Close this search box.

Falling Asleep During Tattoo: What You Need To Know

Fetting a tattoo can sometimes be long and tiring. Have you ever thought about falling asleep during a tattoo? It might sound strange, but it happens.

This might raise questions about safety and how it affects the tattoo process. Is it okay? 

In this post we will deep dive the truth about falling asleep when you are in tattoo session. Let’s find out more…

Table of Contents

Can you actually fall asleep while getting a tattoo?


Some folks have nodded off while getting inked. This might seem odd given the pain involved, but it’s true.

Everyone has different thresholds for discomfort. What feels like a sharp poke to one person could be just a mild annoyance to another.

Factors like where on your body you’re getting tattooed and how gentle or heavy-handed your artist is playing big roles in this. I’ve heard stories where someone drifted to sleep during a long session on their back—it was just that soothing for them!

It makes sense when you think about it—lying still for hours, combined with the buzzing noise and maybe even exhaustion from anxiety or restlessness beforehand—all these can tip someone into snoozing territory despite the needle work going on.

What happens if you fall asleep while getting a tattoo?

Falling asleep during a tattoo can lead to sudden movements. These movements might mess up the design your artist is inking on you.

Possible risks and consequences

Falling asleep during a tattoo might sound like a relief, especially if you’re nervous about the discomfort. But it can lead to some unexpected issues. Here’s what you need to know about the possible risks and consequences:

  1. Sudden Movements: Your body might jerk or move unexpectedly while you sleep. This can cause the tattoo needle to slip, resulting in mistakes that are hard to fix.
  2. Inaccurate Pain Response: If you’re asleep, your artist won’t be able to gauge your pain tolerance properly. They use your reactions to adjust their technique, ensuring the process is as comfortable as possible.
  3. Risk of Infection: Staying awake allows you to follow safe practices more closely, such as not touching the area being tattooed. Falling asleep could lead to accidental contact, increasing the risk of infection.
  4. Slower Healing Process: Proper aftercare starts immediately after you get a tattoo. If you’re sleeping through the instructions your artist provides, you might miss crucial steps needed for healthy healing.
  5. Compromised Quality: Artists often need you to shift positions or tighten muscles briefly for precision. Sleeping through these requests can affect the sharpness and detail of your tattoo design.
  6. Discomfort upon Waking: Waking up in the middle of a tattoo session can be jarring and painful, potentially causing more stress than staying awake throughout.

After considering these risks, it’s clear that finding ways to stay alert and comfortable is essential for a successful tattoo experience…

Why do some people fall asleep during tattoos?

Some people find the experience of getting a tattoo calming. The steady buzz of the machine, the focus on breathing, and staying still can relax them. For these folks, falling asleep during a tattoo becomes a way to cope with pain, it’s like their bodies choose sleep as an escape route from discomfort.

Think about how some babies fall asleep when they’re in a moving car. It’s similar for adults whom relaxing vibrations and consistent sounds lull into sleepiness.

In terms of service at tattoo parlors, artists are used to clients feeling so relaxed that they nod off. They know how to manage if you start to slumber, ensuring your relaxation doesn’t impact the art taking shape on your skin.

Tips for staying awake and comfortable during a tattoo

Communicate with your tattoo artist

Talk to your tattoo artist before you start. Tell them if you’re afraid of falling asleep. They understand and can help make the process easier for you. Share how long you can sit comfortably and any worries about pain or moving too much.

This helps them adjust their approach, ensuring a smooth session.

Choose a comfortable position

Finding the right position is key. You want to be comfortable but also give your tattoo artist easy access to where they’re working. Trust me, settling into a good spot makes a huge difference.

It reduces movement and can even ease some nerves. Think about how you might sit or lie down for a long movie—you’re aiming for that kind of comfort.

Avoid alcohol and medication

Drinking alcohol and taking some medicines before getting a tattoo can cause problems. Alcohol thins your blood, making you bleed more during the tattoo process. This extra bleeding can mess up how well the ink stays in your skin, affecting the final look of your tattoo.

Meanwhile, certain medications like painkillers or sedatives might seem like a good idea to ease the pain or nerves, but they too can lead to excessive bleeding or affect how you react to the pain.

To stay safe and ensure your tattoo looks great, talk to your artist about any medicines you’re on. They might suggest skipping doses that won’t harm your health or avoiding them for a short time.

Take breaks if needed

Taking breaks during your tattoo session is okay. It helps, especially if you feel tired or in too much pain. Your tattoo artist understands this and can schedule these pauses. You a break to stretch my legs and get some fresh air.

Breaks also give your skin time to rest, reducing swelling and redness from the needle work. It made a big difference.

Alternatives to Sleeping During a Tattoo

Using numbing cream

numbing cream

Numbing cream can make getting a tattoo easier. It dulls the skin’s feeling, making the needle less sharp. But it’s important to pick the right one. Some creams work well and are legal everywhere, others might not be okay in some places or for certain skin types.

I tried a popular numbing cream before my last tattoo session. The pain was much less than usual, which was great! Yet, I learned you have to use it just as directed. Too much can cause problems and not enough won’t help at all.

Breathing exercises and meditation techniques

Breathing exercises can help you stay calm and awake during a tattoo session. Start by taking deep breaths in through your nose, then slowly let them out through your mouth. This simple technique keeps your mind focused, and your body relaxed.

Meditation techniques are also powerful. You can try focusing on a single point or repeating a calming word in your head. These methods distract from the discomfort and make time pass quicker.

Your tattoo artist might even join you in creating a peaceful environment with soft music or dim lights to enhance the experience.

Open communication with your tattoo artist

Talking with your tattoo artist is key. They need to know how you’re feeling during the process. This chat helps them adjust their technique or take breaks if you’re uncomfortable.

You can tell them upfront about any concerns or questions you have. It’s better they know everything before starting.


Is it safe to sleep while getting inked?

Generally, yes…but your artist might need you to stay still or adjust positions. So, sleeping could make that tricky.

Can you be sedated while getting a tattoo?

Yes, some people choose to be sedated while getting a tattoo to help manage pain and anxiety. However, it is important to discuss this option with your tattoo artist and a medical professional to ensure it is done safely.

Is it normal to fall asleep during a tattoo?

It is not normal to fall asleep during a tattoo, as it is a painful and intense experience that typically keeps people awake and alert. If someone falls asleep during a tattoo, it may be a sign of their high pain tolerance or extreme relaxation.


Falling asleep during a tattoo can happen. It could change how your tattoo turns out and may come with risks.

You could also try numbing cream or focus on your breathing instead of sleeping. Always keep talking with your tattoo person so they know how you feel.

Tattoos are a cool way to show off what’s important to you. Remembering these points makes getting one better for everyone involved. Think of it as a journey—stay aware, communicate well, and enjoy adding art to your story!

Author: Jessica

Jessica is a lover of both life and gardening. She loves to share his passion for both on social media. He often posts about his latest gardening projects, as well as tips and tricks for others who might be interested in starting their own gardens. She also frequently posts about the different aspects of his life that he enjoys, from spending time with friends and family to exploring new places.

Keep in mind that we may receive commissions when you click our links and make purchases. However, this does not impact our reviews and comparisons. We try our best to keep things fair and balanced, in order to help you make the best choice for you.

As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.