Choosing a new tattoo takes time, especially when you consider the fact that this new piece of art will be on your body permanently. Once you’ve had it inked into your skin, you will need to take care of it, so it stays as gorgeous as when you first had it done. Of course, though beautiful, a tattoo can also be painful and difficult to deal with at night. Whether getting your first one or your twentieth, learning how to sleep with a new tattoo is a must.
You can be careful with your tattoo during the day but at night, you’re body rolls and moves as it wants while you’re asleep. It may seem impossible to protect your tattoo while you sleep but there are a few things you can do to make things easier.
Before You Go to Bed
You may be wondering if you can sleep on a new tattoo. The answer is yes, you can, though you do need to make some preparations beforehand.
Fresh sheets are a must when you’re trying to sleep with a new tattoo on your arm, back, leg, or anywhere else. Used sheets may have germs or bacteria on them, so clean ones are best. You can use any type you like, including wrinkle-free sheets or this Percale Cotton Bed Sheet Set, which is breathable and soft. Don’t forget to change your pillowcase as well since there is a chance that your tattoo could come in contact with it while you sleep.
It can take Trusted SourceHow Long Does a Tattoo Take to Heal? A Recovery Timeline After getting a new tattoo, the outer layer of skin will typically appear healed within 2 to 3 weeks. However, the healing process can take upward of 6 months. Here’s why. www.healthline.com for a tattoo to get to its peeling stage, so you should expect some fluids leaking in the beginning. That’s why it is a must to keep your new tattoo wrapped for at least a few nights. Your tattoo artist will likely wrap your tattoo after it’s finished but you may want to clean it before bed.
Use a mild soap and water, then dry the tattoo completely. Wipe Outz Tattoo Towels are a good option for this since they are sterilized and non-toxic. Then cover your tattoo using the right bandages, like the Saniderm Tattoo Aftercare Bandage Roll, which locks in moisture and reduces peeling for a brighter tattoo when the healing is complete.
How to Sleep with a Fresh Tattoo
Once your bed is made and your tattoo is wrapped, it’s time to try sleeping with it. Though this isn’t an easy task, there are some things you can do to make it easier.
Choose sleeping position
Most people have a Trusted SourceChoosing the Best Sleep Position | Johns Hopkins Medicine Could one sleep position be better than another? A Johns Hopkins expert explains when and why position matters. www.hopkinsmedicine.org , though it can be altered when needed for specific medical issues. Having a new tattoo is similar, so consider where your tattoo is and sleep in whatever way necessary to keep it from coming into contact with your sheets, mattress, and pillow.
Alcohol affects you in two ways. First, you won’t be as careful of your tattoo when tipsy, so you’ll be less concerned about it touching anything or proper aftercare.
It also affects the quality of sleep you’ll be getting. A less restful sleep lengthens your healing time, so stick with water.
If pets sense blood, they may think that you have a wound that needs to be licked clean. This is extremely dangerous and can cause an infection in your wounded tattoo area. Pets are also covered in germs and bacteria, so keep them out of the bedroom until you’re fully healed.
You also need to clean pet fur and try not to let it touch your freshly painted skin.
Tattoo wipes are sterilized single-use cloths that are designed to be used on these types of wounds. There are wet ones that wash the tattoo when needed and dry ones to use after cleaning the area.
Gravity can make the tattoo area swell, especially on the extremities, so it is a must to elevate these areas to reduce swelling and keep the pain to a minimum.
Your body does the majority of its healing while you sleep, so getting a good night’s rest is essential for fast tattoo recovery. A full eight hours is best, so if you’re having difficulty getting this amount, adjust your sleeping schedule as needed. You can also get a sleep tracker to monitor your sleep patterns. Going to bed before you’re exhausted is also a must, as is finding the most comfortable sleeping position possible.
Though the above information is likely enough to get you started, there are a few common questions that may come to mind.
What if a tattoo’s stuck to a sheet?
Regardless of how much tattoo aftercare you focus on before sleeping, it is still possible for the fluids leaking from your tattoo to leak onto the sheet. If it gets stuck, don’t pull it off as soon as you notice it. Instead, remove the sheet from the bed and take it with you to the bathroom. Run the tattoo area under warm water until the sheet loosens and falls away on its own. This prevents damage to the tattoo.
What about a shower?
Showering is actually good for a tattoo since it cleans the area and washes away any bacteria and germs. Use a mild soap with no fragrances or chemicals that could irritate the open wound. Then dry it gently and wrap the tattoo for the night.
How to sleep with a tattoo while traveling?
Trying to sleep with a fresh tattoo when traveling is tricky since you may not trust the bedding you’re sleeping on. The best thing to do is bring your own sheets or enough wrap to cover your tattoo each night that you’re away from home.
What about sleeping with a new tattoo on your leg?
Sleeping with a new tattoo on your leg can be tricky but positioning yourself in a way that keeps the pressure off the tattoo can help. You may also want to wear shorts or no pants at all to allow air to get to the tattoo to help it dry out and heal. You can also elevate it to prevent swelling.
How to sleep with a new sleeve tattoo?
Sleeping with a sleeve tattoo can be tricky since it may cover all areas of the arm, making it difficult to position your arm in a way that doesn’t have part of the tattoo on the sheet. You can try wearing a long-sleeve shirt made of breathable material to help soak up any fluids seeping from the arm. The sleeves should be loose rather than restrictive to increase your comfort.
There is almost an infinite number of design options to choose from when getting a new tattoo, regardless of how big or small of a piece you’re interested in. Of course, tattoos can be quite painful, which is why it can be so difficult to figure out how to sleep with a new tattoo. It isn’t an easy task, though it isn’t impossible if you follow a few simple suggestions.
Cleaning and caring for your tattoo is a must, including wrapping it before bed for protection. Changing your sheets and sleeping position also help, as does getting a full night’s sleep to promote fast healing so you can get back to normal.