Why sleeping with earplugs can impact your health in the long term?

Why sleeping with earplugs can impact your health in the long term?

In the hustle world we live in, to get away from the daily chaos we often try to find some shelter in music. It is not a big surprise that many a time our listening habits move on to our bedtime routines. Many of us prefer sleeping with earplugs on to be able to sleep quickly with those podcasts or bedtime tunes that promise to help you sleep quickly and give you a good amount of deep sleep.

While this might seem like a very safe and harmless activity to do, but if you sleep with your headphones on it might lead to some serious health issues in the long term. It might start with poor sleeping patterns to ear damage and at some point, mental health concerns too. The consequences are not something to be ignored.


Sleeping with earplugs: Why am I not sleeping well?

Why sleeping with earplugs can impact your health in the long term?Why sleeping with earplugs can impact your health in the long term?
Sleeping with earplugs (Image via vecstock on Freepik)

Now even if you are getting your precious seven hours of sleep and still wake up tired, the reason might be your headphones. A good night’s sleep is a very important aspect of our mental and physical well-being. Good sleep improves our brain functioning and lifts our mood. Wearing headphones while sleeping can cause discomfort, which leads you to keep on turning to find a comfortable position during sleep, impacting your sleep pattern.

Also, sleeping with the help of some external stimuli makes you used to it which in turn makes it difficult for your body to sleep without the presence of those external stimuli.


What are the risks related to sleeping with earplugs?

There are various risks related to sleeping with earplugs on. It can cause ear damage and can also affect our mental health. Here are some of the risks of it that you did not know about.


Ear damage

Sleeping with earplugs (image by freepik on freepik)Sleeping with earplugs (image by freepik on freepik)
Sleeping with earplugs (image by freepik on freepik)

Another serious aspect is direct damage to your ears. Ears when exposed to continuous sound from headphones even at low volumes can cause hearing loss over time. In addition to this, wearing them for an extended period gives a potential risk of breeding bacteria due to the warm and humid environment in the ear.

It further leads to ear infections. In some studies, it was found that those who listened to music for more than three hours were more likely to have a ringing sensation in their ears.


Tinnitus and Hyperacusis

Sleeping with earplugs (Image by vecstock on Freepik)Sleeping with earplugs (Image by vecstock on Freepik)
Sleeping with earplugs (Image by vecstock on Freepik)

Continuous music in your ears can damage the hair cells in the cochlea (plays a vital role in hearing), causing a ringing sensation in the ear. This is called Tinnitus. People suffering from this may develop high sensitivity to the surrounding sounds which is called Hyperacusis.

According to experts, earphone usage should not be more than 60 minutes a day to keep hearing loss and ear pain away.


Impact on Mental Health

Emotional and cognitive well-being (Image by Freepik on Freepik)Emotional and cognitive well-being (Image by Freepik on Freepik)
Emotional and cognitive well-being (Image by Freepik on Freepik)

Sleep has direct ties to mental health. Poor sleep contributes to stress and anxiety, which may lead to depression. Extended use of earphones may hinder emotional health.

Using headphones for escaping from reality and trying to find solace in it might isolate you from the world. This makes it very difficult for individuals to connect. Listening to songs might help one to avoid problems, preventing oneself from addressing these things directly as it should be.


It is comforting to sleep with the songs of our choice. To doze off to the beats we love. Using headphones to fulfil this purpose is not the right choice. It is important to consider the health risks that come with it. The risks are very much real and should not be ignored.

Therefore, all the consequences should be kept in mind before plugging into those headphones during bedtime as your well-being might depend on it. If you still want to use headphones while sleeping it is better to use an external speaker or a comfortable earplug which are not ‘in the ear’.


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