Sleep Deprived? Do Earplugs ‘Really’ Help You Sleep Better?

How Do Earplugs Help You Sleep Better

Worried about noise during your sleep?

Earplugs are designed to reduce noise, which can help create a quieter environment that’s conducive to sleep. For many people, especially those who live in noisy neighborhoods or have loud snoring partners, earplugs can be quite effective in blocking out distractions, allowing them to fall asleep faster and enjoy uninterrupted rest.

So, in a nutshell, yes, earplugs can ‘really’ help improve sleep quality for those sensitive to noise.

At let’s go into the details of how earplugs can improve your sleep.

Let’s explore the benefits and safety of using earplugs. Please keep reading to know more before giving them a try!

Improve Your Sleep Health – Get an Earplug

Did you know that in a survey from 2022, almost half of the adults in the United States said that not getting enough sleep affects their mood, work, and overall health? It’s pretty common for adults in the U.S. to have trouble sleeping. Earplugs for sleep might help to solve this!

Not getting proper sleep can eventually lead to weight gain, high blood pressure, heart problems, and even increase the risk of diabetes or certain cancers.

If you’re dealing with such a bunch of issues, sleeping with earplugs might be a smart way to help you get a better night’s rest. Let us explain how earplugs can improve your sleep!

Do Earplugs Work For Sleeping?

  • Increases Melatonin Levels and Rapid-Eye-Movement (REM) Sleep

Earplugs can boost melatonin levels, which is the hormone that tells your body it’s time to sleep. A study by the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) found that earplugs can increase your REM time and reduce REM latency.

  • Reduces the Need for Sleeping Pills

Many individuals try sleeping pills to help them sleep better. But those can have different side effects. Earplugs are a way to get sleep without dealing with the side effects of pills. They’re a simple solution for a restful night’s sleep.

  • Improve Quality and Duration of Sleep

When you’re a light sleeper, even the smallest sounds can stop you from sleeping well. These interruptions stick around which makes it tough for your body to get that deep, important sleep after a long day. Whether you use earplugs during the day to stay relaxed or at night for better sleep, you’ll thank yourself when you wake up and feel rested.

  • Reduce Anxiety and Stress

We hear so much noise every day that we don’t notice how much they stress us out. But our bodies treat noise as stress and anxiety! Wearing earplugs helps. It makes those noises feel less stressful. You can still hear what’s happening around you, but it’s way easier to handle.

Want to learn about the health effects of parasomnia and disrupted sleep? Keep reading.

  • Improve focus

When it’s tough to focus, distractions can be a real pain. Absolute silence might not be the answer, but using earplugs can be a solution. They help cut out those distractions that bug you.

For folks dealing with Attention-Deficit-Hyperactive-Disorder (ADHD), earplugs can be even more helpful. They can tone down extreme sensitivity that causes problematic behaviors. Give earplugs a try; they might just make things easier for you!

Sleeping with earplugs can make all the difference. With so many options out there, finding the ideal fit for your sleep can be a bit of a puzzle. I’ll help simplify it for you so you can easily choose the suitable earplugs to sleep peacefully.

How to Select Earplugs for Sleep?

How to Select Earplugs for Sleep?

Earplugs are not expensive at all. Some earplugs have strings attached to them, which can be handy so you don’t lose them. And guess what? There are some special ones, like those made specifically for your ears or custom-shaped ones. They might cost a bit more, but they’re pretty good!

Sleep better with the earplugs mentioned below!

The Best Earplugs for Sleeping!

  • Formable Foam Earplugs

These earplugs are soft, and they’re made from foam. When you insert them in your ears, they expand to fit just right. They’re made for one-time use, but if you clean them up and they still fully expand, you can use them again.

‘QuietOn 3.1 Sleep Earbuds’ is an example of this kind of product. They are made to fit comfortably in your ears. They’ve got these soft foam cushions that make sure they don’t bother you or slip out, even if you move around a lot while sleeping. They’re designed to stay put all night long, no matter how much you toss and turn.

  • Pre-molded Earplugs

These earplugs come in different materials like plastic, rubber, or silicone. They work like turning down the volume on your stereo, reducing sound evenly across all pitches. Great for enjoying concerts or movies while keeping your hearing safe. They let you appreciate awesome audio without the loudness.

