Sleeping in Earplugs Doesn't have to be Painful
Nearly three years ago I started wearing ear plugs every night. My husband, sadly, is a freight train. I love him dearly, but I just can't sleep with him unless I wear ear plugs with my headband sleep phones.
It hasn't been easy getting used to sleeping in ear plugs on a nightly basis. I went through a ton of pain and infection before I learned how to sleep in earplugs.
I've finally learned how to stay pain and infection free. I know there's a lot of you who sleep with snoring partners and have no choice but to wear ear plugs to get some sleep.
I want to teach you some ticks and tricks I use to sleep in ear plugs. Now you can have pain free (and quiet!) nights.
Choose the Right Size for your Ears
First, it's important to choose earplugs that fit your ears. Believe it or not, earplugs do come in different sizes. And if you're trying to sleep in earplugs that are too big for your ear canal, it will hurt like heck.
When I first started wearing earplugs, I had a constant sore spot deep in the inside of my right ear. I finally figured out I was sore because the earplugs I was using was too fat for my ear canals and was rubbing me raw.
I found these earplugs made especially for women. They're smaller in diameter and not as long and, I think, softer. When I switched to these, the sore spots in my ear canal healed up.
Howard Leight Earplugs for Women and/or for Small Ears. Pink 14 PairHEAROS Sleep Pretty in Pink Ear Plugs for Snoring and Noise CancellationMack's Slim Fit Soft Foam Earplugs, 50 Pair - Small Ear Plugs for Sleeping, Snoring
I understand every body is different. I've known some people who can't wear the larger earplugs because they caused pain, but they couldn't wear the smaller earplugs because they fell out.
If you have this problem, I recommend moldable ear plugs. They are custom fit to your ear, so it should be snug and comfortable to sleep in earplugs like these.
Buy Bulk: Only Sleep in Ear Plugs Once
When I first started wearing earplugs, I made the mistake of just buying the small packs you buy in the grocery store. I didn't think I needed to sleep in a new pair every night. I admit it, I was cheap. 🙁
It wasn't very long before I developed the worst earache ever. It wouldn't go away, so I had to see my doctor. Turns out, I had an outer ear infection.
He explained that wearing earplugs basically turn your ears into petrie dishes. Bacteria from your fingers and germs on the ear plugs feed and grow in the moist, warm environment that is an ear plugged ear.
So he recommended if I HAD to sleep in earplugs to use a brand new pair every night and to keep everything as clean as possible.
Now I only buy individually wrapped ear plugs like the ones I'm showing in the picture above. I buy this brand which comes as a box of 200 individually wrapped pairs. They're also one of the best snoring ear plugs I've tried so far.
Here's some sanitary tips to keep in mind if you sleep in earplugs:
- ALWAYS wash your hands before inserting earplugs into your ears
- NEVER reuse earplugs. (Buy them individually wrapped in bulk)
- If you drop a plug on the floor or in the sink, etc., don't use it. Throw it away and open a new pack
How to Help Ear Pain from Ear Plugs
Sometimes even when I'm wearing the right sized ear plugs and keeping everything infection free, I still get soreness from sleeping in ear plugs nightly. I've worked out ways to help pain caused by sleeping in ear plugs that's helped.
Keep the Ears Lubed
When my ears hurt, I rub natural lubricants into my ear, like cocoa butter, shea butter, or coconut oil before I put in my ear plugs. Just put a small amount on the end of your finger and coat the outside of your ear as far as your finger will reach. Don't use too much though, otherwise your earplugs will slide out during the night. And for pete's sakes, don't use a cotton swab to do this!
Wear Ear Plugs the Right Way
Also, make sure you don't insert ear plugs too deep into your ear canal. I know, I know, if you don't put them in far enough you'll still hear your partner snore or your noisy neighbors party. But it's important to wear ear plugs the right way, though, to avoid damage but still keep you sleeping in peace.
This is a pretty old school video, but it shows you the proper way to insert ear plugs. This is how I put mine in. Minus the 80's haircut and cardboard boxes, of course. 😛
Don't Let Things Build Up
Ear wax buildup is another painful result of sleeping in ear plugs. While you sleep, the wax moves bacteria, dirt, and grime to the ear opening. When you sleep in ear plugs every night, it kind of puts a kink in this process.
Your ears still keep cranking out the ear wax till eventually it becomes impacted. This can cause some pain, as well as some serious hearing loss. Your doctor can clean irrigate your ears to remove the wax, but I've made it routine to use a home ear wax removal kit on a monthly basis.
Sometimes you Just Need a Break
When you sleep in earplugs night in and night out discomfort is bound to happen at some point. Sometimes, no matter how careful I am, my ears still get sore.
When it does, I don't use earplugs for a night or two. Like I said, my husband is a freight train so this usually means I have to sleep in the guest room. Even though I'm not sleeping in ear plugs, I still rub shea or cocoa butter in my ears to help ease the irritation. After a couple nights, my ears are usually back to normal and I can go back to sleeping in ear plugs again.
Yes, You can Sleep in Earplugs Pain Free!
It took me a long time to figure out how to sleep in earplugs without discomfort. Ear plugs aren't the ideal situation, but you learn some hacks when you sleep with somebody who snores.
Remember, see your physician if you have serious pain that doesn't go away. Infection can still happen even if you take precaution.
Hopefully you found these tips and tricks to be useful and you can sleep in ear plugs pain free, too!