Is It Bad to Sleep with AirPods In? Unraveling the Risks and Benefits

Is It Bad to Sleep with AirPods In

In today’s fast-paced world, people often find solace in music, podcasts, or white noise as they drift off to sleep. And with the convenience of wireless earbuds like Apple’s AirPods, it’s tempting to leave them in while you catch some Z’s. But, is it safe to sleep with AirPods in? In this blog, we will delve into the potential risks and benefits of this practice to help you make an informed decision.

The Risks of Sleeping with AirPods In

Discomfort and Ear Pain

One of the most common issues people experience when sleeping with AirPods is discomfort. The hard plastic of the earbuds can press against your ears, leading to pain and soreness.

Ear Infections

Prolonged use of earbuds, including AirPods, can create a warm and moist environment in your ear canal. This can be a breeding ground for bacteria, potentially increasing the risk of ear infections.

Impact on Hearing

Listening to audio at high volumes for extended periods, especially when you’re not fully conscious, can damage your hearing over time. It’s easy to turn up the volume when you can’t hear well due to the music or podcast being muffled by your pillow.

Battery Life and Device Wear

Leaving your AirPods in overnight can lead to a shorter battery lifespan, as they will continuously drain power. Additionally, the wear and tear on the earbuds may reduce their overall longevity.

Strangulation Hazard

The cables or wires of older earbuds can pose a strangulation risk if you move around during your sleep and the cable wraps around your neck.

The Benefits of Sleeping with AirPods In

The Benefits of Sleeping with AirPods In

Noise Cancellation

AirPods Pro, in particular, offers active noise cancellation (ANC), which can help block out external noises, such as a snoring partner or traffic outside, potentially leading to better sleep.

Relaxing Sounds

Some people find that listening to calming sounds, like rain or waves, can improve their sleep quality. AirPods allow you to choose and control your preferred background sounds.

Falling Asleep Faster

For those who have trouble falling asleep, soothing music or guided meditation tracks can be beneficial in promoting relaxation and sleep onset.

Couples with Different Sleep Schedules

Couples with different sleep schedules can benefit from sleeping with AirPods, as one partner can listen to content without disturbing the other’s sleep.

Tips for Safe Sleeping with AirPods

If you decide to use AirPods while sleeping, follow these tips to minimize the potential risks:

  1. Lower the Volume: Keep the volume at a low, comfortable level to prevent hearing damage.
  2. Use a Sleep Timer: Set a timer to automatically pause playback after a certain time to avoid draining the battery.
  3. Clean Your AirPods Regularly: Keep your AirPods clean and free from earwax to reduce the risk of ear infections.
  4. Opt for Sleep-Friendly Earbuds: Consider using specialized sleep earbuds designed for comfort during sleep.
  5. Use Only One Earbud: If you enjoy falling asleep to music or a podcast, consider using only one AirPod to minimize discomfort and potential risks.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is it safe to sleep with AirPods in?

Sleeping with AirPods can be safe, but it’s essential to be cautious about potential risks like discomfort and ear infections. To make it safer, consider lowering the volume and using one AirPod instead of both.

Can sleeping with AirPods damage my ears?

Prolonged use of AirPods at high volumes can potentially damage your hearing over time. It’s crucial to keep the volume at a safe level to protect your ears from noise-induced hearing loss. Noise levels exceeding 85 decibels can be harmful, so it’s advisable to stay below that threshold.

Do AirPods affect sleep quality?

AirPods can either improve or hinder sleep quality, depending on how you use them. Some people find them helpful for noise cancellation or relaxation, while others may experience discomfort. It’s essential to experiment with different sleep scenarios to determine if they enhance or disrupt your sleep.

Are there specific AirPods models better suited for sleeping?

AirPods Pro, with their active noise cancellation feature, may be more suitable for sleep, as they can effectively block out external noises. This can help you achieve a more peaceful and uninterrupted sleep, especially in noisy environments.

How can I prevent ear infections when sleeping with AirPods?

To prevent ear infections, it’s crucial to maintain good ear hygiene and clean your AirPods regularly. Avoid sharing them with others, as this can introduce foreign bacteria into your ears. Ensure your ears and AirPods are free from excess moisture and earwax.

What’s the best way to adjust AirPods for sleep comfort?

Achieving sleep comfort with AirPods can be a personal preference. Experiment with different sleeping positions, and consider using just one AirPod or more comfortable earbuds designed specifically for sleep. Some individuals may find it comfortable to sleep on their back, while others might prefer side-sleeping.

Can I use AirPods for white noise or calming sounds to help me sleep?

Yes, many people use AirPods to play white noise, nature sounds, or soothing music to improve their sleep quality. There are various sleep apps and playlists available that provide these relaxing sounds. Be mindful of the volume, and consider using a sleep timer to ensure the sound doesn’t play all night.

How do I protect AirPods from damage while sleeping?

To protect your AirPods from damage, set a sleep timer to stop playback after a certain time. Keeping the earbuds in their charging case when not in use not only prevents battery drain but also offers a safe storage solution. Additionally, be gentle when adjusting the AirPods to minimize wear and tear.

Can sleeping with AirPods drain the battery quickly?

Yes, leaving AirPods in overnight can drain the battery faster. It’s a good practice to ensure they are fully charged before using them for sleep. Using a sleep timer or switching to a lower-power mode can help preserve battery life during the night.

What are the alternatives to sleeping with AirPods?

If sleeping with AirPods is uncomfortable, there are several alternatives to consider. Over-ear headphones, sleep-specific earbuds, or traditional earplugs can be used to block out noise while ensuring comfort during sleep. White noise machines or sleep apps that don’t require earbuds are also viable alternatives for sound masking and relaxation.


Is it bad to sleep with AirPods in? The answer depends on your personal preferences and how you manage the potential risks. While there are certainly some drawbacks, there are also benefits to consider. If you choose to use AirPods while sleeping, be mindful of volume levels, keep them clean, and explore alternative, more comfortable earbud options. Remember that the most important thing is a good night’s sleep, so prioritize your comfort and health in your decision. Sweet dreams!

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