There’s this specific one called Loop Quiet Earplugs that I think you might like. They’re made of soft silicone and are designed to reduce medium-level noise. That means you can block out a good amount of noise without worrying about missing your alarm in the morning.

  • Canal Caps

These earplugs come with a firm band that helps snugly fit them into your ears, whether they’re moldable or pre-shaped. Canal caps look a bit like earplugs attached to a flexible plastic or metal band. When you’re not using them, you can wear the band around your neck for safekeeping.

In case you are on the lookout to buy a pair of earplugs, read this listicle from This guide has 8 best earplugs outlined with their special features on why they are a trend in the market today!

What Are the Factors to Consider While Purchasing Earplugs?

At first glance, all earplugs might seem alike. When you pay attention you may find what makes each one special.

Let’s explore the factors that can help you find a suitable earplug for sleep!

  1. Price

The cost of earplugs often comes down to materials and reusability. If you’re someone who wants to wear earplugs every night and doesn’t clean often, then reusable ones might be the money-saver in the long run. Use of disposable earplugs regularly can stack up in cost over time.

But if you’re not planning to use them all the time or prefer not to clean them up after each use, the disposable ones might be a better choice for you.

  1. Reusable vs. Single-Use

Some earplugs are made for single use, while others you can use multiple times. The earplugs you use once are usually cheaper because they’re made from materials that aren’t as long-lasting. You toss them out after using them.

Reusable earplugs are made from durable that last longer, so you can use them over and over again. You’ll need to clean them regularly, which can be a bit of a hassle for some people. But they’re better for the environment, create less waste, and might save you money in the long run.

  1. Materials

Earplugs come in different materials like foam, silicone, wax, and latex. Foam ones are common and budget-friendly. Silicone models sit at the ear’s entrance and don’t go deep inside. Wax earplugs are often super effective but can cost more and are meant for one-time use.

A few earplugs might have latex. If you’re allergic, check the descriptions to find a latex-free option that suits you.

  1. Noise Reduction

The noise reduction level is measured by something called NRR, which shows how many loud sounds the earplugs can block. Bigger numbers mean they can block more noise. Earplugs usually have an NRR between 22 to 33 decibels. Depending on how loud it is where you sleep, you might want lower or higher numbers.

Check out how well earplugs can protect you from loud noises!

  1. Comfort

What makes earplugs comfortable varies from person to person, things like the materials used, how big or small they are, and their shape. Figuring out the suitable pair might mean trying a few to see which feels good for you.

In your daily pursuit of a good night’s sleep, earplugs can act as simple yet effective products. These tiny devices play a crucial role in enhancing sleep quality by creating a serene auditory environment.

Sleeping With Earplugs Side Effects

While sleeping with earplugs can be a helpful solution for blocking out noise and improving sleep quality, it’s crucial to be aware of potential side effects associated with their use.

Understanding these risks is essential for making informed decisions about incorporating earplugs into your sleep routine.

  1. Earwax Buildup and Ear Infections

One of the primary risks of sleeping with earplugs is the potential for earwax buildup. Although earwax plays a vital role in maintaining inner ear health, excessive accumulation can lead to various complications. This buildup may result in itching, pain, dizziness, nausea, hearing difficulties, and even tinnitus. Additionally, prolonged use of earplugs can create a conducive environment for the development of ear infections, further exacerbating these symptoms.

  1. Maintaining Ear Health

To mitigate the risk of earwax buildup and infections while using earplugs for sleep, it’s essential to prioritize proper ear hygiene. Regularly cleaning the outer ear with a gentle, damp cloth can help remove excess wax and prevent blockages. Avoid inserting cotton swabs or other objects deep into the ear canal, as this can push wax further inside and increase the risk of complications.

  1. Using Earplugs Safely (We’ve detailed on this one below)

When using earplugs for sleep, it’s crucial to follow recommended guidelines to minimize potential side effects. Choose earplugs made of soft, hypoallergenic materials to reduce irritation and discomfort. Insert them gently into the outer ear canal, ensuring a snug but comfortable fit. Avoid pushing the earplugs too far inside the ear, as this can contribute to earwax buildup and increase the risk of complications.

