Can you Sleep with AirPods in? (Surprising Answer)

Sleeping With Airpods In
Quick Answer

You can sleep with AirPods in if you want to improve your sleep with music and noise-canceling properties. However, cons of using AirPods while sleeping include possible ear and hearing damage, sleep disruption, and draining of battery life.

Read on to discover the different advantages and disadvantages of sleeping with AirPods in.

Can you sleep with AirPods in?

While sleeping with AirPods will likely not cause significant damage or issues, there are certain risks that you should be aware of. Investigate the pros and cons, and decide if the pros or cons hold more weight with you.

Pros of Sleeping with AirPods in

Some may be interested in wearing AirPods to bed for several reasons, including as a sleep aid or for its noise-canceling properties.

1. Relaxation or sleep aid

If you have a hard time falling or staying asleep, calm music or ASMR sounds may help. While white noise machines or external speakers can provide some background noise, AirPods are often preferred because the sound can be much closer to the ears.

2. Noise-canceling

If you live near a busy street or somewhere with loud night time noises, the noise-canceling features of AirPods Pro or AirPods Max may be incredibly beneficial. Sleep can easily be disturbed by loud noises, which AirPods may help fight against.

3. Durability

AirPods boast of a hard plastic external covering that protects against possible harm. They were designed to be drop-proof and waterproof, so being used while you sleep will not cause them damage.

Cons of Sleeping with AirPods in

While you may be tempted to sleep with AirPods in, consider the following risks before making a decision.

1. Earwax buildup

Our bodies take part in an ear-cleaning cycle throughout our day and night. Usually, earwax builds up in the ear canal during the day and then is released when we sleep at night. By wearing Airpods, that wax becomes trapped and cannot escape like it prefers to.

If you choose to sleep with AirPods in, make sure you clean your ears in the morning to minimize wax buildup.

2. Ear damage and infection

Too much AirPod use can also result in possible ear damage. Bacterial infections caused by wax buildup can create a condition known as otitis externa, which makes the ear canal become inflamed. According to American Family Physician, this condition can be treated by topical agents or medication prescribed by a doctor.

3. Disrupting sleep

Airpods, while often used to help people sleep, can also disrupt sleep. If the charge in one or both AirPods dies, you may wake up because of the abrupt loss of audio or music. Since AirPod charge will likely not last throughout the night, this should be expected.

4. Noise-canceling features

Similarly, noise-canceling features, while helpful for sleeping, could also pose a risk. If there were to be an emergency situation alerted by sounds such as alarms or weapons, you would want to be able to quickly hear and respond to any possible problems.

5. Battery Life

Because AirPods charge wirelessly, they will run out of charge faster if constantly used. According to Apple, your Airpods can handle around 5 hours of listening time (AirPods Pro come in at 4.5 hours of listening time).

6. Falling out of your ears

While not a dangerous situation in the least, your AirPods can possibly fall out of your ears when sleeping. This could cause sleep disruption, as your sound could be abruptly cut off, or you could even possibly swallow your loose AirPod (although this is extremely unlikely).

Losing your AirPods in your sleep would be more of an annoyance than anything else. If you need to get up and get ready for your day, rooting around for your AirPod among sheets and pillows might be an avoidable nuisance.

7. Volume issues and hearing loss

As with any inner-ear device, volume and hearing loss will always be an area of concern. Noise-induced hearing damage stems from an unhealthy combination of volume level and length of listening.

According to Cleveland Clinic, people should listen to their AirPods for only 90 minutes at a volume of 80%. If you are sleeping, this can be hard to monitor and adjust. Extensive listening at a high volume could contribute to hearing damage down the line.

Am I at an Increased Risk of Cancer if I Sleep With AirPods In?

Current research does not support the idea that AirPod usage will cause cancer. Fear of cancer should not be a reason that you choose not to use your AirPods at night.

Final Thoughts

The decision to sleep with AirPods lies with you! If you decide to sleep with Airpods in, make sure to minimize health risks such as hearing loss and earwax buildup by monitoring volume and length of listen and regularly cleaning your ears. 

If you want to listen to music or background noise while sleeping without the cons of using AirPods, you could always try a music headband or white noise machine.

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