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Now that you are the proud owner of a new tattoo, it’s important you give your body a chance to recover so your tattoo heals properly. We’ve discussed the importance of tattoo aftercare before but today we’re taking a closer look at how to sleep with a new tattoo.
Sleeping with a tattoo can be tricky, so we gathered some tips and tricks to help you settle down for a good snooze.
Let’s get started!
If you want to give your body what it needs to heal properly, you need to understand how to sleep with a new tattoo. Sleep has been shown to affect both the immune system and the body’s ability to heal wounds effectively.
Related: How Long Does A Tattoo Take to Heal?
A new tattoo is essentially a wound that needs time and attention in order to heal properly. Understanding how to clean a new tattoo will ensure the surface of your tattoo is clean and healthy as it heals, but understanding the importance of sleep will ensure your body is able to heal efficiently below the surface. Your body naturally restores itself during sleep by removing wastes, bacteria, and other pathogens. If you don’t give your body the sleep it needs while healing a wound, it may lower your immune system and prolong the healing process.
If you have trouble sleeping through the night, check out this guide on sleeping through the night.
Giving your body the time it needs to restore itself when sleeping with a new tattoo is important, but there are other things to consider as well, including how to lie in bed, how often to change your sheets, and sleeping with a tattoo while traveling.
Here’s how to sleep with a new tattoo:
Even if you aren’t usually the type who can pack in a solid eight hours, sleep is never more important than when your body is trying to heal, so make sleep a priority during that initial week.
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!
If your artist wrapped up the tattoo but instructed you to shower or wash it when you got home, then follow their cleaning instructions and rewrap the area for the night. You can take that temporary wrap off in the morning and proceed with your day, but it is a good habit to clean and rewrap the new tattoo for the first three nights.
If you don’t rewrap the tattoo for those first few nights, you may want to pull out a spare bed sheet that you are okay with getting ink on. Not only does that help to keep the tattoo clean, but it will protect from germs, sweat, and bacteria that may have accumulated on a sheet that is not freshly laundered.
Continue to rotate your sheets as often as possible to protect from pet hair, dust, and residue. If you choose to wrap the tattoo each night, this issue is even easier to remedy.
If at all possible, try not to lie on the freshly tattooed area. You don’t want to put unwanted pressure on your new piece so try to lie in a comfortable sleeping position that doesn’t apply pressure.
If you find that your tattoo has pressed up against the sheet during the night and it is stuck to the material in any way, don’t pull it off without wetting the fabric. Just carry the sheet with you to the faucet and lightly stream warm water over the area until it loosens. If you yank it off without carefully loosening the area, it may unnecessarily tug ink from the tattoo and cause your healing process to be less than ideal.
If you have pets, it’s best to keep them at bay during those initial nights after receiving your new tattoo. Not only are hair and germs your new tattoo’s worst enemy, but animals love to sniff and lick as well. If you can’t bear to sleep without your furry friends, be sure to keep your tattoo safe from their wandering noses, paws, and tongues.
If you are traveling or getting a tattoo at a convention where you will be staying in a hotel overnight, it’s smart to pack your own set of sheets or plan on using wrap at night to protect your tattoo. As clean as a bed might look, you never know what is lurking on the mattress or sheets beneath you and it’s better to be safe than sorry.
Keeping a pack of sterilized tattoo wipes nearby will ensure you’re always ready to clean your tattoo when needed. The WIPEOUTZ™ single-use cleansing tattoo towels are soaked in our antibacterial WASH formula and individually packaged for on-the-go tattoo care. These are particularly helpful when traveling, but we recommend keeping a pack at home as well just in case.
While the initial week of sleeping might be a little bit trickier than normal, remaining mindful of these important tips will not only help you to sneak in some necessary ZZZZZs but will also give your tattoo the best chance of healing beautifully and looking awesome for years to come.
Thank you for reading! We hope you found these tips on how to sleep with a new tattoo helpful. If you have any questions, please let us know in the comments section below.