  1. Monitoring Symptoms

Pay close attention to any changes in your ear health or symptoms that may arise while using earplugs for sleep. If you experience persistent itching, pain, dizziness, or hearing difficulties, discontinue use and consult a healthcare professional for evaluation and treatment. Prompt intervention can help prevent further complications and ensure the continued health of your ears.

Steps to Use Earplugs ‘Right’ Way: What Should Be The Lookout?

Essential Considerations To Using Earplugs Daily

Sleeping with earplugs can offer numerous benefits, such as minimizing noise disturbances and promoting better sleep quality. However, it’s important to be aware of potential risks associated with their regular use. This article will outline key factors to consider when using earplugs every day for sleep.

  1. Choose the Right Type of Earplugs
  • Select earplugs specifically designed for sleeping to ensure comfort and effectiveness.
  • Opt for soft, hypoallergenic materials to minimize irritation and maximize comfort during extended use.
  1. Maintain Proper Hygiene
  • Regularly clean your earplugs with mild soap and water to prevent the accumulation of bacteria and earwax.
  • Avoid sharing earplugs with others to minimize the risk of infections.
  1. Monitor Ear Health
  • Be vigilant for any signs of earwax buildup, such as ear pressure or decreased hearing sensitivity.
  • If you experience symptoms of earwax blockage, consult a healthcare professional for proper removal and guidance.
  1. Use Earplugs Correctly
  • Insert earplugs gently and ensure they are fitted securely but not too deeply into the ear canal.
  • Avoid pushing earplugs too far into the ear, as this can exacerbate earwax buildup and increase the risk of complications.
  1. Take Breaks
  • Consider taking occasional breaks from using earplugs to allow your ears to rest and recover.
  • Alternate between using earplugs and other sleep aids, if possible, to reduce the likelihood of long-term issues.
  1. Monitor for Symptoms
  • Pay attention to any changes in your hearing or discomfort while using earplugs.
  • If you experience persistent symptoms such as tinnitus or ear pain, discontinue use and seek medical advice.

Does Sleeping With Earplugs Help Tinnitus?

For individuals suffering from tinnitus, finding relief from the constant ringing or buzzing in the ears can be challenging. While some may consider using earplugs as a solution, it’s essential to understand whether sleeping with earplugs can actually alleviate tinnitus symptoms.

Does It?

Contrary to popular belief, sleeping with earplugs is not recommended for tinnitus relief. In fact, using traditional foam earplugs can potentially worsen tinnitus symptoms. These earplugs block out external sounds completely, creating a quiet environment that may amplify the perception of ringing in the ears.

Foam Earplugs

Foam earplugs, designed to provide maximum sound isolation, can inadvertently exacerbate tinnitus by intensifying the silence around the individual. While reducing exposure to loud noises is crucial for managing tinnitus, the absolute silence created by foam earplugs may heighten awareness of the ringing or buzzing sensation.

Importance of Avoiding Complete Silence

Tinnitus management often involves creating a background noise or sound enrichment environment to distract from the perception of tinnitus. Complete silence can lead to increased focus on the internal noise, making it more bothersome for individuals with tinnitus.

Alternative Solutions?

Instead of relying on earplugs for tinnitus relief during sleep, individuals are encouraged to explore alternative strategies. White noise machines, sound therapy apps, or gentle background music can provide a soothing ambiance without exacerbating tinnitus symptoms. Additionally, consulting with a healthcare professional specializing in tinnitus management can offer personalized guidance and treatment options tailored to individual needs.

While the use of earplugs may seem like a logical solution for blocking out external noises and promoting better sleep for tinnitus sufferers, it’s important to recognize their limitations.

Foam earplugs, in particular, can inadvertently amplify the perception of tinnitus due to the silence they create.

Exploring alternative methods such as sound therapy (green and white noise) and seeking professional guidance can lead to more effective management of tinnitus symptoms without worsening the condition.

Alternative to Earplugs For Sleeping

Alternative to Earplugs For Sleeping

When you’re looking for other ways to sleep without earplugs, there are some simple options to try.

Here are a few.

