What Should You Know When Sleeping With Headphones?

What Should You Know When Sleeping With Headphones

Getting a good amount of sleep every night is important for a good health. Sleep deprivation would otherwise cause lots of health and emotional problems. Some people fall asleep soon after a long tiring day. But, many people have trouble sleeping at night. This can be because of the noises around. Or, you may have the habit of falling asleep by listening to your favorite music. Do you really know if it is good sleeping with headphones or not? 

If not so, then follow this article to know if it is safe to sleep with headphones.

What Should You Know When Sleeping With HeadphonesDoes Wearing Headphones Affect Your Sleep?

Wearing headphones may or may not affect you as you sleep. Because it depends from person to person. However, some researches show that music really helps to calm you. This makes you relaxed and you can fall asleep. Some other points about how headphones affect your sleep in a positive way are;

Block the noise around - Sick of that crying child in the morning. Or, does not your sleeping routine match with the rest of your family? Or, there is any snoring partner. Then headphones are what plays its part here. Sleeping with headphones significantly reduces the noise. You can listen to some music as you fall asleep or simply just put on headphones. The sealed design headphones have the feature of blocking noise. This increases the quality of your sleep. Sudden loud noises can wake you up from your sleep.

So, to get back to that deep sleep phase, you would need time. Headphones avoid getting you into this situation and you can sleep peacefully. Headphones fit snugly into the ears and are noise canceling device. 

Falling asleep to music - Listening to some music is also good for falling asleep sooner. The music which is relaxing and peaceful really helps. However, it depends on the person's choice. But, listening to it at higher volume will again distract the sleeper and wake him up. 

White noise - There is some sleep-friendly headphone. They have a design to provide the sleeper with the white noise. The white noise is a kind of soothing and ambient sounds. They block the noises from outside and helps you to fall asleep. These random noises with a calm effect have proven to be helpful to make you fall asleep.

ASMR - Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response (ASMR) is a kind of sound which produces a tingling sensation. This sensation in the ear relaxes the listener's mind. Thus, a sleeper falls asleep more easily. There are separate headphones designed for them. They have high quality microphones which reduce popping sounds. 

Triggering good chemicals - Good music relaxes us and stimulates the growth of good chemicals in our body. Medical sciences prove that music increases the growth of serotonin. This is the type of "happy" chemical in the brain. So, this makes your brain relaxed and happy. Also, listening to some good music is helpful for people suffering from tensions. Thus, it is a whole pack of good health too.

Is Sleeping With Headphone Safe?

Sleeping with headphone and earbuds is essential for a good sleep as we saw above. They save us from many diseases resulting from sleep deprivation. But, sleeping with headphones in the ear can be damaging for you. Here is how they can negatively affect your health. Further, some tips about sleeping with headphones are also discussed later on. 

The potential side effects which wearing headphones can cause as you sleep are;

  • Necrosis - Necrosis is basically the death of cells and living tissues. Wearing headphones for a long time as you sleep can lack the flow of blood to the body's tissues. This results in the death of tissues which is dangerous. The pressure of the earbuds and headphones can cut off the circulation of blood. And, this may result in the necrosis. This happens when headphones don't fit well. This puts extreme pressure on the tissues in the ear canal. So, you need to keep an eye on how you put your headphones on. 
  • Otitis externa - This is again a medical problem which occurs because of sleeping with headphone. Otitis externa is a condition in which your ear canal develops irritation. The skin in the ear canal area can wear out. Also, in some cases, the fluid comes out from the ear. Sometimes, pains may develop because of too much pressure. All of these are symptoms of otitis externa.
  • Strangulation danger - Sleeping with wired headphones can be very dangerous. The wires can become tangled around your neck. They can put so much pressure as you toss and turn in sleep. So, this can result in the restriction of breathing as you sleep. This can cause loss of breath and death sometimes.
  • Completely blocking all noise - Completely blocking all outer noise can be dangerous as well. Though sealed headphones block the outer noise, they can also block other alarm noises. You may not be able to hear such noises like fire, intruder or alarms. 
  • Wax build-up - The most important side effect which is gross and unhealthy is wax build-up. When the headphones block the circulation of air around your ear, the wax presses up to the eardrums. So, in this case, proper suction treatment by a doctor is necessary.  
  • Hearing problems - Checking the volume of your music as you listen is important. It can cause hearing problems. You can listen to music lower than 60 dB at a safer level. This problem is common in the younger generation as they like to listen loud. This is leading to hearing loss and permanent damage to the ears. Listening to music constantly at a higher volume can cause wax build-up and hearing loss. 

Related reading: Can headphones damage your hearing?

Tips to Sleep With Headphones

Sleeping with headphones on is a habit and nobody can get rid of it completely. However, there are some tips which you can use to avoid the problems associated with it. These are;

  1. Hear music at a low volume. Ideally, listening less than 60 dB is good. Your device also prompts you about listening at a higher volume. So, listen at a low volume to avoid fatigue of your eardrums and inner ear.
  2. Wear comfortable headphones. Your headphones should not be too hard for your ears. This way they won't put pressure on your ears and can avoid medical problems.
  3. Use wireless headphones. This way you will be safe from the danger of strangulation. There are also some special headphones that reduce this risk. Sometimes, earbuds are embedded into a headband. They are called as headband headphones. 
  4. Use a headphone which does not completely block the outer noise. Because being aware of your environment is also important.
  5. Play soft music. Loud music will cause nothing but more irritation and fatigue. Listen to soothing music at a low volume will help you to fall asleep sooner. Also, it will have the least negative effects on your ears.


Getting a plenty amount of sleep is beneficial for you. And, headphones play an important role in giving you a peaceful sleep. They block out all the outer noises. Reading after the benefits and risks of sleeping with headphones, we can say that it is worth a try. But, certain precautions are important so as to avoid the dangers which we mentioned above. Putting on a happy and soothing tune at a low volume with comfortable headphones is the key to a good sleep. 

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