Better Sleep

Is it safe to sleep with Earplugs?

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Earplugs are a popular technique to improve the quality of sleep by blocking out snoring or block out noise and distractions that might keep you from falling asleep.

But what are the risks of sleeping with earplugs? Are they safe?

Let’s take a closer look at the risks and benefits of sleeping with earplugs.

Is it safe to sleep with earplugs?

If you’re like most people, you’ve probably used earplugs to help you sleep. Earplugs are designed for noise reduction in many different environments. They can help you sleep better in a noisy environment, or they can help you sleep in the same room as your partner if he or she snores. But are earplugs safe? Do they have any negative effects on your health?

The answer is no. Earplugs are safe to use for sleeping at night if used correctly. Made out of soft foam, they won’t damage your ears or affect your hearing. But if you use them all the time, they can cause some problems. For example, if you wear them all day long, it can lead to earwax buildup and potentially even infection.

But if you use them all the time, they can cause some problems. For example, if you wear them all the time, it can lead to earwax buildup and potentially even infection.

I’ve used foam earplugs for the last decade almost every night, and have rarely had issues with my ears. The only issues I’ve personally experienced are occasional irritation inside my ear canal, in which case I don’t use the earplugs for a few nights.

Earplugs also shouldn’t be used by children or adults who have had ear surgery or other issues with their ears because they could cause serious damage to the eardrum or other parts of the ear canal. Remember: Only use earplugs if your ears are healthy!

Risks of sleeping with Earplugs

1. Impacted Ear Wax

It is not safe to sleep with earplugs if you have impacted ear wax. Earplugs can block the canal and cause the eardrum to rupture. If you have impacted ear wax, see a doctor for treatment before using earplugs.

2. Ear Infections

they may also recommend removing your earplugs. This is because earplugs can trap moisture and bacteria inside the ear canal.

3. Pushing earplugs in too far

Third, make sure not to push them in too far. The ear canal is very delicate. It has three layers of skin, which are lined with tiny hairs that help clean and protect the ear. The ear canal also contains glands that produce wax.

If you push it in too far, you can puncture your eardrum or damage the inner-ear hairs (called cilia) that help clean and moisten the ears. This can lead to infections or long-term hearing damage.

To avoid this problem, make sure you follow the instructions on the package when inserting your earplugs. And don’t use them for too long — just as long as it takes to fall asleep.

4. Removing earplugs too fast

If you remove earplugs too fast, the air pressure can build up in your ears and cause pain. This can cause a condition called barotrauma. Barotrauma is a swelling of the middle ear due to unequal pressure between the outer and inner ear. It can be caused by flying, diving, or rapid changes in air pressure.

The good news is that barotrauma usually goes away on its own with no treatment if you take steps to avoid it.

You should also try using smaller-sized earplugs or ones made from a softer material.

When I remove my earplugs, I try to compress them first to equalize any pressure difference while pulling them out. Next, I slowly twist and ease them out of my ears.

What you can do to minimize the risks

Don’t wear earplugs for more than 8 hours at a time. If you need to wear them overnight, take them out for at least 4 hours during the day. This will allow your ears to breathe and will prevent any complications from developing.

If you have any pain or discomfort in your ears, stop using the earplugs and see a doctor right away!

It’s safe to sleep with earplugs unless you have an ear infection. Ear infections often come with a fever, so if you have one of these symptoms, it’s best to consult your doctor before you try using earplugs for sleeping. If you have chronic ear infections, it may be wise to avoid sleeping with earplugs until you get them treated.

To reduce the risk of damage:

1. Make sure your earplugs are designed for sleeping and comfortable enough for all-night use.

2. Use only as much pressure as necessary to keep the plugs in place. Don’t try to push them all the way in, as this can damage the eardrum.

3. Try different brands until you find one that fits comfortably without causing pressure on your ears.

4. Try using smaller-sized plugs if your ears are sensitive and don’t like being compressed by larger ones. This can allow more space for your ears to breathe while still blocking out noise.

5. Slowly pull them out to reduce the chance of barotrauma

Keep your ears dry and clean. Earwax is natural and usually harmless, but it can cause problems if it builds up in your ears and becomes hard and crusty. Wearing earplugs for long periods of time can slow the drainage of wax from your ears, which can lead to a buildup of wax that is difficult or impossible to remove on your own.

Wash your hands before inserting or removing the earplugs. This will help prevent bacteria from getting into your ears while inserting or removing the earplugs. Try not to touch other parts of your body while putting in or taking out the earplugs; again this will reduce the risk of bacteria getting into your ears.

Use only new pairs of earplugs per use. Used pairs may contain germs that could get into your ears while inserting or removing them. This is especially important because they are inserted so close to your eardrums!

If you find yourself using the same pair multiple times before washing them, throw those pairs away after two uses max! Make sure they are completely dry before storing them again — moisture can also cause bacteria growth.

If you suspect that something is wrong with your hearing (like ringing in the ears) or if there is anything else that seems abnormal about how you hear sounds — see a doctor! He or she will be able to give you advice based on what symptoms are affecting how well you hear sounds. Also, let him/her know if there is any pain involved with hearing noises (especially high-pitched ones).

Some conditions, like tinnitus, may be helped by wearing hearing protection devices like these more often than others — ask a doctor what he/she recommends for these situations.

Alternatives to sleeping with earplugs

If you’re not a fan of sleeping with earplugs, you may be interested to know that there are other ways to block out noise. For instance, you can place a pillow between your head and the wall, use a white noise machine, wear earmuffs or headphones, or even buy some soundproof curtains.

Check out this article about alternatives to sleeping with earplugs


Most people will do fine with foam earplugs. They are inexpensive and effective at blocking out excess noise without causing discomfort or pain. If used correctly and with the right precautions, they are a safe and effective solution to getting a better night’s sleep.

Marc is the creator of Mindful Searching, a content site dedicated to providing actionable, unbiased tips to reduce anxiety, stress, and improve cognitive performance. He's struggled with social anxiety for many years. Over the last 5 years, Marc has been researching and testing lifestyle changes, products, and techniques to build a happier, healthier, anxiety-free life.