that a seven-day period is enough for the proper healing of the tattoo design. So, after seven days you can have all the fun you want.

8. Elevate the Tattoo

Elevate the Tattoo
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Giving your tattoo that extra little bit of height while sleeping can be significantly helpful. If your tattoo is located on your arm or leg, using a pillow or a blanket will only benefit you.

This is because fixating your wound in one position ensures that there is no turning and tossing that happens during the night. It minimizes the risk of the tattoo wound gluing itself into the fabric, making the matter worse for you.

By opting to elevate the tattoo during your sleep, you can sleep with a lot more peace in your mind. You simply do not have to worry about potential accidents happening while sleeping.

9. Be Extra Vigilant While Traveling

Be Extra Vigilant While Travelin
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This advice is pretty helpful for folks that are frequent travelers or, at the very least, are planning to travel with a new tattoo design. While there is nothing wrong with traveling after getting a new tattoo inked on your body, you need to stay extra vigilant while doing so.

The very first thing you need to do is to pack your own sheets for your stay. We all have heard stories about how clean the hotel beds actually are. As neat as they might look, one can never be sure what lurks beneath them. It is not a risk worth taking. So, yes, having your own bed sheet during the stay would prove advantageous.

Another thing you must do is to use wraps during the night, even after the tattoo has dried off. Follow these couple of tips during your stay, and you will have a comfortable and stress-free sleep.

These are simple yet effective tips that you can follow to get a comfortable and stress-free sleep after getting your new tattoo design. These tips can play a critical role when it comes to caring for a tattoo design, even when it does not look like it. So, follow the tips mentioned above to the letter, and you will be satisfied with the result during your tattoo healing period.

Preparing For a Comfortable Sleep

Preparing for a Comfortable Sleep
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Some tips will help you get that precious restful slumber after getting that newly inked tattoo. Follow these tips, and you will have an easier time falling asleep, which naturally helps in the tattoo healing process.

1. Get Some Extra Clean Sheets

It is advisable to purchase some new clean sheets for use during the first couple of weeks after getting that tattoo. Opt for silk or cotton bed sheets that naturally aid in getting that relaxing sleep to the user.

A breathable and cool material, like those mentioned earlier, is designed for comfort and to prevent sweating during the night, especially during the hot summer months.

Additionally, they would also prevent the tattoo from inflaming—a win-win situation. You should know that the first couple of nights after getting a tattoo will be messy, and you cannot do much about it. Blood, pus, and even some other fluids are pretty common. Opting for darker bed sheets to hide the stains for good would be a smart choice.

2. Keep the Room Cool

Keep the Room Cool
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To have a relaxing time after getting a new tattoo, keep the ambient temperature optimal. The ideal temperature is around 18 to 23 degrees Celsius (65 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit). A cool atmosphere is hugely beneficial, especially during the summer months when inflammation due to high temperature is quite common.

You can also use organic and breathable blankets if you want. However, make sure you stay away from synthetic blankets.

3. Minimize the Noise

This tip is pretty similar to the tips we have mentioned earlier here. It is common for one to get irritated pretty quickly when they are in pain, which you will experience after getting that tattoo. Regardless of how simple the task is, you would find it irritating. And what can make it even worse is unnecessary noise.

Noise is a well-known disruptor that can easily make one more irritable and angrier than usual. It can also make one feel tired, which is certainly not helpful for the tattoo healing process.

Our advice? Listen to some peaceful and relaxing music and block any noise that might disturb your peaceful sleep.

4. Wear Loose Clothing

Wear Loose Clothing
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Our final piece of advice is to wear loose clothing before going to sleep. There is a large pool of clothing options that you can choose from without any hassle. You will feel highly comfortable if you wear a loose outfit made of silk or cotton fabric. Stick to baggy shirts, shorts, and gowns. In some cases, you can even wear clothes made out of viscose.

The only thing you need to worry about is opting for clothing made with polyester or other synthetic materials.

Clothing made from polyester does a poor job concerning sweat, making your tattoo wet during sleeping hours. A wet tattoo is not a good sign, as it could destroy the hard work spent on it and make the tattoo wound more susceptible to the tattoo infection.

If you have an arm tattoo, you can also opt to wear a full-sleeved shirt when sleeping. This can help ensure that the fluid coming from your tattoo wound will not affect your bedsheet and pillow. Just make sure that the full-sleeved shirts are made with comfortable fabric, and you will be fine.


Getting a new tattoo is not a big deal but caring for it certainly is. It is common for one to stress about how one can sleep with a new tattoo. But do not worry too much; follow the tips mentioned here, and the first couple of weeks will simply breeze past, resulting in a healthy and vibrant tattoo. With proper aftercare, you will have a tattoo design that would be the envy of many!

About Author

Jonathan Corby "Jonny" is a guy who is passionate about Tattooing and successfully running a Tattoo Studio in NY. Through my journey as a Tattoo Artist I have made unforgettable memories. This irrational poetry and sense of freedom of art on skin has given a blissfull experience to my life. Each Tattoo has a story behind it; Lets share one!