How To Sleep With A New Tattoo: 8 Tips From Expert

You’ve got a new tattoo? Congratulations! Now, you can enjoy flaunting it while it helps you identify with your strengths and cause. However, if this is your first tattoo, you must be worried about how to act with it and how to provide proper aftercare once you come home. While there are a lot of guides on how to care for your tattoo, there’s little to no information about how to sleep with it without worrying.

Oftentimes the skin around the new tattoo is swollen and covered in a bandage or a comfortable adhesive wrap that takes care of the swelling and inflammation. That’s what can make it extremely uncomfortable for people who sleep on a certain side where the tattoo is.

But don’t worry, we prepared a guide with great tips that will help you sleep with your tattoo peacefully, and not worry about waking up in excruciating pain in the middle of the night.

Additionally, we prepared extra tips that will educate you on how to prepare your bedroom for sleeping with a tattoo, especially if you decide to get inked in the summer when it’s hot and it’s already hard to sleep during the hot summer weather.

A tattoo wound is not like other wounds. When getting tattooed, your tattoo artist will use a needle to inject the ink inside the outer layer of your skin. In simple words, it may not sound as painful to you, but as the painkilling gels and medicines start to wear off, you’ll see that it’s becoming increasingly difficult to deal with your tattoo.

According to a study, if we don’t take proper aftercare of our tattoo and clean it frequently, we’re risking a severe bacterial infection. Such infection could not only slow down the healing process of the new tattoo but also make all the hard work the tattoo artist invested go in vain.

While sleeping, we’re unable to care for our tattoos 100%. Still, we can prepare our environment, and make amendments to make our body feel more comfortable in sleep so that we can heal faster.

With that in mind, it’s important to be mindful of yourself and your tattoo and listen to your professional tattoo artist, especially if you’re prone to sleeping in unconventional positions like on your stomach, or often toss and turn a lot in the middle of the night.

How To Sleep With A New Tattoo?

We promise that these tips will help you get restful night’s rest without being disturbed by the pain or discomfort. If anything, you’ll wake up more refreshed and your tattoo wound will feel better on you.

1. Keep Your Tattoo Wrapped Through The Night

Some tattoo artists recommend that you can take off the film or adhesive wrapping after a few hours when you’re back home or after you take a shower. However, it’s better to keep the wrapping on through the night, so that the fresh wound can begin to heal itself.

It’d be good to ask your tattoo artist where to buy more wraps so that you can change them if necessary. One of the best ways to change the wrapping is to clean your tattoo with antibacterial soap and then apply a new wrapping that will sit through the night allowing your wound to breathe and heal gradually.

Also Read: Tattoo Wrapping: Can I Wrap The Tattoo In Cling Film, and For How Long?

Editor’s notes:

Your adhesive wrapping should be breathable, waterproof, and made out of hypoallergenic materials. You don’t want to catch an allergic reaction that you didn’t know about over your freshly inked tattoo.

Stack up on tattoo aftercare bandages and wraps that will help you change the wrapping the next morning if necessary. We think that Saniderm is the best option on the market.

2. Sleep On The Opposite Side Of The Tattoo

This one seems obvious. But many people who toss and turn may not take this advice seriously and may still sleep on the side where they were inked.

It’d be the best to sleep on the side. The opposite side of where you tattooed yourself. If you have a back tattoo, however, or you tattooed the rear side of your arm or leg, it’d be best to sleep on your stomach or side.

As most people ink the front part of their body, they should sleep on their back, so that they wouldn’t squish their wound, and potentially lead to bleeding or infection.

Editor’s notes:

Many people think that spending one night restricted on where you sleep is enough. Still, tattoo aftercare and healing take more time than just one night. It’d be the best to refrain from sleeping on the tattooed side for at least 7 nights. If you find that to be impossible, at least be patient until the tattoo starts drying out and you don’t have to wear wrap anymore.

3. Use Tattoo Wipes

Tattoo wipes are an important asset to tattoo healing and aftercare, so it’s important to always keep them close. They’re valuable to keep in your bed or the nightstand, especially if a few nights have passed and you took your bandage and wraps off.

They use antibacterial and hypoallergenic materials that will help clean the puss or some other fluid coming out of your tattoo if it gets irritated. More importantly, they will provide sufficient pain relief if you wake up with a burning sensation.

During the day, you should frequently clean your tattoo with wipes. If you wake up in the middle of the night feeling pain and like your wound is burning, you’ll be able to provide yourself with the ultimate relief.

Editor’s notes:

We recommend either the Clorox disinfecting wipes or some other option that is focused on cleaning tattoos like Wipe Outz, although they are pricier.

4. Get Enough Sleep

One of the most important things to consider is getting enough sleep. The adequate sleeping amount helps us stay alert during the day, but it also restores our muscles and tissues thanks to the deep and restorative sleep during the night.

More importantly, when we’re tired and stressed, more cortisol is released in our body which contributes to irritability and lower pain tolerance. When you’re rested enough, mundane tasks won’t stress you out, and pain during the day will be less challenging.

We know that it’s hard to fall asleep and stay calm during the night just enough to ignore the pain that becomes more prominent when we’re focusing on it. With the help of other tips highlighted in this article, you should have an easier time falling asleep.

Editor’s notes:

Try meditating before sleep so that you can focus your thought on nicer and more calming things.

