Wearing AirPods while sleeping might sound silly, but is it dangerous? We’ve all heard how harmful it is to wear earbuds at night, so does this also apply to AirPods? Is it safe to sleep with AirPods?
Almost everyone knows that soothing music leads to a better night’s sleep. Could you sleep better with wireless AirPods? Are they safe for sleeping with AirPods at night?
Sleeping with AirPods is generally safe once in a while. But, for extended periods, it can cause severe hearing damage, especially when sleeping with loud music.
Additionally, wireless signals may also cause long-term damage. Then how exactly do AirPods affect our sleep? Do they have that much of an impact?
And can they help us sleep better? Is there an alternative? Let’s find out!
Sleeping with AirPods can be beneficial for many people. However, you cannot expect only benefits from these AirPods since they can have some risks without proper usage.
Sleeping with AirPods has several short- and long-term risks, including ear infections, wax build-up, soreness, hearing loss, sleep disturbances, and swallowing the earbuds - although it is implausible that sleeping with them will result in cancer.
Is it safe to sleep with Airpods In? What are they and how do they work?
Apple’s AirPods are a pair of wireless headphones that look like older in-ear headphones, except they don’t have ugly cables attached to them. A miniature-sized wireless chip, accelerometers, optical sensors, microphones, and batteries inside these tiny AirPods.
AirPods use Bluetooth to wirelessly connect to your iPhone or other Apple devices, giving you high-quality sound as well as the freedom to move about when you’re on a call with someone.
Since they can be charged and have Bluetooth capabilities, they generate electromagnetic fields (EMFs) and radiofrequency radiation (RFs).
So, as you can imagine, wearing these tiny AirPods near your head for extended periods can have detrimental effects. If you care about your health, sleeping with AirPods in your ear is not a good idea.
Are AirPods safe to wear while sleeping?
Honestly, this is a tricky question. There are plenty of people who do it without a problem. But it comes with pros and cons. It depends on how you use AirPods, your lifestyle, and how comfortable you are with them.
You’ll find that they have considerably more disadvantages than advantages. The majority of AirPod’s Dangers can be worked around quickly so you can enjoy sleeping with the AirPods on.
Is sleeping with AirPods dangerous?
Unfortunately, the disadvantages outweigh the benefits. Having our ears blocked for an extended time is not healthy for us. Sleeping with AirPods (or any in-ear headphones) has actual health risks.
Suppose you wear your earbuds for more than 60 minutes. In that case, you may experience hearing loss, wax build-up in your ears, physical discomfort, and feeling unrested in the morning. If you are misusing the AirPods, they could fall and get lost or cause an infection in the ears.
In more severe cases, you might miss essential sounds like your smoke alarm or carbon monoxide detector going off.
Sleeping with AirPods should be fine if you use them appropriately. As for misusing them, we cannot say the same, and such practices have many harmful consequences.
To avoid future problems, you need to be aware of all the issues involved. So to help you decide what is best for you, I’ve listed the ten most likely potential risks associated with sleeping in AirPods - along with their estimated likelihood of happening.
Infections Of The Ear / Wax Build-up In The Ears
It can be risky to use AirPods excessively and push them deeper into your ears than recommended. AirPods’ excessive use can result in excessive earwax build-up in the ear canals and the device. Your ears were designed to remove earwax on their own naturally. If AirPods are frequently used, the ear wax will be less likely to come out naturally.
An excessive build-up of earwax increases the risk of bacterial infections and can cause damage to your ears.
You may experience ear canal blockage if you sleep for longer than 7-9 hours a night with AirPods. Eventually, this can lead to other significant problems, such as infection, hearing loss, and pain.
Regularly cleaning your ears and removing excess wax can help prevent such problems. It is essential to be careful when cleaning your ears since they are essential for your body.
Deficiencies In Hearing
You might lose your hearing if you listen to music through headphones, AirPods, or anything so close to your ear. According to the CDC, low noise levels aren’t a cause for concern, but after 70 dB, things become a concern. A whisper has a volume of approximately 30 dB, whereas a conversation has a volume of 60 dB.
Increasing the volume over 70 dB for an extended time causes damage to your ears. If the volume is too loud, you may lose your hearing, around 105 to 120 decibels.
Experts believe that you can use AirPods with limitations to prevent noise-induced hearing loss. Listening to music should set the volume around 60 percent, and the use time should be less than an hour. That means your AirPods cannot be worn while sleeping.
Listening devices typically have a maximum volume level of 105 to 110 decibels. To make the (dB) more acceptable, turn the volume down to about half. The table below demonstrates how different sounds are correlated with varying ranges of DB and their impact on your hearing.
Can lowering the volume be helpful?
