Sleeping with AirPods | The Good, the Bad and Everything in Between

In today’s reality, technology moves faster than humans. This means that you can’t keep up with the next new thing before another one just came out. And when talking about sleep, it has become a huge market in recent years in what we call sleep tech. From apps to rings to gadgets that help you sleep better.

While it’s all good and dandy, some people just like to put their headphones on and listen to music while they fall asleep. But is it a good idea to sleep with your AirPods or other headphones on?

If you’re the type of person who like to listen to music or podcasts when he goes to bed, you must wonder if is it bad to sleep with AirPods in your ears. This article will discuss how to sleep with AirPods in, is it a good idea and more.

Before we get started let’s take the obvious out of the way, if you don’t have the right headphones it will be uncomfortable to sleep with them. We all remember the 90’s where you had a metal flexible string that hold two puffy ear muffs and an annoying cord that always got caught somewhere.

Sleeping with headphones on back then was a hassle, but today you have sleek and small wireless devices that can literally disappear inside your ear. But is it a good idea to sleep like this? Let’s find out if it’s a good idea to sleep with AirPods in specifically, as they are the most popular brand out there.

Is it bad to sleep with AirPods?

Unlike sleeping with the old school headphones we mentioned above, sleeping with AirPods inside your ears is perfectly fine as long as you do it the right way. And you’re an adult.

The AirPods are small enough ( especially the Pro ) to fit in your earbuds without causing discomfort. And obviously the fact that they are wireless eliminates the danger of choking in your sleep with the cord.

However they also have some minor risk factors if you’re not careful. If you need to choose, YES, AirPods might be the safest bet compared to big and wired headphones, but in order to make an informed decision, let’s look at what are the dangers are of sleeping with your AirPods:

Issue of sleeping with AirPods in your ears

Ear wax blockage.

sleeping with AirPods
Sleeping with AirPods can cause ear wax blockage

Yes, this is real. Our ears are designed to leak out wax slowly as we go about our days. but if you sleep for 6-9 hours every day, while having the AirPods inside your ears, the wax has no where to go right? So what happens? It can get stuck inside your ear canal and cause issues from:

  • Hearing loss
  • Infections
  • Ear pain

The solution

If you sleep every day with your AirPods inside your ears, make sure you clean your ears before going to bed regularly. This will give the wax inside your ears a chance to come out in a healthy way and will reduce the chance of infections and pain.

Getting Otitis Externa

sleeping with AirPods

A bacterial infection of your ear canal. Not a nice thing to get. It can cause hearing loss and pain. It also slowly but surely destroys your skin in the ear canal making way for air and fluids to easily get inside your ears causing more damage.

This is crucial, as your ear canal is what connects your ear to the eardrum, you know, that thing that makes your hear.

This is a common thing among professional swimmers, but people who wear AirPods or other in-ear pieces all day every day are also sensitive to this.

The solution

Make sure to clean your AirPods carefully with alcohol cloths and don’t put them on if you see dried wax or other things that should not be there.

Faster hearing loss

It’s known that with age the body gets old, systems don’t work like they were when you were 20, and your ears are no different. But if you listen to loud music all the time, you can increase the speed of your ears losing their ability to work.

The solution

If you sleep with your AirPods in, do yourself a favor and turn that volume as low as you can, or better yet, slide them out when you feel you are falling asleep so your ears can rest while you sleep.

Sleeping disorders

While some people swear they can’t fall asleep without music in their ears, it is actually proven that if you constantly pound music or sounds into your ears, regardless of the volume, you can’t really reach that deep sleep state compared to where you don’t sleep with headphones on.

The solution

Like previously mentioned, if you can slide your headphones or AirPods off your ears just when you feel you’re falling asleep, that would be the best thing for you.

Safety issues

What’s the number 1 issue with sleeping with AirPods in? You can’t hear anything else. AirPods have a great feature to cancel noises from outside so you can hear the music the best way possible, which is great when you’re awake. but when you sleep our ears protect us.

If there’s a fire, or some kind of emergency, you usually hear it and wake up, if you’re a parent, you can easily wake up to the sound of your child crying or calling you. Now you wont.

The Solution

We recommend not sleeping with AirPods in if you’re the only adult in the house while kids are present, and also maybe it’s a good idea to place just 1 earpiece so that way you can stay alert if something happens.

Tissue damage

Everyone has different size ears. The AirPods usually fit nicely to most, but for some it can get tight, if you wear them for a long period of time, you can feel your skin inside the ears causing pain, this is the wear and tear of using earpieces all day.

The solution

Make sure you have the right size, and if it doesn’t feel comfortable, consider changing to a different brand or just don’t leave them inside for long periods of time.

Losing your AirPods

AirPods like any other earpiece can fall off your ears. While we sleep most of us turn and switch sides all night, doing this with the AirPods inside your ears has a chance of them falling out and get lost.

The solution

Easiest thing to do is when you feel like you’re about to fall asleep, just take them out and place them on the night stand next to you. This way they will be waiting for you when you wake up.

Sweat can ruin AirPods

YES, the AirPods are not water proof. They are water resistant, which is a different thing. If you drop your AirPods in water they will most likely stop working immediately.

The same can happen if you sweat a lot during your sleep. Some people sweat a lot and little drops of sweat can go inside the ear piece and potentially cause damage little by little.

The solution

If you know you sweat a lot during a good night sleep, don’t sleep with your AirPods inside your ears.

Physical pain

Even though the AirPods are really small and seem to hide inside your ears, they still stick out a little bit. And when you sleep on your side, the pressure from the pillow builds up over time and will cause you discomfort.

The solution

Sleep on your back, or find an angle where there is no pressure on your ears.

Sleeping with AirPods – Advantages

Now that we went through all the dangers and issues of sleeping with AirPods, let’s learn about the advantages of sleeping with them. It’s not all dark and bad, there are real advantages and we want to know what they are.

Improves mood

sleeping with AirPods
Studies have shown that sleeping with headphones can improve mood

Everyone loves music, and most of the time, listening to music makes us feel better. There have been many studies that show that listening to music releases certain chemicals in our brains that make us feel good. Think about Serotonin and a few more.

So the biggest advantage of going to sleep with your earbuds on is that it just makes you feel better.

Noise blocking

Sometimes you just want some peace and quiet, having your AirPods on while trying to sleep will block most sounds from messing with your focus.

Sleeping with your AirPods tips and tricks

Below are just a few tips we collected about improving your sleep with your AirPods.

  • As mentioned previously, make sure to keep your AirPods clean from wax and other stuff.
  • Don’t listen to music with high volume. It’s best to go with soft, relaxing music in a low volume rate.
  • Make sure you have the correct size – AirPods Pro come with 3 earbuds sizes to choose from
  • Don’t listen for too long – If possible take breaks in your listening


Sleeping with AirPods can be awesome if you do it the right way, but it also has some disadvantages that you need to know. We hope with this guide we answered a few questions about this topic and you gained some value.

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About the Author: Adam Wishmore

Adam Wishmore is an apple geek, there is no other way of putting it. Since the first generation iPhone hit the market to the latest Macbook pro, Adam knows everything there is and how to fix everything on apple devices. Find me on Facebook