Can You Sleep With Airpods Pro: 7 Risks to Consider

People have been sleeping with headphones on basically ever since headphones were invented.

Remember back in the good ol’ days when you’d pop your Enya CD into your Discman, plug in your dollar store headphones, and fall asleep after a night of cramming for senior-year finals? No? Huh, well, I sure did. 

But perhaps I shouldn’t have done so. 

Heck, had I known some of the risks associated with wearing any sort of headphones to bed, I probably would’ve abstained.

You see, falling asleep with your super cool Airpods Pro in your ears isn’t as safe or healthy as it might seem. 

If you do it once or twice, it probably isn’t a big deal. What I am talking about here is repetitive use during sleep. 

The more you fall asleep with your earbuds in your ears, the riskier things become.

Listening to your earbuds while you sleep has seven known risks.

From accidentally choking on an earbud to necrosis, sleeping with your Airpods Pro in carries some associated risks that, after reading this article, you might not want to take.

Can You Sleep With Airpods Pro: 7 Risks to Consider

While sleeping with your Airpods Pro in your ears once or twice is safe, doing it every night has a variety of risks. You could swallow or choke on them, get earwax buildup, develop an ear infection, experience hearing loss, damage your Airpods Pro, experience necrosis, or develop sleep deprivation. Long-term nocturnal use – especially at higher volumes – is not recommended.

While Airpods Pro might be comfortable enough to sleep in, the risks outweigh the benefits. 

What might happen though? 

And why should you stop sleeping with your earbuds in? 

Allow me to explain the seven known risk factors that are involved in sleeping with earbuds in your ears.

Can You Sleep With Airpods Pro 7 Risks to Consider 1 Can You Sleep With Airpods Pro: 7 Risks to Consider

Risk #1: Swallowing or Choking On the Airpods Pro

Airpods Pro are small and might fall out of your ears while you sleep, especially if, like me, you are someone who moves around a lot during the night. 

While these wireless devices don’t have wires that will tangle around your neck, there is a small risk of swallowing or choking on the Airpods Pro.

Luckily, it seems as though the Airpods Pro are so small that they will actually pass through your digestive system if you swallow one.

That is what one Taiwanese man found out in 2019 after accidentally swallowing one in his sleep.

Risk #2: Earwax Buildup

Earwax buildup is a much more likely risk factor of sleeping with your earbuds in your ears.

Inflammation and allergic reactions can result from earwax buildup, which comes from long-term use.

You will need to regularly clean your Airpods Pro to reduce the risk that this will happen to you.

It is just a good idea in general to clean your earbuds since it also helps prolong their lifespan.

Risk #3: Ear Infections

The more you allow earwax to build up with prolonged use of your Airpods Pro (especially without cleaning them), the more likely it is that you will develop ear infections. 

Ear infections are incredibly painful and often require antibiotics to resolve.

Our ears are naturally able to clean themselves.

When you pop your earbuds into them for long periods of time, your ears aren’t able to properly do their job of cleaning themselves out. 

All kinds of dirt, debris, dead skin, and – worst of all – bacteria are prevented from expulsion and become trapped within the ear. 

This gives them free passage throughout your ears.

Risk #4: Hearing Loss

If you’re sleeping with your Airpods Pro in your ears for 6-8 hours per day, you’re putting yourself at risk for hearing loss. 

That is further compounded if you’re spending another 8-ish hours per day with them in your ears for work. 

You should not be spending the majority of a 24-hour period with them in your ears.

If you are, hearing loss is a real possibility. 

With the maximum volume on most devices being 105-110 decibels (dB), there is a good chance that you could do some real damage.

In fact, if you play something at 105-110 dB that close to your ear for even just five minutes, you are seriously risking hearing loss. 

Not to sound too much like your mom, but keep that volume turned down, for goodness sake! Experts say that keeping your volume at 60% is as high as you should go.

Risk #5: Damage to the Airpods Pro

Think about how much you paid for your Airpods Pro. 

Now, think about how much you’ll have to pay if one of them gets damaged. 

It is entirely possible that this could happen while you sleep. 

Is this something you can really afford to risk? Even just rolling over onto your side and having an earbud press into your ear can feel uncomfortable. 

Who knows how uncomfortable it would be to have one break inside of your ear.

Risk #6: Necrosis

For those who’ve never heard this term before, necrosis is the dying off of skin cells in an organ due to disease or injury. 

Given how much concentrated and sustained pressure prolonged earbud wearing creates, necrosis could happen. 

This type of long-term use can cause your ears to become sore, and earbuds that put pressure on and rub on the skin inside of the ears will cause those skin cells to die way too quickly.

And new skin cells won’t be able to generate and promote healing.

Risk #7: Sleep Deprivation

Finally, we come to one of the most pronounced issues associated with wearing earbuds while you sleep – sleep loss.

And it can progress to the point of sleep deprivation. 

With the constant auditory stimulation to the brain, you might fail to fall into REM sleep. 

This disrupts your natural sleep pattern.

You won’t be as alert to nighttime noises that would otherwise cause concern (like someone opening your front door or even your baby crying a few rooms down the hall), but you sure will be alert enough to the music coming through your earbuds. 

What is meant to help you sleep might do just the opposite.

Closing Thoughts

Sleeping with your Airpods Pro in might seem like a good idea at first. 

But, truth be told, there are a lot of underlying risks associated with long-term earbud wearing, especially when it is done at night. 

If you need music to help you sleep, consider getting the Apple HomePod and placing that in your room.

It will reduce the risks listed above while still providing you with music played from a quality speaker.

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