Yes, it does! According to the ASHA (America Speech-Language-Hearing Association), hearing loud noises above 85 dBA for 8 hours or longer damages our ears, according to the ASHA (America Speech-Language-Hearing Association). The risk is significantly reduced when the volume is reduced to 70 dBA or less.
Keep in mind to turn the volume down, so it is audible - as long as it is audible, it is OK. Blocking out the surrounding noises does not mean blasting loud music. Consider getting active or passive noise-canceling AirPods instead.
The Ears Might Get Swallowed
As you fall asleep, the chances of your AirPods making their way into your mouth are incredibly slim. Although, there have been instances where people swallowed their AirPods while sleeping. If it makes it through your digestive system, then you’re lucky. Otherwise, you might have to undergo surgery or other invasive measures.
If you haven’t heard, someone swallowed an AirPod while sleeping. Although it may seem funny, this is a potentially dangerous situation. Could you imagine choking on an AirPod in the middle of the night? That would be awful.
Undoubtedly. It happened. Considering that AirPods contain tiny batteries, it’s not a good idea to eat them. Fortunately, you would notice the problem immediately, and a trip to the hospital would prevent long-term health issues. Maybe you should think about it.
As of now, there isn’t any conclusive proof that AirPods cause cancer and more research needs to be performed on the topic. The topic is highly controversial, and many people are curious about it.
The concern arises from the radio frequency emitted by AirPods. AirPods emit radiofrequency (RF) radiation, just like any electronic device. According to studies conducted on lab rats, the risk of some heart tumors may increase with prolonged exposure to RF radiation. Due to the limitations of the studies, it was difficult to draw any conclusions.
If you use AirPods for a third of the day, you need to be aware that RF waves can be transmitted while sleeping. Furthermore, unlike your phone, which is typically kept in your pocket or beside your bed, AirPods always contact your skin, whether you are asleep or awake.
AirPods Might Hurt Ears
If you change positions while sleeping, any hard object that does not fit inside your ear canal will hurt your ears. Rolling on the bed can leave your ears sore the following day. You will experience mild discomfort in the morning because of the AirPods pressing into your ears at an odd angle. If you have a prolonged period of concentrated pressure on your ears, you may also suffer from necrosis (death of skin cells).
Because of this, if you want to keep AirPods in your ears throughout the night, you shouldn’t angle them in a certain way. When you eventually roll onto the bed, it will result in more pressure being exerted on your ears.
You Lose Your AirPods
Suppose you sleep with your AirPods every night in a particular position. Yet, no matter how carefully you wear them, they will eventually fall out of your ears. Even you might have to deal with a mild amount of annoyance when trying to locate them. You can also lose them under your bed or in the crevices of your mattress, and you won’t be able to find them. Furthermore, it might be lost permanently, in which case you would have to purchase a new one, which would be costly. Although the price has been reduced since they launched, they are still quite expensive compared to other true wireless earbuds.
AirPods will not usually fall out of your ear easily. As you toss and turn in bed all night, you are more likely to lose your AirPods. The AirPods aren’t stuck to people’s ears overnight or anything like that. As you can see, the worst fear in the case above is swallowing AirPods while sleeping.
Rather than a minor inconvenience, it’s a significant problem. During the night, you might lose the AirPods. If this occurs, you can use the “Find My iPhone” app to locate your AirPods on a map. You can also play loud music and follow the sound. Yet it is just an extra annoyance in an already stressful life.
Fortunately, you can adjust the position a bit better to avoid this. Bring your AirPods to a horizontal position by turning them at approximately 30 degrees. By doing so, they will stick out from your ears and be much more stable.
An alternative is to attach them to an ear hook. You can use both regular AirPods and AirPods Pro with an ear hook. They can be secured to the ears while sleeping with this hook.
AirPods last approximately five hours each, so if you intend to keep them the whole night, we recommend you not keep them in your ears. It might be a good idea to let them fall out between periods of sleep.
Sleeping while listening to music can improve your mood and even help you fall asleep. But the constant stream of audio signals stimulates our nervous system and brain. Due to this, stress hormones are released, heart rates are elevated, and sleeping problems are increased.
If you listened to music or an audiobook before going to sleep, you might also wake up to it. Because the brain never really sleeps, it might wake you up if it hears something dramatic or unexpected. Wearing AirPods at night may cause you to wake up feeling groggy. Even if you’re fast asleep, the sound may keep you from reaching the deep, relaxed state your body needs for recovery. You may feel exhausted in the morning as a result.
Jazz, rock, and heavy metal are more likely to do this as they have more variance and peaks and troughs. When listening to these types of music, you may have trouble falling asleep. Loud music may also interfere with sleeping. You may have to lower the volume of your AirPods before going to sleep to avoid waking up. Therefore, listening to soft music over your AirPods will help you relax.
