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Is It Safe To Sleep With Headphones or Earbuds?

Listening to white noise or music is the best technique for falling asleep quickly & comfortably on the bed. AirPods have become a popular trend and the most preferred listening option that most people wear them at night while sleeping due to their compact size and snug fit.

While AirPods offer a convenient wearing and non-disruptive sleep experience for some people. Yet some are much concerned about the safety of wearing them while sleeping and their impact on sleep quality. 

If you are among those people who loved wearing AirPods while sleeping. Then we recommend you read our article for valuable sights into the safety concerns and the potential risks associated with wearing AirPods while sleeping. Thus, it helps you to take the correct decision of whether or not to use AirPods or earbuds for sleeping.

Dangers of Sleeping with AirPods

Here are some dangers that people might experience due to sleeping with headphones or AirPods.

1. Hearing Loss

The continual use of headphones or AirPods for a prolonged period leads to hearing loss due to loud noise or sounds. The generated sound waves from the AirPods will damage the delicate hair cells in the ear, which, in turn, are responsible for transducing sound, and result in permanent hearing loss.

2. Cancer and Radiation

These wireless devices like AirPods or headphones often stay close to the head for a longer time. This makes most people concerned about the risk of radiation emitted by them, and their exposure might boost the risk of getting cancer. However, the World Health Organization (WHO) has stated that the radiation of these wireless devices is not harmful to human health. But one has to be careful and used them wisely, whenever required. This will minimize radiation exposure and the risk associated with it. 

3. Otitis Externa & Ear Infection

Wearing AirPods or earbuds for extended periods will create a warm, moist environment in the ear canal. This trapped moisture becomes a breeding ground for the bacteria that develop the risk of getting Otitis Externa (or Swimmer’s Ear), an infection of the outer ear canal accompanying ear pain and other ear-related issues. 

4. Battery Malfunction

Prolonged exposure to the battery of any wireless device can potentially harm human skin. Usually, the AirPods use lithium-ion batteries and wearing them while sleeping will increase the risk of battery malfunction, including overheating or even catching fire in case of damage. So, it is quite essential to allow the skin to breathe by avoiding sleeping with AirPods or wearing them for extended periods.

5. Ear Wax Build-Up

Wearing AirPods in the ear for an extended period (that includes while sleeping) will accumulate wax and moisture in the ear canal. This build-up of earwax will cause discomfort and increases the risk of developing ear infections. If left untreated, then it ends up with hearing problems.  

6. Disturbed Sleep

While listening to your favorite music or podcast will calm your mind and initiate sleep. Yet the sounds or noise from the AirPods might disrupt and distract the sleep, particularly during deep sleep. This sleep disturbance reduces the quality and duration of your sleep, which affect the quality of your work day. 

7. Necrosis

Necrosis refers to the death of tissue in the body, and this can be seen more in people wearing AirPods for an extended period. Sleeping with AirPods will increase the pressure on the ear canal, which restricts the proper blood flow and results in tissue death.

8. AirPods Falling Out

AirPods or Earbuds are more prone to fall out of the ears, and this frequent fall-out is commonly experienced by people using them. This fall-out risk is quite more during sleep, which can be done unintentionally/unknowingly from the ears while in sleep, which leads to either losing or damaging them. 

9. Earache

Ear Pain is the primary symptom experienced by most people whenever they hurt their ears due to prolonged wearing of AirPods or headphones. This is due to the pressure built up in the ear canal that compresses the delicate ear tissues causing extreme pain and discomfort.

10. Unable to Hear External Sounds

AirPods have excellent noise-cancelling technology to block out external sounds. However, this feature works well while answering calls or listening to music but it can be dangerous in emergency situations. So, to respond and act quickly & promptly to any potential dangers, it is essential to hear external sounds.

11. Sweat and Water Damage

Mostly, AirPods are not water-resistant, and any exposure to water, moisture, or sweat might cause damage to them. As we already mentioned that wearing AirPods for a prolonged time or while sleeping will lead to the buildup of moisture, and sweat in the ear. Thus, it ends up damaging the AirPods or earbuds in the long run.

12. Physical Discomfort

Wearing AirPods for a prolonged time will create pressure on the ear canal and also add some weight to the ear, causing physical discomfort and earache. This impact the overall sleep pattern, resulting in the reduction of the quality and duration of sleep.  

13. Benefits of Sleeping with AirPods

Do you ever think why people sleep with AirPods? Are there any benefits of sleeping with AirPods? Yes, there are some benefits that make it habitual for most people to prefer wearing AirPods or earbuds when sleeping.

Here is the list of benefits of wearing or sleeping with AirPods. 

