Can You Sleep with AirPods In?

Who doesn’t like to relax while listening to some good music or an audiobook? It’s the perfect way to unwind after a busy and stressful day. But relaxing too much can lead to sleepiness, and you may find yourself drifting off before you’ve even realized it.

With the advance of technology bringing wireless earphones to the consumer, you might be wondering if there would be any worries or benefits to falling asleep with your Airpods in. They are of course small and lightweight enough that it is possible to even forget your wearing them. But can you sleep with Airpods in? The short answer is of course yes. But there are a few things you need to consider if you’re planning on going to sleep with your Airpods in, which we will now cover in this article.

The Dangers of Sleeping With Airpods In

The Dangers of Sleeping With Air

When considering the dangers of sleeping with your Airpods in, it’s important to take into account your own personal situation. Do you often sleep well throughout the night without tossing and turning? Or do you find yourself waking up with a sore ear, excess ear wax, or perhaps even a headache? As with many things, sleeping with Airpods in can be dangerous or beneficial depending on your personal situation. First, we will cover the dangers of sleeping with your Airpods in.

  • Earwax Buildup. As with any product that may require you to put it in your ear (such as the conventional wired earphones) there are risks of potential ear wax buildup that you should take into consideration. Using your Airpods for prolonged periods of time could cause an excess buildup of earwax, which in turn could lead to ear infections, hearing loss, or general pains. Make sure to check your Airpods for earwax after sleeping with them in and clean them thoroughly to try and reduce the risk. If in doubt, do not risk as your ears are very delicate!
  • Disturbed Sleep. This may or may not apply to you. If you’re someone who struggles to sleep normally, or is a light sleeper, you may be better off leaving the Airpods out altogether. Sometimes, although you may not realise it as you are asleep, the sound or sensation of the Airpods in your ears could cause restlessness and lead to you feeling more tired the next day. Perhaps not a danger as such, more of a consideration.
  • Otitis Externa. Similar to the first point, Otitis Externa is an ear infection caused by bacteria. This is fairly common in swimmers and affects the ear canal, but has also been known to affect earphone users. Not only is it extremely uncomfortable, with symptoms such as pain, hearing loss, and a fullness (or fat/puffiness) feeling in the ear, but could lead to longer term issues if left to get worse. Make sure to keep your Airpods clean to prevent this from ever becoming an issue.
  • Necrosis. Not too likely but still worth considering as it is technically a risk of sleeping with Airpods in. Necrosis is when cells, tissues, or organs die off from lack of blood flow. In this instance, the lack of blood flow could be caused by Airpods that do not fit correctly, and prolonged usage could lead to discomfort and eventually necrosis.
  • Safety concerns. Other than the physical warnings, you need to be aware of the fact you will be blocking out all other sound when wearing your Airpods to sleep. This may sound like a great thing if you’re working night shifts and have to sleep during the day, but what if you miss the delivery of an important package because you didn’t hear the door? Or even worse to consider — if a fire were to break out and you couldn’t hear the alarm. This issue can be circumnavigated by keeping the volume at a lower level.
  • Loss of Airpods. You may find that you wake up and either one or both of your Airpods have gone, fallen out while you were asleep. This can happen easily if your sleepy self brushes it free of your head thinking its a bug or other pest, and can be a real pain trying to locate in the tangle of sheets in the morning.

Waterproof/Sweat. Airpods are not waterproof. If you’re someone who tends to sweat a lot when they sleep, or even when considering wearing Airpods to sleep in summer, you should understand that Airpods are not waterproof, and an excess amount of sweat, or moisture, could lead to damage and/or total failure.

The Benefits of Sleeping With Airpods In

The Benefits of Sleeping With Ai

You may be thinking after reading the last section that sleeping with Airpods in is generally a bad idea, and that’s entirely your call to make. However, there are also several benefits to sleeping with Airpods in, which we will now cover in this section.

  • Noise Cancellation. Both good and bad. We covered the bad in the last section. So the good of sleeping with Airpods in is that it can cause peaceful, less disturbed sleep. If you live in a particularly busy area, or just have a loud family or housemates, sleeping with Airpods in with a sleeping app can be extremely beneficial to your sleep.
  • Wireless. If you’re going to do it, you might as well do it wireless, right? Sleeping with wired headphones is a thing of the past now that we have Airpods. No more getting tangled in wires and ripping them out of your ear sockets when you roll in your sleep. It’s also far less likely that you’ll damage a pair of Airpods while sleeping than it is with a wired set of earphones.
  • Relaxing. Living in the modern world can be exhausting. In a life where everything is alway go go go and never stopping to breathe or take in our surroundings, getting a nice early night with a pair of Airpods listening to your favourite podcast or radio station can be extremely beneficial to your mind as well as your body. Go on. Treat yourself.
  • Helps you sleep. Similar to the point made above. Not only will you find it relaxing while listening to your chosen media on your Airpods, but you will find that if listening to something like white noise, nature sounds, or calming music, you’ll be able to drift off to sleep easier than ever before.
  • Battery Life. Airpods last for approximately five hours from a full charge. Plenty of time to relax and allow yourself to fall into a deep, comfortable sleep before waking them up for a charge in the morning.

Final Thoughts

Hopefully, this article has put to bed (excuse the pun) some or all of your worries when it comes to sleeping with Airpods in. As with most things in life, it will come down to your personal opinion on the matter. If you do choose to sleep with your Airpods in, you will be fine as long as you take the risks into consideration, keep them clean, and check your ears regularly for any sign that you should stop sleeping with them in.

Personally, I have been sleeping with Airpods in since they first hit the market. I know several others who do the same, and they all agree that they sleep better than ever when sleeping with Airpods in, especially when dozing off listening to jungle noises or calming piano. It’s well worth the hassle of trying to find that runaway Airpod in the morning!

About S. Santos

I am a tech columnist and blogger by trade, but I'm also an avid tennis player. In my spare time, I enjoy reviewing gadgets and gizmos from the world of tech. A lot has changed in the field since I started out as a writer back in 2009, so it's always exciting to keep up with all that's new. To me, there's nothing quite like getting my hands on a brand-new gadget or piece of software for the first time -- it's like Christmas morning every day!

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