Is It Safe to Sleep With Earplugs? Risks and Benefits Explained
If you’re looking for an inexpensive and convenient solution to block disruptive noises while sleeping, earplugs can be a great option. However, as you’ve been using them more frequently, you may be concerned about the health risks of wearing earplugs during sleep.
Additionally, you may have noticed some discomfort or soreness in your ears upon waking up, which raises questions about the impact of earplugs on your overall health.
Fortunately, we’ve compiled a comprehensive guide addressing the potential health benefits and risks of using earplugs for sleep. This resource will help alleviate your concerns and allow you to experience a restful night’s sleep without any worries.
The Benefits of Earplugs
Based on a research study, it has been demonstrated that the use of earplugs can enhance the quality of sleep among patients in intensive care. When used with eye masks to shield against light, earplugs effectively minimize disruptive noises that can cause sleep disorders and sleep deprivation.
Additionally, the presence of earplugs on patients increased melatonin levels, a hormone that prepares the body for sleep. On the contrary, inadequate sleep quality can lead to various health complications, including impaired mental and physical functioning. Moreover, insufficient sleep has been associated with the development of chronic diseases and conditions such as cardiovascular disorders, type 2 diabetes, and obesity.
Side Effect of Sleep With Earplugs
These potential adverse effects may include:
Discomfort and earache: Prolonged incorrect use of earplugs, such as wearing them during sleep, can cause discomfort and ear pain. Moreover, using earplugs that are either the wrong size or made of rigid materials can be particularly uncomfortable, especially when lying on one side.
Ear infection: Failing to clean both your ears and the earplugs regularly can result in the pushing of earwax deeper into the ear canal when wearing earplugs every night. Over time, this buildup of earwax can lead to ear infections. Ear infections can be painful and, if left untreated, may lead to additional complications like hearing difficulties.
Tinnitus: Often described as a persistent ringing sensation in the ears, tinnitus is typically a symptom of ear damage or age-related hearing loss. While wearing earplugs during sleep is not directly linked to tinnitus, some Reddit users have reported exacerbating their condition. This could be due to the absence of ambient noise, which previously masked the ringing sensation.
Types of Earplugs That Suitable For Sleeping
Earplugs can offer various advantages and disadvantages depending on the manufacturer and the materials used. Here are some examples:
Foam earplugs: Foam earplugs are effective at blocking low-frequency noises, such as the hum of an air conditioner. They are typically soft and comfortable. However, their porous nature makes them more vulnerable to moisture damage. Fortunately, foam earplugs are relatively inexpensive and easy to replace. If you’re interested, you may want to consider Mack’s Ultra Soft Foam Earplugs.
Wax earplugs: Wax earplugs quickly mold to the shape of your ear, providing a secure fit for effective noise blocking. A recommended option is the PQ Wax Ear Plugs, designed to fit snugly and have a noise-canceling rating of up to 32dB.
Silicone earplugs: Silicone earplugs are reusable and less prone to moisture damage. However, some silicone earplugs can be firmer, which may cause discomfort, mainly when sleeping on one side. Mack’s Pillow Soft Earplugs could be a good choice as they are made of soft and flexible silicone material that doesn’t cause ear discomfort.
The Different Between Commercial Earplugs and Custom-Made
Commercial earplugs, manufactured for general use, often come in universal sizes, which may not provide the best fit for individual ear shapes. Poor fit from commercial earplugs can cause discomfort and ear pain and may not consistently meet their noise reduction rating.
Custom earplugs, molded to fit your ears, offer a better fit, although they are more expensive than commercial options. Custom earplugs eliminate constant adjustments, ensuring comfort even during extended wear. Some custom earplugs are made of durable, non-porous materials, reducing the risk of bacteria growth and enhancing long-term use.
Many people yearn for a night of uninterrupted and peaceful sleep. Sadly, reality is often filled with unavoidable noises and disturbances. Fortunately, earplugs are a simple remedy to counter unwanted sounds and ensure a restful slumber. With the newfound knowledge about the potential risks and benefits associated with different types of earplugs and proper usage techniques, you can now experience a more rejuvenating sleep at night.
We value your opinion on this guide. Is there anything we may have missed regarding the advantages or disadvantages of earplugs? Please share your thoughts in the comments section below. We appreciate your feedback!