  1. Green Noise Machines: These work like white noise machines but focus on softer, more soothing sounds. They’re often compared to the sound of leaves rustling or a gentle stream, which can help you relax and sleep peacefully.
    How Can Green Noise Enhance Sleep? Here’s How
  1. White Noise Machines: These machines make a consistent, calming sound that covers up other noises. It’s like the sound of a fan or static, which many people find helps them sleep better.
  2. Moldable Earplugs: If regular earplugs bother you, try moldable ones. You can shape them to fit your ears comfortably and block out noise effectively.
  3. Noise-Canceling Headphones: These headphones reduce outside noise, making it easier to sleep in noisy places like planes or cities.
  4. Relaxation and Meditation: Spending some time relaxing or meditating before bed can calm your mind and body, making it easier to fall asleep, especially if you’re stressed or anxious.
  5. Sleep Headbands: These special headbands have speakers built in, so you can listen to soothing sounds or music without needing ear-buds or headphones. They’re made to be comfortable to wear while you sleep.

Trying out one or more of these alternatives can help you create a quieter sleep environment. Experiment with different options to find what works best for you. The goal is to make your sleep space as peaceful and free from disruptions as possible.

Smart-Take! unravels the multifaceted ways that earplugs contribute to better sleep, exploring topics such as their impact on blocking disruptive noises.

By forming a protective barrier against external disturbances, earplugs facilitate a deeper state of relaxation, allowing individuals to fall asleep faster and enjoy prolonged rest.

Moreover, we guide you how to select the right type of earplugs. Understanding the variety available and aligning that to your personal preferences ensures a tailored sleep solution. From foam to silicone, each material comes with its unique benefits, catering to diverse needs.

While sleeping with earplugs can be a valuable tool for promoting restful sleep, it’s essential to use them responsibly and be mindful of potential risks. By selecting the right earplugs, maintaining proper hygiene, monitoring ear health, using them correctly, taking breaks, and monitoring for symptoms, you can mitigate the chances of adverse effects and enjoy the benefits of undisturbed sleep safely.

In essence this sleep health blog helps you gain insights into the factors to consider before purchasing earplugs, so that you can make an informed decision based on comfort, effectiveness, and suitability.

FAQs on How Earplugs Can Better Sleep

Q1. Is it OK to sleep with earplugs in every night?

  • Sleeping with earplugs regularly is generally safe, but it can lead to potential issues, such as earwax buildup and infections. Using them nightly might increase the risk of these side effects, so it’s important to be cautious.

Q2. How long is too long to wear earplugs?

  • According to Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), individuals exposed to noises over 85 decibels should limit earplug use to 8 hours per day. This guideline is crucial to prevent overexposure and potential damage to your ears.

Q3. Is it safe to sleep with ear protection?

  • While reusable earplugs designed for sleep are safe for overnight use, they should be removed shortly after waking up. Prolonged wear can heighten the risk of ear infections, especially if not kept clean and dry.

Q4. Is tinnitus permanent?

  • Myth: Contrary to popular belief, tinnitus can be temporary rather than chronic. Fact: It may occur briefly due to exposure to loud noise and doesn’t always signify a long-term condition.

Q5. How do I stop using earplugs to sleep?

  • Gradually acclimating yourself to ambient sounds without earplugs is the best method. Spend time each night without them, exposing yourself to normal household noises, and consider incorporating relaxing music to aid in the transition.

Q6. Are silicone ear plugs better than foam?

  • While silicone earplugs offer decent noise reduction, typically around 22-23 dB, foam earplugs, when properly inserted, provide higher noise reduction, ranging from 28-33 dB. Foam earplugs are thus preferable for environments with louder noise levels.

Q7. Are loop earplugs good for side sleepers?

  • Loop earplugs, known for their comfortable low-profile design, are indeed suitable for side sleepers. Their diverse noise reduction options cater to various sleep preferences, ensuring a comfortable and undisturbed night’s rest.

Q8. What is a better alternative to earplugs?

  • Alternatives like white noise and green noise machines, along with relaxation techniques such as meditation, offer effective alternatives to earplugs. These options provide both comfort and sound masking, facilitating better sleep.

Read to know all about green noise and how it enhances sleep. Don’t miss out!

Green Noise




The aforementioned information is intended for general information only and should not replace professional advice. It does not intend to diagnose, treat, or cure sleep or mental health conditions. Prior to any adjustments to your sleep health routine, consulting with a qualified healthcare professional is strongly advised.