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How To How to Sleep With Headphones?

How to Sleep With Headphones?

A Handbook for Side Sleepers

Are you a side sleeper? If yes, then we know how difficult it can be to sleep on either side with your headphones. It’s annoying and uncomfortable. While we won’t say that it’s easy to sleep on either side with earbuds, it is not impossible. However, in the case of over-the-ear or on-the-ear headphones, you barely have a choice. So, how to sleep with headphones? We know this question has been on your mind for quite some time now. Don’t worry; we’ve got you covered. In this post, we’ll discuss how to sleep with headphones comfortably. We won’t let your new headphones go waste. Read further to know more.

Is It Safe to Sleep With Headphones?

First things first, it is important to know if sleeping with headphones is the right thing to do. According to experts, you can suffer from the Necrosis of the skin inside your ears if you sleep with headphones daily. Necrosis is the death of living cells inside the tissue, due to external factors such as trauma, injury and so on. So, if the earbuds or headphones push too hard against the skin in your ear, too much pressure can lead to Necrosis. Nevertheless, with the right headphones, such as the best sleep headphones, such issues are rare.

Therefore, it is safe to sleep with headphones, provided you are using the right headphones and wearing them properly. Also, ensure you maintain optimum volume. High volume can damage the eardrum.

5 Things You Must Do to Sleep With Headphones Comfortably

Now that you know sleeping with headphones won’t hurt your ears provided you are doing it properly, let’s look at 7 things you should do to ensure you sleep comfortably while wearing your headphones.

1. Pick the right headphones

Select the right headphones

First and foremost, make sure you buy the right headphones. You can not buy any headphones if you want to sleep with me. Over-the-ear and on-the-ear headphones are not suitable for sleeping, especially if you are a side sleeper. We recommend you buy in-ear headphones, earphones or earbuds for sleeping. You can also check the best sleep headphones to find the right sleep headphones for yourself. 

2. Ensure the headphones fit accurately

Pick the right fitting headphones

Per our suggestion, if you are planning to buy earphones, you must ensure they fit properly inside your ear, else they’ll keep falling while you are sleeping. Most in-ear headphones and earbuds come with ear tips of different sizes to accommodate your ear size. Also, ensure the earbuds do not exert too much pressure on your ears. If you have tried ear tips of different sizes and are struggling to find the right fit, you can purchase a set of ear tips separately and see if they fit. Foam tips can be a great alternative to silicone tips that keep slipping from your ear. Since they are made of foam, they don’t slip out easily and stay inside your ear when you are changing sides or simply moving in your sleep. 

Read Also: Do AirPods Fall Out Easily?

3. Try to Sleep on Your Back

Sleep on your back

Sleeping on one side with your earphones or headphones can be a daunting experience. Therefore, if you want to sleep with your earphones/headphones, it’s best to sleep on your back. Even though it’s not possible to maintain the same posture throughout while you are sleeping, if you are looking for a comfortable experience, sleeping on the back can be a great idea.

4. Be Careful With the Wires

Use the wires carefully

If you have wired earphones or headphones, it’s of the utmost importance to ensure the wires don’t get entangled around your neck while you are sleeping. We’ve heard of many accidents where people have died because of the wires getting entangled around their necks while they are fast asleep, choking them. So, be careful with the wires. If possible, we recommend purchasing wireless earbuds and headphones for sleeping.

5. Choose the Music Wisely

Pick the right music

If you want a comfortable experience while sleeping with your headphones, pick the music carefully. You can also try autonomous sensory meridian response (ASMR) to put yourself to sleep. These days, you can easily find the best ASMR headphones on the market. Avoid listening to loud or high-frequency music as it can hamper your sleep and keep you awake all night. Choose music that is calm and peaceful. You can explore white noises to get a night of better sleep.

