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Best Headphones for Sleeping

Written by Sabrina Wilson and updated on November 18, 2017
Best Headphones for Sleeping

Many people enjoy falling to sleep while listening to music. However, there are also a lost of people that prefer the quiet. So, what do you do if you want the music on at night but your beloved wants nothing but the still of the night to drift off to?

First, you should try and convince your partner that listening to music while drifting off can actually be good for you. Some studies have shown that not only can music help you fall asleep quicker, it can also help improve the overall quality of your sleep. The reason for this is because our brains respond to music automatically, without us even thinking about it.

For example, when listening to music our heart rate and breathing mirror that of the song that’s playing. And, different genres have the ability to change the hormone levels within the body. Listening to music activates both the left and right side of the brain. This enhances your problem-solving abilities as it uses both the creativeness of the left side of your brain and the logic of the right side simultaneously.   

If however, you have a partner that’s stubborn as a mule and so set in their ways that they won’t change their sleeping habits, your next best option to getting what you want is to invest in a decent set of sleep headphones. In this article, we’ll take you through some of the main benefits of wearing headphones to sleep as well as explore some of the things to consider when making your purchase.

Benefits of Wearing Headphones to Sleep

As well as the fact that a lot of people enjoy falling to sleep while listening to some of their favorite sounds, there are also many benefits to wearing headphones to sleep, including:

Reduce outside noise

It goes without saying that unless you live in the middle of nowhere (where even no animals live), you will always experience some kind of outside noise that may keep you awake. Putting on some headphones to listen to your favorite sounds before you go to sleep will help drown all that unwanted noise out.

It will also help you keep your own inner thoughts at bay, including things you may not have got done in the day or things that need doing tomorrow. These are all the kinds of thoughts that are likely to keep you awake at night.

Better sleep experience 

Wearing headphones to sleep can help enhance both the quality and quantity of your sleep. It’s the same theory behind singing lullabies to babies to get them to sleep. Hearing soothing sounds will automatically make the body feel more calm and relaxed, helping you fall asleep much quicker and stay asleep much longer.

Regularly listening to melodies while falling asleep will multiply the positive effects. As well as hearing the soothing sounds to help you relax, even the ritual of playing music right before you sleep can help get your body and mind prepped for rest. Eventually, you may find that you can doze off almost instantly as you’ve effectively trained your body when it’s time to go to sleep.    

Encourage positive thoughts

Listening to music we enjoy stimulates the production of the feel-good chemical, serotonin. This chemical is responsible for making us feel good, so it makes sense to boost these levels before sleep to make ourselves feel happy and more relaxed.  

What to Consider When Buying Sleep Headphones


When looking to purchase a pair of sleep headphones, the level of comfort is definitely a key consideration. The more comfortable the headphones are the easier it will be to fall asleep with them on.

Be sure to look for a material that won’t cause you to sweat after an extended period of time. Also, make sure the structural design of the headphones does’t place too much pressure on your ears.  

Wired or wireless 

Sleep headphones come in two varieties: wired and wireless. While the wired variety is no doubt the cheaper option, they’re not necessarily the better option. If you’re someone who tends to move around a lot in their sleep, then wireless sleep headphones may be the better option for you as there’s no risk of getting tangled up in the cord. 


If you do go with the wired option, be sure to check they’re compatible with your music player. Most wired sleep headphones these days use a standard 3.5mm jack that will work with any smartphone, MP3, or MP4 player.

Sound quality 

The sound quality of sleep headphones varies considerably, and a lot of times it’s because of price differences. Higher priced headphones are usually much better quality than those that cost very little. That being said, there are some good deals out there, so just keep a careful eye out.

Noise isolation

This is often one of the main reasons people buy sleep headphones as often they have a partner who snores like a banshee. If this is you, be sure to look for a pair that has good noise reduction qualities. While all sleep headphones will reduce noise somewhat, the level in which they do this varies across the board.

Some work by just blocking out just low-frequencies such as the hum of an engine, while others work by blocking out pretty much everything, including alarms and screaming babies. But, if you’re someone who needs to drown it all out, be sure to look for headphones that offer active noise cancellation. The way these headphones work is by using electronic signals to mirror sounds around you, delivering those to you instead.     


Different people sleep in different positions, and the way in which you sleep may determine for you the type of sleep headphones you should opt for. If you’re someone who sleeps on their side then over-the-ear headphones may not work for you. And similarly, if you’re someone who rolls around a lot, you’ll definitely be better off with a wireless pair.

Battery life 

If you’re going for the wireless option, then be sure to check out the headphone’s battery life. The last thing you want is to get nice and relaxed, just about to drop off, when suddenly your headphone’s battery dies and instead of drifting off into dreamland, you drift back down to the hustle and bustle of the city outside.


This is always something to bear in mind when making any purchase. Sleep headphones vary a little when it comes to price, but as a general rule of thumb you can pick up a decent pair for less than $50. And, considering all the extra hour sleep you’ll get by using them, it’s a bargain!