Is It Safe To Sleep With Airpods? I have spent many hours of research to give you the best answer in this article.
In a rush? Here is the quick answer.
Sleeping with Airpods can increase ear wax, cause ear infections and Necrosis. EMF radiation may also be dangerous to health.
Listening to music just before going to sleep can be very therapeutic in improving our dreams and helping us achieve deep sleep quicker.
Music before bed is also one of the top recommended tips for people who are suffering from insomnia.
Research shows calming music has a magical effect on our brains and helps it relax and wind down quicker and better than they would do on its own.
Gentle sounds such as rainfall or a piano can instantly put your brain at ease so that it can start preparing for sleep.
But how you listen to this music matters quite a bit in ultimately the quality of sleep you end up achieving.
A lot of people use Apple’s Airpods to listen to music in bed. And why not! They make a great choice after all. Airpods are lightweight, wireless and most important of all, have amazing playback capabilities.
Therefore it is no surprise that the majority of people opt for these whether it be listening to a podcast, audiobook, or white noise. But are they safe to use while sleeping? This is what we intend to investigate in this article.
Metrics of safety.
Before we dive into understanding if these nifty earphones from Apple are safe to wear around bedtime or not, first let us define what we are alluding to when we use the word safe.
In this article, we attempt to analyze our safety concerns through two very broad lenses – sound and EMF.
First, we focus and take a serious look at sleeping with the Airpods from a physical standpoint, meaning the effect it has on our ears and body playing music in-ear for such extended periods.
Then second, we attempt to understand the EMF radiation that we are subjecting our bodies to in sleeping with Airpods on and if that poses any serious risk to our health and wellbeing.
Can they harm our ears?
Airpods can definitely harm your ears if you’re blasting music for more than two hours a day on a regular basis.
You have to understand that the Airpods are designed to be in-ear, meaning the sound vibrations get delivered directly to your ear canal and too much stress there can lead to serious complications in hearing including permanent deafness.
Another thing to consider is the pressure you would be putting on your ears while sleeping with your Airpods on.
Most of us are side sleepers, meaning one of those Airpod buds is going to be facing the pillow and therefore putting pressure on our ears to stay in place. It might not feel to be too much pressure in the beginning but it does build up.
I’ve woken up several nights from a deep sleep because of the severe discomfort in my ears because of sleeping with them.
The third but most common problem is volume. The Airpods are fine-tuned to deliver the punchy upper notes, solid middle notes and heavy lower notes in equal measure.
A misplaced base drum snare can, therefore, easily disrupt a good night’s sleep.
Also, when we are sleeping our brain uses that time to partially shut down and repair itself and the body but if there is constant lyrics intensive music playing on your ears, the brain doesn’t quite shut off and keeps partial awareness active just in case.
This results in fatigue the next day no matter how long you slept. While we might be able to get away with it by keeping the volume really low and only playing nature sounds in it while sleeping, there is always a possibility of sound disturbing our sleep and be the antihero in all of this.
The dangers of sleeping with Airpods.
1 Disturbed sleep.
We have evolved to use our senses to protect ourselves. And therefore when we have a constant sound in our ears, no matter the volume, the brain immediately perceives it as a potential threat and therefore cannot truly relax.
Even when we are sleeping, the brain keeps up its awareness. As a result, we feel fatigued the next morning because although we thought we were sleeping, our brain was working overtime to analyze the sound in our ears to protect us from whatever may come.
2 Excessive earwax.
This is a very common problem in people who use in-ear headphones. Prolonged use of such headphones block earwax to come out of the ear canal naturally and thus it starts building up.
This is very bad since a buildup of ear wax can often end in infection and pain. In extreme cases, it has also resulted in hearing loss.
therefore, it is vital that if you are using Airpods regularly while going to sleep, you take special care to regularly wash your ears and give them a break every now and then.
3 Otitis Externa.
This is an infection most common in swimmers but does happen quite frequently to habitual in-ear headphone users as well. Listening to anything on your Airpods for an extended period of time causes earwax to build up and it often lodges itself onto the buds.
Most of us don’t really clean them and keep using the same contaminated bud over and over again which causes bacterial growth.
Otitis Externa is perhaps most commonly recognized as a sensation of fullness in your ear accompanied by pain. To prevent such infection, it is best to regularly clear the buds with a wiping alcohol solution and sterilize it with an anti-bacterial.