Unable To Hear Important Sounds
You might miss some essential sounds when sleeping with AirPods, such as hearing a fire alarm, the smoke alarm, or someone knocking at the door. It depends on the volume setting. So, lowering the volume is an adequate solution here.
For most people, this is a blessing, but it can also be dangerous. Imagine they prevent you from hearing your morning alarm, causing you to lose your job. Or worse, they don’t let you hear the fire alarm. Perhaps someone visits you, but you do not listen to them knocking on your door. Keeping AirPods off while sleeping can avoid all of these problems.
The noise-canceling feature on an AirPod may be great for a good night’s sleep, but it isn’t so great for your safety. It could prevent you from hearing important sounds and make you more vulnerable to dangers.
It’s possible to miss essential sounds if you’re sleeping with high-volume AirPods. For example, when someone breaks into your house, you won’t hear any loud banging or rattling noises caused by the door or broken window. You might also not listen to a family member calling for help or the smoke alarm sounding.
AirPods are pretty good at reducing background noise when noise cancellation is enabled. Although they won’t eliminate all the loud noises, they’ll make sleeping a lot more comfortable.
AirPods Are Not Waterproof
AirPods are not sweat-proof or water-resistant. Still, they seem to withstand heavy rain quite well. Sleepers tend to sweat during the night, which can cause hardware problems and malfunctions. Moisture can also dislodge the AirPods more easily.
What should you do to sleep better with AirPods?
Despite the dangers of using AirPods while sleeping, we can use some benefits safely. For instance, they can be helpful when sleeping in noisy environments.
Based on the fact that you are reading this article, we guess you wonder how a pair of AirPods help you sleep better.
Several things make this accurate. Here are some of them:
Blocking out noise with AirPods can be a very effective way to sleep. Even if you’re not listening to anything, AirPods can be used as earplugs. You can block loud, obtrusive noises like construction, cars, or your roommate’s loud voice by playing music or using a white noise app.
It’s not uncommon to hear noise coming from the streets or construction work going on outside if you live in the city. When such terrible sounds travel to your ears, it may be difficult to fall asleep. Despite this, Some AirPods have the capability of blocking out loud and excessive noise.
In particular, AirPod Pro is designed to be more fit when lying down. If you want to block out any noise that may disturb your sleep, this is the best option.
AirPods don’t use a wire that can easily obstruct your breathing when you sleep. As they are wireless, you won’t have to worry about accidentally pulling them out of your ear or rolling onto the wire and damaging it.
The best way to wind down before sleep is to listen to music or podcasts. As we lie in bed, sometimes our minds start racing. As we think about the day’s stress, whether it is an important exam, an upcoming interview, or a busy workday, we think about how much work we will need to do. For you to sleep, you must take your mind off of those things. Listen to upbeat music, something you enjoy and that makes you feel comfortable. Consider these suggestions:
- The white noise
- Audible books
- Audio Podcast
- Soft music, such as Classical or Piano
- Sounds of Nature
Sleeping well requires taking your mind off these stressful thoughts. Easy to accomplish with your AirPods playing some relaxing music or podcasts.
Several studies have demonstrated that listening to good music triggers your body’s relaxation response. Slow breathing and a rapid heart rate will lead to rapid sleep.
Getting To Sleep More Comfortable
As we sleep with music playing in the background, our minds are taken off distractions and stimulated. As a result, we can sleep better and wake up fresher. Having fun while listening to music promotes the production of serotonin, our “feel-good” chemical. It may help you sleep better if you listen to enjoyable music in a bad mood.
Your Happy Brain Chemicals Are Boosted
Dopamine is released in your body, and serotonin is stimulated by listening to music. The two are happy brain chemicals that make you feel relaxed and comfortable.
When you do anything you like, your brain releases dopamine - achieving your goals, eating your favorite food, listening to music, watching a good movie, or even doing ASMR.
You can easily fall asleep when wearing AirPods and listening to relaxing music.
PTSD and Insomnia Treatment
The bedroom is associated with frustration and insomnia among people with PTSD.
As we have already mentioned, some studies show that listening to good music can combat anxiety and relax the individual.
It can be very effective to distract yourself from anxious and troubling thoughts by listening to some music on your AirPods. As you relax your mind and body, you will sleep more easily.
The best practices of sleeping with AirPods
Below are some tips to make your AirPods experience better if you decide to sleep with them.
- Make sure the volume is low. You may have heard that music and audiobooks might help you sleep faster, but you shouldn’t turn up the volume too loud. When there are no sounds around you, turn down the volume if you’re hearing ringing in your ears.
- Rest on your stomach or back. Even though this makes it more likely that the AirPods will fall off, you won’t have to worry about them pushing against your ear, which is uncomfortable. If you sleep on your side, get a softer pillow. You will be less likely to experience AirPods pressing against your ears.
