How to Sleep Soundly with a Fresh Tattoo

How to Sleep Soundly with a Fresh Tattoo

If you have just got a new tattoo, you probably want to show it off to the world. However, before you do that, it is essential to take good care of your new tattoo. Getting a tattoo is a major decision, and it requires you to take care of it appropriately. Proper care will ensure the longevity and the beauty of your tattoo. One of the things you should consider doing is sleeping correctly. Here are some tips on how to sleep soundly with a fresh tattoo.

Choose the Right Beddings

After getting a new tattoo, it is vital to sleep in clean and comfortable beddings. Avoid using your old sheets, as they may have microbes that can cause infections on your fresh tattoo. Additionally, consider using plain sheets to avoid the dye in decorative fabrics from staining or causing irritations to your tattoo. Choose soft sheets to avoid scratching or rubbing against the tattoo while sleeping.

Choose the Right Sleeping Position

Your sleeping position can affect the healing process of your tattoo. Sleeping on your stomach or back may not be the best position to sleep after getting a new tattoo since the tattooed area can rub against your sheet, causing irritation or smudging the ink. Sleeping on your side is the best position to sleep since you can avoid rubbing the tattooed area against something else. However, you may need to adjust the angle at which you sleep for a more comfortable experience, depending on the location of the tattoo.

Using Pillows

Consider using pillows for support in the areas surrounding the tattoo. For instance, if you have a tattoo on your bicep, you can place a pillow under your arm to avoid putting pressure on the tattoo while sleeping. A pillow under your knees can also help reduce body movements while sleeping, thus reducing the chances of your tattoo rubbing against your beddings.

Clean and Moisturize your Tattoo before Sleeping

Cleaning and moisturizing your new tattoo before sleeping can help to prevent infections and skin irritations. Clean the tattoo with lukewarm water and mild soap, and pat it dry with a clean towel to avoid friction against the fresh tattoo. Afterwards, apply ointment, lotion or cream as directed by your tattoo artist to keep the tattoo moisturized. Ensure that you apply the moisturizer lightly, not to block the pores, and create a conducive environment for bacteria to breed.

Consider Sleeping in Loose Clothing

Wearing tight clothing after getting a tattoo can cause irritation or even infection on the tattooed area. Consider wearing loose clothing, specifically those made from non-abrasive natural fibers such as cotton. Thus, will help to keep the tattooed area ventilated and dry, while also reducing the friction between the tattoo and the beddings. Additionally, loose clothing helps to protect the tattoo as you are sleep without causing pressure on the tag on your skin.

Avoid Drinking Alcohol Before Sleeping

Drinking alcohol before sleeping can cause dehydration, which is not conducive to the healing process of a fresh tattoo. Alcohol can also thin your blood, which can cause more bleeding on your tattoo. Thus, avoid alcohol before sleeping for the first few days after getting a new tattoo.

What Happens if You Sleep on a Fresh Tattoo?

If you sleep on your new tattoo, there is a high risk of your tattoo being smudged or even bleeding. When you sleep on a tattoo, you place constant friction on the tattooed area, leading to irritation, peeling, or infection. Additionally, the color can smear, causing scabs to form, thus interfering with the healing process.


A new tattoo is a beautiful work of art that requires proper care and attention. Sleep is an essential part of the healing process, and considering the right sleeping positions and beddings, can make a significant difference in your tattoo’s longevity and beauty. Additionally, staying away from alcohol and cleaning and moisturizing your tattoo before sleeping can promote quick and healthy tattoo healing. With the tips provided above, you can sleep soundly with a fresh tattoo, and wake up to a beautiful piece of art.

Common Questions and Answers

  • Q: How long after getting a tattoo can you sleep normally?
  • A: It takes two to three weeks for a tattoo to heal completely, so for the first few days, sleep while avoiding the tattooed area, sleep on clean linens, and wear loose clothing.
  • Q: Can I shower after getting a tattoo?
  • A: Yes, you can shower after getting a tattoo. However, do not soak your tattoo, and use lukewarm water and mild soap as harsh temperatures and soaps can cause irritation.
  • Q: How long after getting a tattoo can you swim?
  • A: Wait at least two weeks to swim, after getting a new tattoo. Swimming can cause bacterial infections, fade the colors, and cause irritation around the tattooed area.
  • Q: Can I moisturize my new tattoo?
  • A: Yes, moisturizing your fresh tattoo is important. Use mild lotions or creams to avoid contamination, and use them regularly for the first two to three weeks after getting the tattoo.


Gottschalk, Norbert. “Tattoos and skin diseases.” dermato-endocrinology, vol. 4, no. 1, 2012, pp. 82-92.

Hampton, David. “New tattoo care: Tips for getting one and keeping it looking fresh.” Harvard health blog, 8 Sept. 2018.

Ourian, Simon. “How to care for a new tattoo.” Patient advice. CBS news, 8 Mar. 2013.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *