Is It Bad To Sleep With Earbuds In? You’ve probably fallen asleep with your earbuds in uncountable times or as you’d put it, for as long as you can remember. Having your earbuds in could be the only thing that actually helps you sleep, focus, and to be. But is it a safe habit? Is sleeping with earbuds in bad, or is it beneficial?
This article explores the world of sleep and earbuds or headphones as we find out whether you should be sleeping with your earbuds in or not.
Even before we go deeper into the subject, we’d like to note that when the earbuds are used correctly and appropriately, it really isn’t a bad thing. And if you struggle to fall asleep, your earbuds, used safely, could be the best way for you to finally get a goodnight’s sleep, every night.
So, Is it bad to sleep with earbuds in?
Well, we live in a time and at an age where most of us struggle to fall asleep, and the only thing that seems to work for us is to listen to music on our earbuds to be able to sleep.
If you live in a metropolitan city, for example, wearing ear muffs might not keep out the noise around us effectively, and if there is ongoing construction or endless street noise, music becomes a more welcome noise at night, and most often, the only thing that helps you fall asleep.
Also, if you frequently travel, finding the perfect quiet place to sleep might be hard to come by, which means making the best of travel time, and this translates to sleeping with your headphones or earbuds.
In such cases, the earbuds or headphones are absolutely necessary as they are the only thing that will shut out the noises from the other passengers.
With these scenarios in mind, it goes without saying that earbuds are an essential part of our lifestyle these days, which is why you will find that an increasing number of people are investing in some of the best possible earbuds and noise-canceling headphones on the market. But just how safe are these gadgets? Can we say with 100% certainty that the earbuds and headphones are the safest gadgets to help you fall asleep?
The truth is that the safety of the earbuds and headphones pretty much lies in how we use them. Are you using your earbuds or earphones, right? In other words, are your headphones or earbuds comfortable on your ears – that is, they are not putting an unnecessary amount of pressure on your ears, potentially causing damage in the long term?
Is the volume reasonable – listening to music at high volumes poses the risk of potential ear damage (as your phone warns you often), and will sleep without worrying about too much pressure from the high volume causing damage to your eardrums?
Some Risks of Sleeping with Earbuds
As we explore a world of safety while sleeping with earbuds or headphones, we need to familiarize ourselves with the potential risks that come from sleeping with headphones.
Here are some of the risks of wearing and sleeping with earbuds and headphones inappropriately.
- Accumulation of ear wax
If you wear your earbuds a little too deep into the ear, one of the biggest risks you face is the buildup of wax in the ears. This often happens because the earbuds block and affect air circulation around the ear, and this causes the wax to be pressed into your eardrum more easily. This isn’t a good thing because too much wax buildup can cause damage to your ears because the buildup wax is hard to remove.
- Otitis Externa
When you sleep with your earbuds, you risk this condition called Otitis Externa, which involves significant irritation of the ear canal. In worst-case scenarios, otitis externa causes the gradual wearing out of the skin around your ear canal, and it subsequently results in pain in your ear’s outer area/ earlobes.
Note that you need to protect your ear canal because it is the part of the ear that connects your outer ear to your eardrum.
So, in as much as this condition is more popular among swimmers, you will develop the same condition if you don’t wear your earbuds correctly when going to sleep.
- Safety risk
Sleeping with noise-canceling earbuds or headphones with music playing means that you always risk not hearing your alarm going off at night, for example, if you have an intruder in your home or in case of an emergency.
Sleeping with your earbuds in puts you at risk of necrosis. This often happens when your earbuds do not fit in the ear too well, and they exert too much pressure in the ear canals. Your skin will start wearing out, and necrosis or the death of the tissue around the ear might happen.
Benefits of Sleeping with Earbuds
- Noise cancellation– of course, the biggest perk that comes with sleeping with your earbuds is that they shut out all the noise, allowing you to sleep peacefully.
- Relaxation from white noise– white noise is one of the things recommended for persons with insomnia and generally anyone trying to fall asleep faster. Well, sleeping with your earbuds will allow you to enjoy and relax to some white noise before falling asleep. Interestingly enough, studies show that white noise and music is effective in relaxing because it lowers your breathing, relaxes the mind, and in the process, it allows you to sleep better at night.
- Ideal treatment or management solution for insomnia and PTSD– Studies show that listening to music when sleeping is the best treatment for persons struggling with PTSD and insomnia because of its relaxing effects on the mind and, consequently, and improvement in sleep quality.
- Stimulates production of Serotonin– Serotonin is the chemical that is produced by the brain to make you feel good, and listening to music is one of the most effective ways of stimulating the production of serotonin in the brain, making you feel happier and more relaxed. Naturally, falling asleep and being able to stay asleep is easier when you are relaxed and in a more pleasant mood.
While sleeping with earbuds comes with some risks, being cautious allows you to enjoy the benefits that come from sleeping with earbuds, one of which is being able to finally fall and stay asleep.
To be safe, don’t blast music too loud, and if you sleep alone in a room, opt to listen to the radio and music from the radio or TV instead of keeping your earbuds or headphones on.