How to sleep with a new tattoo

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How to sleep with a new tattoo

We’ve all been there. You’ve sat all day for a new tattoo, and just when you think you can relax and start to feel less beaten up, it’s nighttime and you have to figure out how to sleep with your new piece.

It’s probably feeling super hot, maybe sore to touch, and the first night will probably suck just a little bit. We’re here to give you some tips and tricks to make sleeping with your new tattoo more comfortable.

The first night

The first night is always the hardest. It’s probably still leaking a fair amount of blood, plasma and excess ink, and it probably still hurts. If you have a healing layer like second skin or saniderm over your tattoo, the best option is to keep it on for the first night (or the first few if it stays put).

If your artist wrapped the tattoo in cling film, it may still stay on well for the first night. If the piece has leaked enough for the cling film to come loose, it might be a good idea to take that cling film off. Wash the tattoo gently in an antibacterial wash (our aftercare foam cleanser is ideal for this) and then with very clean hands, rewrap the tattoo in cling film. It’s a good idea to keep a roll of cling film specifically for this job, you don’t want to be using tattoo wrap for food or vice versa! 

You’ll want to keep the tattoo wrapped for at least the first night because it will take a while for it to settle down and stop leaking. You don’t want an open wound like that touching your bed sheets, getting blood everywhere, or dirt and dust getting into the wound itself. Also, make sure you have clean bed sheets to sleep on for your new tattoo!

The first week

As your tattoo dries out and begins to heal, you will no longer need to wrap it overnight. The problem now is making yourself comfortable while sleeping with a new tattoo. The main thing is to try to keep pressure off of the new tattoo, so if you are a side sleeper with a new arm tattoo, sleep on the opposite arm. If it’s a back tattoo, try to sleep on your front. Taking the pressure off will relieve the pain you can feel with a new piece, and it will also help you to avoid damaging it.

Sleeping with a peeling tattoo

Once your tattoo starts to scab over or peel, this is the most important stage of healing, and maybe the most difficult to sleep with. It’s really important to avoid knocking any scabs off, or rubbing the peeling tattoo too hard. Rubbing off the top layer before it’s ready to naturally fall off could result in the ink falling out, leaving you with a patchy tattoo. Not what you want to happen to a brand new piece! 

So to avoid this while sleeping, sleep in loose layers that will allow your tattoo to breathe whilst also being protected. Again, try not to put pressure on the new tattoo while you sleep; rolling over is hard to avoid, we know, but this will really help you to keep the healing process smooth.