14. Relaxation

People wearing AirPods or earbuds feel a calm and relaxing atmosphere that makes them fall asleep quickly and stay asleep longer. The white noise or soft sound of the music will block out external distractions and calm the mind. This relaxing environment allows for a quick and easy drift off into a peaceful sleep. 

15. Reduce the Stress

The soothing sound from the music or white noise from AirPods will create a peaceful environment that reduces stress levels and improves overall well-being. This calmness promotes relaxation that ultimately results in getting sound sleep at night. 

16. Respite from External Disturbances

AirPods are designed to block out external disturbances or noises, allowing you not to get distracted by external sounds like snoring, barking dogs, or other outdoor sounds. Wearing AirPods that fit securely allows for a comfortable and undisturbed sleep experience. 

17. Long-Lasting Battery Life

Choosing AirPods with a longer battery life ensures uninterrupted use for hours without worrying to run out of power quickly. This is quite useful for people who want to listen to music or white noise while falling asleep.

18. Extra Comfort Without Wires

The wireless design of the AirPods provides the freedom to move around comfortably while sleeping or traveling. Since there are no awkward cords or tangled wires, wearing AirPods won’t disrupt and disturb sleep and allows for a comfortable and peaceful rest.

Tips to Sleep Safely with AirPods

Here are some tips that help you to wear AirPods safely and comfortably while sleeping or resting. 

  • Avoid Loud Music Listening to loud music while sleeping might cause permanent hearing damage. So, you should be mindful of the volume level and set it at a moderate audible level. Also, it is better to take it off while sleeping to avoid prolonged listening and prevent any further damage. 
  • Select the Perfect Size AirPods are available in different sizes in the market. You have to select the apt-size AirPods that offer a perfect and secure fit into the ear (without frequent fall-out). This ensures maximum comfort while sleeping and minimizes any disturbances that hurt your ears or disrupt your sleep. 
  • Keep AirPods Hygiene Being a personal device, the AirPods which we wear inside the ears should be kept clean and hygienic. For this, clean them regularly before wearing them using a microfiber cloth, dry them thoroughly after washing them, don’t share them with others, and store them in a case after usage to avoid the buildup of bacteria or dirt.
  • Memory Foam Pillow If you want to wear AirPods when sleeping, then try to use a memory foam pillow, which offers extra support and comfort without disturbing your good night’s sleep.
  • Use with Regular Breaks Sleeping with AirPods for a long time is quite harmful to your ears and health as well. So, it is essential to take regular breaks to provide some rest to your ears and prevent further damage.
  • Store AirPods in a Case Ensure to place AirPods in a case when you are going to sleep. This will not only prevent the AirPods from getting damaged or lost but also protects against bacteria and dirt.
  • Wear a Sleep Mask Wear a sleep mask to cover your ears (or) Use an ear clip to prevent the AirPods from falling out of its place while sleeping.


To conclude, wearing AirPods while sleeping is an excellent option to block out distracting noises and help to fall asleep a bit quickly. Yet it is essential to know the potential dangers associated with sleeping with them – on both the quality and duration of the sleep. We hope this article will help you to get a clear idea of potential dangers, and steps to minimize the risks. Even though, if you have any concerns about wearing and sleeping with AirPods on the health. Then we suggest you consult a doctor or a sleep specialist.

Sleeping with AirPods – FAQs

1. Is wearing AirPods damage the ears?

Ans: It might cause damage to the ears, especially the prolonged exposure to loud noises will damage hearing. So, it is essential to set the volume safely at an audible level to prevent any ear damage while sleeping with AirPods.

2. Is it good to sleep with AirPods?

Ans: Though there is no evidence proving that sleeping with AirPods will be inherently dangerous. Yet some potential risks (such as ear infection, and noise-induced hearing loss) are associated due to wearing AirPods while sleeping. So, wear them wisely and take them off when you get to sleep. 

3. Does sleeping with AirPods will affect sleep quality?

Ans: It is a commonly known fact that sleeping with AirPods will interfere with the natural sleep cycle and leads to sleep disturbances, especially in case of too high volume or too stimulating music.

4. Does sleeping with AirPods cause infection?

Ans: As we already mentioned, wearing AirPods will trap moisture and bacteria in the ears, which, in turn, leads to infections, whenever not cleaned properly. So, it is better to clean your AirPods and ears regularly to get rid of any of these ear infections or earaches. 

5. How to prevent discomfort when sleeping with AirPods?

Ans:Whenever you experience discomfort due to wearing AirPods while sleeping, then you need to remove the AirPods or earbuds and take a break till the ear breathes properly. If the discomfort persists, then it’s a must to consult a doctor. 

Feel free to share your queries or experience with us in the comments section below. 

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