- Make sure your ears are clean every day. The best practice is to take a shower before sleeping or clean your teeth and ears. This is the best way to sleep with AirPods in. With this method, your AirPods won’t damage and your ears will be healthy and clean always. Once a week, clean and disinfect them thoroughly.
- Avoid using them while you are sleeping. Napping aims to rest our brain and body, while sleeping is a different activity (though similar). AirPods interfere with our natural sleep processes if we force ourselves to use them while sleeping. You should also keep them off during naps.
How much battery life do AirPods have?
AirPods have five-hour battery life. You may need to charge them in the morning if you plan to sleep with them overnight. If you use them for your morning workout or commute, this can be a hassle. However, if you need to take a quick nap, the battery should be sufficient.
Didn’t you charge your AirPods before going to bed? Occasionally, the music stops halfway, which ruins the mood. However, it does happen, and it causes people to wake up to charge them instead.
If you listen to music that won’t wake you up, you might be able to sleep with AirPods. Otherwise, you shouldn’t do it. Even though it seems like a great idea at first, the cons greatly outweigh the pros. Perhaps you should consider other alternatives if sleeping is a problem for you.
Some External Speakers
Use external speakers instead of AirPods to avoid prolonged use. With this method, you’ll not need to wear AirPods to listen to music or while sleeping. You can put the speakers near your bedside table. You can set them at a low volume so you can listen to your favorite music or sounds. Another option is to have the radio played, which can be very relaxing to listen to when you wake up.
As someone who has decided that sleeping in AirPods isn’t the best way to block out noise, here are some possible alternatives.
Best Sleep Headphones
Several wireless sleep headphones are available on the market specifically designed to fit comfortably without worrying about the AirPods falling out.
The special sleep headphones are specially built for sleeping. They have a special flexible Navy V5.0 sports headband for comfortable sleep. The headband design is quite famous among people.
If you prefer Sleep headphones over AirPods or other wireless earbuds with a sharp and protruding shape, you may try them. The headphones won’t cause you any pain or damage when you roll on the bed.
Although these look like a headband at first glance, they are, in fact, “specialized sleep headphones.” Sleep Headphones are much more comfortable than most earphones that poke into the ears while sleeping, and the eye masks also double as earplugs. CozyPhones and AcousticSheep (non sponsored) are two brands to consider.
Using a White Noise Generator
Perhaps you should consider the benefits of a white noise machine in your room if you are concerned about cancer.
The white noise machine is a very popular and useful machine for sleep. It’s specially built for those people who take sleeping pills or those people who love to listen to relaxing sounds so they can peacefully sleep. This machine is overall magic itself. You just need to turn on the machine, set up a 7-8 hour timer, and play the sound.
The machine is also useful to get rid of people from their tinnitus.
A Set of Earplugs + Ear Protectors
These are not headphones, although you can wear AirPods underneath if necessary. They are typically used in loud environments for hearing protection. Earmuffs may not be the most comfortable to sleep with, but at least they don’t require batteries to operate.
Sleeping with earplugs made of soft silicone may help you block out noise during sleep. This type of earplug won’t harm your ears, and it can block out a wide range of low- and high-frequency noise.
Compared to the AirPods, Sleep Headphones do not offer a unique sound signature, and earplugs do not provide active noise cancellation to block ambient noise. Still, they will provide you with a decent compromise.
Hopefully, you have found this helpful article. Also, check out Bose Sleepbuds II if you’re looking for grey noise rather than music and podcasts.
It is safe to sleep with AirPods if you take the necessary precautions. AirPods can help you live a more pleasant life. Our sleep is an essential part of our lives, and we should make sure it is as comfortable as possible.
We face potential health risks when we keep our ears plugged while sleeping. Plugging our ears can be unhygienic and cause infections. So, this is really important to keep your ears clean while using AirPods for sleeping.
Although AirPods are generally safe to use while sleeping, they are not good over the long run. Consider a safer alternative to AirPods if you have difficulty sleeping. Thanks for reading - enjoy a better night’s sleep and stay healthy!
Frequently Asked Questions
Can AirPods damage brain cells?
After more research, a definitive conclusion in either direction will need to be acquired. It’s just a rumor, there’s no proper research or scientific evidence that proves AirPods destroy brain cells.
What are your tips for keeping your AirPods in at night?
The best and safest ways to keep your Airpods protected at night while you’re sleeping are AirPod Covers or AirPod Grips
AirPods aren’t a safe sleeping option?
Some people think it is OK to sleep with AirPods.
We think that it’s not a viable long-term solution to dealing with my misophonia at night.
However, we find the Airpods to be less comfortable than earplugs, as the risk of wax build-up and infection is less compared to using earplugs to block out sounds.
Can you sleep with Airpods in?
Yes, It is safe If you take proper precautions. Otherwise, It will cause an issues with your ears and brain.