Should You Sleep In Your Earrings?

The mere thought of accidentally sleeping in earrings sends chills up my spine. I’ve probably worn earrings almost every day since they were first pierced in junior high. Sure, there were the random nights where I am simply too exhausted (and by exhausted I mean I’d had too much wine) to take out my contacts or even brush my teeth, but earrings always made it out of the tiny holes they called home each night before bed. Sometimes they ended up on the floor, never to be seen again. Other nights away from home, only one of the pair would make it home, but none have ever spent an entire in my ears.

In order to pierce my ears, I had to make a deal with my mother that I would keep my new piercing clean while it healed and I would never sleep in my earrings. I’ve broken many deals with my mom during my teens, but a quick nap in my earrings on an airplane made this was very easy to keep. The sharp point of my tiny black studs constantly jabbing into my skull made it impossible to feel comfortable so I never attempted it again. Turns out, it’s not just comfort that should prevent you from turning in with your earrings in; there are actually some pretty gnarly consequences that can eventually catch up to you.

Don’t worry, sleeping in your earrings is not going to result in your untimely death or make your ears fall off, but here are five reasons why you should probably rethink sleeping in your earrings anyway.

1. You Risk Tarnishing Your Jewelry

Sleeping in your earrings can potentially damage your jewelry, which isn’t that shocking considering how many of us toss and turn in our sleep. According to Dr. Peredo in an article on SELF, sleeping in jewelry is the number cause of losing gemstones! If you’re like me, then you probably lose the backs to your earrings constantly, sleeping in your earrings can lead you down the road to needing to use erasers as backs pretty quickly when the backs start vanishing in your sleep.

2. Your Jewelry May Not Be Clean

Cleaning your earrings is important in keeping up the original appearance of your jewelry, but remove bacteria and dirt that builds up between each wear. You may not think that your pierced ears can give you an infection once they've healed, but frequent friction and unsterile posts can lead to ear trouble, according to sources at University of Maryland Medical Center. Give your ears a rest at night and think about giving those posts a nice soak in warm water. According to sources at SELF, bacteria and dirt on tarnished jewelry can lead to skin infections.

3. Pulling Your Ear Piercing

You may already know that wearing heavy earrings can pull or stretch the piercing, causing your ear region to prematurely sag. According to doctor responses on Real Self, a pulled earring can be so severe it can cause in an ear lobe split. Again, think about restless nights where you toss and turn or even potential snagging on your sheets. Each time you wake up missing an earring, you can be sure that you pulled it out in your sleep.

4. Snagging Your Sheets

Speaking of sheets… sleeping in studs may not jab your skin every time, but chances are you are snagging your sheets every time you sleep with your earrings in. I’m not exactly rocking an expensive, high thread count on my sheets, but I certainly don’t want snags all over my pillows.

5. Comfort Level

Some people have no issues falling asleep with a pair of studs in their ears, maybe they are deep sleepers or maybe the sharp point never touches their skin. According to sources at the Mayo Clinic, comfort is important for a good night's sleep. Like I said, it’s totally uncomfortable for me and eventually, if you’re are getting stabbed at night you are going to wake up with an unwanted scar from all those jabs.

While sleeping earrings doesn't come with severe health risks, consider your comfort and love of your fave pair of studs before you slip in between the sheets.

Images: Seth Lemmons, piecemeal, Alyssa L. Miller/Flickr; Kristin Collins Jackson