Is It Bad To Sleep With AirPods In?

Whether you live in a noisy house, a lively neighborhood or simply need some form of stimulation to help you sleep, it can be tempting to slip in your AirPods to drift off to sleep.

What effects does this have on your ears, body and sleep quality though? Are we making a terrible mistake by sleeping with AirPods in? 

Is It Bad To Sleep With AirPods In?

In this article, we are going to take a closer look at the potential risks associated with wearing AirPods to bed, but it’s not all doom and gloom.

We are also going to dig into the actual benefits of wearing them and look at how we can avoid any negative effects. 

Let’s start with the risks associated with wearing AirPods to bed. 

Risks Of Sleeping With AirPods In

The following is not meant to scare you or put you off wearing earphones in general. However, we need the full picture if we’re to decide how best to go about it. 

Ear Wax Build-Up

This is a common side effect of wearing any earphones as your devices aren’t designed to clean your ears as you listen to music.

Generally, we see an increased production of ear wax in people who use earphones more frequently for long periods of time. The presence of AirPods makes your ears produce extra wax, which leaves you vulnerable to infections.

After all, bacteria grows and reproduces better in warm places, which makes your ears the perfect home. 

Headaches And Earaches

If you’re a side sleeper who uses earphones, you’ll probably know this already. AirPods can push into your ears as your head rests on the pillow, creating discomfort and potentially damaging your eardrum.

This extra discomfort can cause you disturbances in the night and reduce the quality of your sleep before you’ve even pressed play. 

Hearing Loss 

In 2015, the World Health Organization estimated that over 1 billion young people are at risk of hearing loss. As you can probably imagine, that estimate is coming true now.

Hearing loss from wearing AirPods can happen as quickly as overnight in some cases, so it’s definitely to be taken seriously.

AirPods don’t go over 85db as standard, but extended periods at this volume can be terrible for your hearing. There’s no more extended period than your 8 hours per night either, so it’s unfortunately the perfect chance for hearing loss to occur. 

Battery Malfunction

It must be said that this risk is highly unlikely to happen, but it’s worth being aware of. AirPods, just like all other chargeable batteries, have lithium-ion batteries in them. These are notorious for leaking and expanding, resulting in fires.

While you’re fast asleep, this would be a situation that you would need to react to immediately. Therefore, whilst it’s unlikely thanks to the quality of Apple’s AirPods, it is still a potential risk that shouldn’t be ignored. 

Benefits Of Sleeping With AirPods In

Is It Bad To Sleep With AirPods In?

While there may be some daunting risks of sleeping with AirPods in, there are some benefits that should be taken into account too. 

Reduced Distractions

We all need an undisturbed night’s sleep, which can be difficult for some people who live in noisy households or perhaps in a city center.

AirPods can be the perfect solution to background noise when you’re trying to get off to sleep as they can cancel out some of the noise and bring you some peace. 

Calming Effects 

Music simply makes you feel good regardless of how you listen to it. Listening to music before going to sleep can help you get into a relaxed state of mind. This leads to longer, better sleep without getting disturbed. 

No Wires 

If you sleep with AirPods or any other wireless earphones in, you’ll get the benefit of waking up without wires wrapped around you. Wired earphones pose their own threats to disturbing your sleep and tangling around your neck.

On the other hand, AirPods bring no danger of tying you up during the night. The only drawback is that, if they fall out while you’re asleep, you might struggle to find them.

How To Avoid The Risks 

If you need to listen to music or podcasts as you drop off to sleep, there are ways to get past the potential risks. 

Take Breaks 

This is general advice for earphone use as spending 8 hours with your AirPods clamped in will quickly bring the negative effects on.

Although breaks aren’t the most convenient when you’re trying to sleep the whole way through, they will protect your ears from hearing loss and ear wax build-up. 

Stay Below 60%

Keeping your volume low will avoid blasting your inner ears with high decibel music and preserve your hearing. It is generally recommended that you stay below 60% volume at all times and anything lower is a bonus. 

Clean Your AirPods Frequently 

In the name of avoiding ear infections, cleaning your AirPods is good practice regardless of if you sleep in them or not.

If you do intend to sleep with them in, this is extra important as it cleans away any excess wax that might have built up during previous nights. 

Choose The Right Size

The standard AirPods only come in one size, but the AirPod Pro comes with different tips that make room for ears of different sizes.

Using an earbud that fits your ears will massively reduce the chances of damaging your ears by leaning on them in the night. 

Use A Speaker Instead

Our final alternative is to simply use a speaker beside your bed instead. This avoids all of the ear infection risks and disruptions to your sleep whilst still allowing you to listen to your music. 

Final Thoughts

You can absolutely wear AirPods to sleep, but not without taking a few precautions and knowing the risks first.

If you can keep your AirPods hygienic, avoid using them for prolonged periods of time at high volumes and choose the right size, there’s no reason you can’t sleep with AirPods in.

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Easy Sleep Guide

We are a group of individuals who have a fascination, with the world of sleep and dreams. Our website and social media community were created with the purpose of educating and informing our audience about every aspect of sleep. We cover everything from tips to the advancements in sleep technology. Our team, consisting of real life experts works tirelessly to curate top quality content that offers an understanding of sleep related topics. We take pride in being your trusted source, for all things related to sleep providing insights and knowledge to help you achieve an revitalizing sleep experience.

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