If a snoring spouse, barking dogs or birds chirping, affect your ability to get a good night’s sleep, you are far from alone. “The research is pretty solid that noise can prevent people from getting a good night’s sleep,” says Ken Hume, a principal lecturer in human physiology at the Manchester Metropolitan University in England. What’s more, noises as quiet as 40 decibels – akin to the sounds between a quiet whisper from six feet and a normal conversation at three feet – can keep us from sleeping, reports the National Sleep Foundation.
When burdened by these sleep-depriving decibels, do your turn to earplugs to block out the noise? If so, you’re probably wondering if it is safe to sleep with earplugs. The answer is yes and no.
Just as a sleep mask helps to block out light, earplugs help to block out noise that can disrupt your sleep. However, there are risks to wearing earplugs.
Learn about the risks of sleeping with earplugs and take steps to minimize damage to your ears or your hearing.
First and foremost, it’s best to not make sleeping with earplugs an every night habit. By not wearing them every night, you’re giving your ears a chance to rest and drain built-up earwax. Second, it is vital to take proper care and maintenance of your ear plugs. If they are the type that can be reused, then it is important to clean them thoroughly after each use. If you have disposable earplugs, simply throw them away once you’ve used them once.
Should you decide the risks of sleeping with earplugs are not worth it to you, there are other things you can do to block out the noise that is impacting your sleep:
If none of these options sound appealing, consider getting a custom pair of earplugs that are designed to fit your ears perfectly. They are typically made out of gentle materials that are less inviting to bacteria growth.
When properly used, earplugs can help you obtain the restorative sleep you need to be at your best. However, be careful when sleeping with earplugs or choose an alternative method to block out unwanted noise.
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