Necrosis is a condition where blood does not circulate in a certain area of the body. Its flow to tissues and organs is obstructed by some outside influence that causes the latter to eventually die off.
This is a very serious condition that can not only impact organs but also physical attributes. This happens primarily in people who use the wrong sized buds to listen to music.
If the AirPods don’t fit well, they will put pressure on the delicate tissues of the ear canal thus cutting off the blood supply. Such pressure for more than six hours can set in necrosis thus resulting in severe pain and hearing loss.
5 Loss of spatial awareness.
Airpods are designed to be noise canceling to give you an immersive experience.
But this comes with significant downsides. No matter how low your volume is, the Airpods are designed to not let any outside noise interfere with your music experience.
Therefore, if there is a fire alarm or someone calling for an emergency, chances are you are going to miss it. This can potentially result in dangerous outcomes and does not merit the risk.
Airpods and EMF.
Airpods are quite sophisticated in their design and overall build. They are tiny but still pack in miniaturized wireless chips, optical sensors, accelerometers, mics, and batteries – essential components that give it its edge over the competitors.
They connect wirelessly to your Apple devices via Bluetooth and give you the ability to move around freely while offering superlative music playback.
The batteries included in the Airpods are rechargeable via USB. Therefore it is clear that they have enough electrical components inside to produce RF as well as EMF radiation.
If you’ve been following our website for a while you’d know how strongly I advocate for the need to discard wireless tech because of its radiation risks.
So it is no surprise that the Airpods pose a significant threat to our safety, especially since they are placed in such proximity of the brain and are touching the skin.
Sleeping in your Airpods only exacerbates the situation since your body is especially vulnerable while sleeping.
EMF safety concerns.
The primary safety concerns of EMF radiation from Airpods stem from the fact that it is in direct contact with skin and in such close proximity to our brain.
Add to that the fact that the Airpods radiate two different types of radiation at once and you’d be right to be concerned about your safety and wellbeing.
I’ve listed the three major concerns that people have with Airpods in regards to EMF radiation:
1 Potential brain damage.
The Airpods are very close to the brain which puts it in much greater risk. Airpods primarily generate non-ionizing radiation which is wrongly believed to be harmless by a lot of people.
While it is true that non-ionizing radiation is far less harmful than ionizing radiation, it certainly is a concern.
Non-ionizing radiation does not reach thermal intensities but that does not make it safe for us to be around. There have been several studies done that directly highlight this point.
The most telling of all perhaps is the famous rat experiment where rats were exposed to persistently low levels of RF radiation.
At the end of the experiment, it was concluded that there was a direct correlation between damages in their brain and the amount of radiation that they have been exposed to.
It was found that several parts of the rats’ brains were affected including the hippocampus and the frontal cortex.
2 Induction of carcinogenesis.
One major concern that researchers have about gadgets like the Airpods is the onset of carcinogenesis.
It is believed that the non-ionizing radiation from Airpods can induce a change in our cell’s DNA and chromosome structure. This can often lead to mutations within the cell and can form cancer.
In other instances, it can change the structure of our DNA, thus altering our fundamental body characteristics.
3 Skin reactions.
Human skin is very sensitive and reacts to external stimuli constantly at microscopic levels. Therefore it is no surprise that it reacts to EMF exposure as well.
In a study done in 2017, scientists discovered that the skin’s protein levels were significantly altered for people who had a history of using phones and earphones regularly.
On studying the long term effects, it was found that the skin loses its suppleness and becomes saggy and wrinkled because of continuous EMF exposure.
My personal favorite EMF detection and protection products.
- DefenderShield EMF Radiation Protection Blanket – Ultimate protection from wireless radiation. The only EMF radiation protection blanket with multiple layers of shielding to block up to 100% of wireless (RF) radiation from cell phones, tablets, laptops, WiFi routers, and other electronic devices, and ambient emissions in the environment. Available on Amazon here.
- DefenderPad Laptop EMF Radiation Protection & Heat Shield. The DefenderPad is the ONLY laptop pad that uses multiple layers of shielding to block up to 100% of laptop EMF radiation (RF & ELF) while also greatly reducing heat! Get the latest price on Amazon here.
- DefenderShield Universal EMF Radiation Protection Pouch for Smartphones – EMF shielding to block up to 100% of wireless (RF) radiation. Most pouches only block a percentage of radiation emitted from your cell phone. Shielding is within the backside of the pouch to block signals and EMF emissions going towards the body, yet does not interfere with phone connectivity. Available on Amazon here.