When Can I Sleep On My Tattoo? A Quick Guide

Top view of tender tattooed lovers holding hands and relaxing on white bad

Table of Contents

You do not want to damage your tattoo but still want to go to your normal sleeping routine. But you must be wondering, when can I sleep on my tattoo?

You can sleep on your tattoo after four to seven days of tattooing. Normally, a tattoo takes up to 2 or 3 weeks to heal.

Once the peeling process begins, you can sleep on it since, at this moment, you will be less worried about the infections. This article will guide you on when to sleep on your tattoo and tips for sleeping on it.

Read on to discover!

When Can I Sleep On My Tattoo?

It can be confusing when to get to your normal sleeping routine. But if you followed the aftercare tattoo instruction well, you could begin sleeping on your tattoo around four to seven days after getting it. 

Generally, tattoos take about 2 to 3 weeks to heal. But it will depend on your skin’s healing time; if it heals quickly, well. So, it is important to take the necessary precautions when sleeping to prevent the skin.

8 Quick Tips for Sleeping With Tattoo

1. Do Not Sleep On Your Tattoo

Young couple in bed

It can be challenging if you love sleeping in one position and your tattoo is awkwardly placed. But it is good to keep your tattoo safe by ensuring that you don’t push your tattoo against the mattress.

Your tattoo needs enough oxygen for healing, and if you starve it with sheets when sleeping, it can prolong your healing times. Remember, a wound heals faster when it breathes fresh air to regenerate effectively.

Besides, if you firmly press your tattoo on the mattress throughout the night, it will likely get sweaty and hot, creating a warm and humid environment. The humid environment is an ideal breeding ground for bacteria and germs. So, try keeping the tattoo as free and open as possible.

2. Do Not Smoke or Drink

A stylish tattooed blonde female in t-shirt and jeans

Alcohol affects the sleep quality, and when drunk, you might knock the tattoo against several objects. It is crucial to avoid alcohol for some days for your body to heal.

Also, smoking narrows blood vessels and restricts the oxygen and nutrients to your tattoo hence infections and delayed healing. So, it is important to avoid smoking for a week before getting a tattoo and after a tattoo for the best outcome.

3. Use Clean Sheets that You Will Not Mind Ruining

First, your tattoo is an open wound that will take time to heal, so you must maintain it clean to prevent germs and bacteria that can cause infections.

You should always sleep on a clean sheet for the next two weeks until the tattoo heals sufficiently.  And you can only stop worrying about infections if you notice that the tattoo has completed a peeling stage.

Another thing, for the first few nights, your tattoo can leak a blend of plasma, ink, and blood. And once the leaks get to your sheets, they can stain; hence difficult to remove because of color pigments.

So, it is good to use sheets that you would not mind getting stains, provided they are clean and avoid your favorite set. 

4. Do Not Rip Off Stuck Sheets

Do not be surprised when you find sheets stuck to your tattoo since the tattoo is pressed against your bedsheets. The last thing you could do is pull off the sheets from the skin.  

The pulling process may pull out the ink from the interior side of your tattoo, leaving you with a patchy and blotchy color area hence delayed time for healing.

All you can do is take the sheets with you to the bathroom and gently let lukewarm water run on your bedsheets to fall off from the skin. You will have spared the healing time of your tattoo by doing so instead of pulling the sheets off your skin.

5. Get 8 Hours of Sleep

Body Art Convention — Stock Editorial Photograp

It does not matter whether you are a night owl; it is important to get enough sleep for the first few weeks for effective and quick healing.

Remember, at this moment, your body is going through a bulk repairing face, and if you sleep for only five to 6 hours each night, you will affect the healing time.

6. Clean and Moisturize Your Tattoo

You may roll around in your bed during the night and rub the tattoo against the bed sheets and mattress. The sheets may extract moisture that makes the tattoo crack or dry.

After waking up, the first thing you should do is clean the tattoo and apply an unscented moisturizer. I recommend you to use a moisturizing lotion for a tattoo to prevent itching and dryness, thus promoting healing.

7. Do Not Let Pets in Your Bedroom

Sleeping woman

Pets like cats, dogs, and even other animals love blood, and these pets have a strong sense of smell. Once they sense the smell, they will seek the blood from some distance. And if the pets sniff on a fresh tattoo, all they will do is think of how they can reach and lick it.

So, ensure that the pets do not jump to the bed when sleeping by locking them outside your bedroom. Remember, once the pets lick your wound, they can transfer a lot of gruesome germs to the tattoo.

8. Elevate the Tattoo

Handsome man using smartphone while woman sleeping in bad

Tattoos work fully on the lower extremities, and at times, the hands and wrists can swell because of gravity. Elevating the tattoo when sleeping is good to stay away from painful and uncomfortable swelling. 

You can put a pillow or even extra blankets underneath your tattoo area if necessary. Also, fixing the wound in a similar position prevents tossing and turning and lowers the risk of gluing the fabric.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I Lay On My Tattoo When I Sleep?

Nope. People have a unique technique when it comes to sleeping on a tattoo. For example, if your tattoo is on the back, sleep on the front so that the tattoo can breathe. But you should avoid laying on your tattoo.

Can You Sleep With a New Tattoo Uncovered?

Many artists recommend you to wrap your tattoo with plastic during the first night so that it does not stick to the bed sheets, especially for a solid color or larger tattoo. If the artist has not asked you to rewrap, it is good to let the tattoo stay free throughout the night.

Why Am I So Tired After a Tattoo?

According to the healthy news, the body encounters tattooing as a kind of trauma. Because of that incident, your body will respond with the classic ‘ flight or fight” adrenaline kick. At this moment, expect a headrush feeling that is intensive yet relaxing.

Do You Burn Calories During a Tattoo?

Yes, you burn calories during a tattoo since the metabolism will speed up due to the tension. Carb loading is the perfect way to ensure that you have plenty of energy for your upcoming tattoo appointment.

Do Black Tattoos Fade?

Yes, the black tattoo will fade with time, although grey and black tattoos are known to last long in vibrancy.

Wrap Up

It doesn’t matter where you decide to tattoo; the result is always amazing, although the healing process is uncomfortable. All you need is to be careful with your skin to avoid ruining it, and cleanness should be a priority throughout the healing process.

Above all, your body needs enough rest. And give your wound enough room to breathe as well. I hope this article helps.

All the best!

Shmulik Dorinbaum

Shmulik Dorinbaum

A musician, a father, a former cancer person, not a tattoo artist, but a tattooed person indeed.