Type of Sleep Headphones on the Market 

Per our research, these are the two types of earphones/headphones that work wonders for sleeping:

1. Headband Headphones

Yes, you read that right. We were also delighted to find the headband headphones. They are the most comfortable headphones for sleeping. All you need to do is simply wear them around your head like a headband and enjoy music without any discomfort. Since the speakers are inserted in the headband, they won’t fall even if you are moving in your sleep. We tested the headband-type Nivava S8 Sleep Headphones and simply loved them. They are comfortable for sleeping, made of high-quality materials and easily affordable. The sound quality provided by the tiny, hidden speakers is exceptional.

2. Invisible Earbuds

Earbuds can be a good choice for sleeping as they are wireless and stay inside your ears (provided you get the right fitting ear tips). They are known as “invisible earbuds” as they are very tiny and hardly visible when you are sleeping. Out of all the invisible earbuds we tested, we found the Motorola Verve Buds 300 to be the best. They are comfortable, compact, sleek and come with a stylish design. Not only this but the sound quality delivered by the earbuds is also excellent. 

Read Also: The 5 Best Invisible Earbuds in 2021

Pros and Cons of Sleeping With Earbuds or Headphones 

While testing different ASMR and sleep headphones, we got to learn a lot about sleeping with headphones and how it can be good or bad for you. Let’s deep-dive into the advantages and disadvantages of sleep headphones.


Let’s first look at the benefits of sleeping with headphones on:

1. Relaxation

As already mentioned above, white noises can help a great deal in relaxing your body and mind. If you are struggling with a lack of sleep, listening to white noises on your earbuds or headphones can be a great experience. Try it for a couple of weeks and you’ll see how wonderfully white noises work in reducing insomnia and stress. You can also try ASMR. There’s no dearth of ASMR videos on the internet. 

2. Serotonin Stimulation

The chemical “Serotonin” is the magic wand in your brain that stimulates the “good” or “happy” feeling. Listening to music while sleeping is one of the best ways to feel good and wake up happy. A study conducted on rats revealed that auditory stimulation by exposure to calming music increases serotonin and dopamine activities in the brain and enhances motor control. 

3. Treatment of PTSD

A study conducted by the US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health concluded that music therapy can be useful in reducing symptoms and improving functioning in individuals suffering from Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Another study reveals that programs with active, music-based instructions can help in reducing depressions in individuals suffering from PTSD. 

Read Also: The Benefits of Music on Learning and Improving Your Memory


When not used correctly, earphones and headphones can lead to issues in your ears (apart from Necrosis, which we’ve already discussed in the first section of the guide), such as:

1. Otitis Externa

Otitis Externa is the inflammation of the ear canal. In some cases, the skin surrounding the ear canal begins to wear out and fluid gets accumulated in the ear. Most cases of Otitis Externa are related to swimming. Therefore, the condition is also known as “Swimmer’s Ear.” Nevertheless, prolonged use of headphones or pressure exerted by the headphones on your ears while you are sleeping can also lead to the inflammation of the ear canal, resulting in Otitis Externa. 

2. Wax Buildup Inside the Ears

Earbuds that are inserted deep inside the ears can reduce air circulation in the ear and lead to the accumulation of wax inside the ears. According to an article posted by the Whittier Hospital Medical Center, wearing earbuds or headphones can hamper the self-cleaning mechanism of the ears and lead to wax buildup. And, excessive wax accumulation can lead to hearing issues.


We started with the question “how to sleep with headphones” and ended up discussing a lot more about sleeping with headphones. All in all, it’s difficult to tell if sleeping with headphones on is a good idea or not. As you must have seen above, there are pros and cons of wearing headphones while sleeping. Therefore, we urge you to consider both while deciding what you want to do. Lastly, if you want to sleep with headphones and play some soothing music to relax your mind, we highly recommend you buy ASMR or sleeping headphones.

We hope you found the guide useful. If you have any questions or suggestions, please feel free to post them in the comments section below. We look forward to hearing from you.