Inside: How to Sleep with a New Tattoo.

So, You got a new tattoo…amazing! You’ve made it through the less fun parts, ya know the PAINFUL parts. Unless you’re crazy and enjoy that part of the tattooing process like I do. If that’s the case, the not-so-fun part may be where you’re at now…the healing process!

Now that you’re home with your new tattoo, the aftercare can begin. The healing process for a tattoo consists of 4 main steps: Oozing, Itching, Peeling and then continued aftercare. Though this doesn’t necessarily scream a good time, we all know that the end result of having some new ink is totally worth it.

Though there is one thing that I seem to always overlook when planning my tattoo aftercare, and that is how to sleep with your new tattoo!

I have plenty of tattoos scattered around my body from my back to my ribs, to my arms and legs…so I have tons of experience and tips to share with you on how the heck to sleep with your new tattoo in a way that is both safe and comfortable.

This advice will differ depending on size, placement, and whether or not your tattoo artist set you up with a Saniderm bandage or if your tattoo is exposed.

Tips for sleeping with fresh tattoos

What is a Saniderm Bandage?

Saniderm is a medical-grade tattoo bandage that sort of resembles Saran Wrap. It’s both breathable and waterproof and is designed to help alleviate some of the more stressful aspects of the tattoo healing process, like keeping it from getting infected. After all, a tattoo, in reality, is an open wound on your body that is just trying to heal itself.

With this method, your ink stays protected and has the opportunity to keep itself moisturized while it works on healing. This is definitely a more efficient aftercare alternative than what has been available in the past. Still, some tattoo shops don’t offer it, so if you don’t have any don’t fret! The tried and true form of aftercare still works, you may have to worry about a few more things though.

If this is the case, just follow your aftercare instructions given to you by your tattoo artist and you’ll be fine!

9 Tips for How to Sleep with a Fresh Tattoo

As I said before, this part largely depends on the placement of your tattoo. Fresh ink doesn’t like friction, and you can probably tell because of the pain you feel when it is bumped or touched…ouch! This is totally normal but is definitely something you’re going to want to avoid if you value both good sleep and a healthy tattoo.

The most important thing to avoid is an infection, which can happen when bacteria get into a tattoo site. This is where the Saniderm Bandage really comes in clutch, but for the sake of those of you who don’t have it, I’ll explain some extra precautions you should take before hopping into bed!

Start with Clean Sheets

1. A fresh tattoo deserves a fresh set of sheets! Though it’s kind of gross to think about, your bed sheets actually hold quite a lot of bacteria that gets built up every time you sleep. Normally, this bacteria is harmless and shouldn’t be worried about if you changed regularly. But, having a new tattoo is a whole different ball game.

It’s an open wound, so it’s much more susceptible to that bacteria! So just make sure to change your sheets and maybe even give your comforter a good wash. It’ll save you lots of pain and trouble!

Shower before Bed

2. You don’t want to contaminate your clean sheets with a collection of the day’s bacteria. So take a quick rinse off before bed!

3. Keep your shower short. Also, remember to avoid getting the tattoo itself under direct water as it is quite painful and it can cause damage to the tattoo and skin.

Apply Ointment

4. Ointment essentially acts as a barrier between your tattoo and the harmful bacteria that can cause infection. So apply a hefty layer before you snooze to help add some protection.

5.  Just make sure that the ointment you are using is meant for tattoos only. Vaseline and other store bought ointments don’t let your ink breathe, which is very important.

Avoid Laying or Covering Tattoo

Tattoo healing tips

6. This can be one of the hardest and most uncomfortable parts about sleeping with a new tattoo, but it’s very important. Tattoos don’t like friction and heal best when not being smothered or contaminated with bacteria. So do not lay on it and try to not let your bedding touch it!

7. This can look different depending on where it’s placed. For example, If you have a tattoo on your arm keep it out of the covers, away and safe.

8. If you have a back tattoo, try sleeping on your stomach to allow it to breathe. Another great way to encourage healing is to elevate it if possible. This promotes blood flow and quicker healing times, which means you can go back to sleeping soundly, sooner!

9. Though it can actually take up to 6 months for your skin to truly heal, you only have to do this for the first week or two depending on the speed at which your tattoo is healing the first layer of protective skin. It’s not so bad!

Okay, there you have it! I hope this helps you and your new tattoo kick off your healing journey with ease. I know it may be a pain for a few days but it is very important for the health of your tattoo and skin. Still, the excitement of having it definitely makes all this work worth it, am I right?

How to sleep with a new tattoo

More Tattoo Ideas You’ll Love

  • Vintage Flower Tattoo Ideas for Old SoulsIncorporating flowers into any tattoo design can bring in color and imagery that can highlight important feelings and expression for the wearer. Using a vintage flair means toning down some of the color pallet and utilizing additional shadow techniques to create the perfect subtlety to add to any creation. Check out our list of vintage flower tattoo designs.
  • Meaningful Chrysanthemum Tattoo Ideas – If you want a tattoo that makes other people turn their heads and tell you how much they love your tattoo, consider getting a chrysanthemum! They are large, brilliant flowers with deep shades of orange, red, pink, purple, and blue. Plus, they look amazing in black and gray tattoo designs as well. All of these chrysanthemum tattoo designs are incredibly stunning and real show stoppers.
  • Palm Tattoo Ideas – If you have a serious addiction to tattoos, you might be ready to opt for a palm tattoo. Palm tattoos are awesome and will make you look even more badass than you already do. Plus, if you can tough through the pain of a palm tattoo, you can pretty much tough through anything! Don’t let that scare you away, though. Don’t make any decisions until you have seen all of these palm tattoo designs.