Read other tips on how to sleep with a new tattoo, and how to prepare your bedroom for sleep.

Make sleep your priority, don’t go out too much, and task yourself with exhausting work. Dedicate the first 7 days of healing to yourself.

5. Don’t Let Your Pets In

We love pets, and we’re sure that you do too. After all, pets’ paws and portraits are the inexhaustible source of inspiration for new tattoos. However, your new tattoo may not be a fan of your pets, especially if they leave the hair on the sheets whenever they come in.

We highlighted earlier how important it is to keep your bedroom clean, and how your tattoo needs to be cleaned and covered with antibacterial and hypoallergenic materials. Your wound is open in a way and we need to prevent the entrance of microbes and bacteria into your system, which can happen through dog or cat hair.

Unfortunately, your furry friends will need to be patient for a few days, but it’s only temporary.

Editor’s notes:

If your pet is stubborn and continues jumping on your bed throughout the day, toss and turn your bedding and rotate it daily so that the persistent hair gets off it.

6. Avoid Alcohol And Tobacco

Sometimes alcohol is the best way to soothe pain, but it doesn’t work with your tattoo. Instead, it can be counterproductive. Alcohol can lead to us feeling more tired in the morning. Also, people who take booze may be less tolerant of pain and could end up tossing and turning in the night and not be able to focus on actual sleeping.

A report has shown that drinking alcohol can affect your sleep quality and not let you get an adequate amount of sleep. That’s why you should avoid drinking in the evening, especially after you’ve gotten a new and painful tattoo.

Waking up wasted and hungover the next morning is hard enough without wounds on your body. Imagine how it’d feel with a fresh tattoo wound made the day before. Wait, ideally 7 days before you start drinking and celebrating.

Also, it’d be good if you could avoid smoking too much as that could also hinder your pain tolerance.

7. Clean Frequently

In the early days of the tattoo healing process, we can’t stress enough how important it is to clean your tattoo frequently, but also moisturize it with nutrients that your skin needs to heal faster. After you take your wraps off, there’s a chance that your bed and mattress could make your tattoo dry.

Always clean your tattoo and moisturize it with special and antimicrobial moisturizers with hypoallergenic materials. It’d be also good if the moisturizer is unscented so it wouldn’t bother you at the night.

Editor’s notes:

It’d be also good to apply a painkiller cream without aspirin that will spread across your tattoo and minimize the pain you experience. This is probably something that will also make the sleeping process much easier.

If your tattoo dries out and glues onto the bed sheet or pillowcase, don’t pull it out violently or cut the sheet off. Go to the bathroom and wash your tattoo with lukewarm water to make the fabric separate from your tattoo wound. This applies only to healing people who start sleeping without the bandage.

8. Elevate Your Tattoo

If your tattoo is located at your leg or arm, it’d be a good idea to place a pillow or an extra blanket as a lean for your arm or leg. Fixating your wound in one position will also prevent turning and tossing, while also minimalizing the risk of your wound gluing yourself to the fabric. This way you can sleep with more peace in your mind, and not worry about potential accidents.

Read More:

How To Prepare Your Bedroom For Sleep With A New Tattoo

Tips that will help you get some restful slumber after getting inked are great, but if we prepare our environment for the following tough nights, we can even have an easier time falling asleep and waking up more refreshed. Let’s prepare your bedroom for sleep.

Get Clean Sheets

Changing the sheets and pillowcases while ensuring it’s made out of silk or cotton will make so many things easier. A breathable, cool, and comfortable material will prevent sweating over the night, especially if it’s summer and it will also prevent your tattoo from getting inflamed.

Editor’s notes:

The first few nights with your new tattoo will be messy. There could be a little blood, or even puss or some other fluid so go with old bedding that you won’t feel so bad about messing up.

Preferably, get darker sheets, possibly black. There’ll be a lot of ink and it could ruin your favorite bedding for good.

Keep Your Room Cool

Remember, one of the best ways to have a relaxing night’s rest after getting a tattoo done is to keep your ambient temperature in the room cool. This statement should be multiplied by 10 if it’s the summer months when you’re prone to sweating.

The ideal temperature for sleep is about 65 degrees Fahrenheit to 73 degrees, depending on which season it is outside.

Editor’s notes:

If it’s cold and you want to keep your room warm, always use covers that are made out of some organic and breathable material. Don’t use synthetic blankets as they could irritate your tattoo wound.

Minimize The Noise

In the end, when we’re in pain, we’re easily irritated, with even the most mundane daily problems triggering us. Noise is a well-known disruptor that could make you feel even angrier and more tired during the nights you’re caring for your swollen tattoo wound. Listen to some relaxing music before bed, and make sure to turn off most of the noisemakers in your ambient.

Editor’s notes:

Try using the white noise machine or listening to some pink noise tune on YouTube before going to bed to relax.

Wear Loose Clothing

Lastly, you need to prepare yourself for bed. You can’t sleep in just anything, especially the clothes made out of polyester or some other synthetic material that could make you sweat excessively and make your tattoo wet.

Wear loose outfit, a gown made out of silk, or cotton. Avoid synthetic materials or lace. In some cases, wearing clothes out of viscose could make you feel comfortable too, but avoid it if you’re prone to sweating. That said, stick to loose or baggy shirts or shorts, but a wide gown may probably work the best if you’re a woman.

Editor’s notes:

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.

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