How to Sleep with Ear Infection


When you are suffering from an ear infection, it can be challenging to have a relaxing sleep. There’s not much of a surprise when there is a surge of search requests about ‘how to sleep with ear infection.’ Well, you are lucky enough to found this post. We have gathered several tips so you can sleep soundly even with an ear infection. 

What is an Ear Infection?

Before we jump into our tips, let’s talk more about an ear infection.

When we say ear infection, it is most likely that a pus-like fluid will come out of the infected ear. It can happen on the outer ear and the middle ear. If untreated, it can become severe and can even limit you as you try to work on your daily routines. At times, it can also be painful.

How to Sleep with Ear Infection

Why Ear Pain Gets Worse at Night?

If you have been quite observant, you will notice that ear pain can get worse at night. But why is this the case?

In the morning, your ear is in a vertical position, which allows the air to flow properly. Plus, subtle movements during the day can alleviate the pain. These activities include chewing and even yawning. On the other hand, it is harder for the air to pass through when you are already lying down. In fact, it could be blocked.

Generally, earaches could last within 2 or 3 days. If you have been suffering for a longer time, immediately seek professional assistance.

Tips on How To Sleep with Ear Infection

Now, let’s talk about the ways how you can sleep even with an ear infection. As we all know, sleep is essential to boost one’s overall health. Thus, it should always be a priority.

Use Heat Pack

If your ear problem is brought by an earwax buildup, using a heat pack could be beneficial and could reduce the pain. You can apply the heat pack for five minutes, and this should soften the earwax.

Others are using a hairdryer, but we understand that this could be a bit dangerous. If you want the safer option, then we say go for the heat pack or a warm flannel cloth.

Take Over-The-Counter Painkillers

Generally, over-the-counter painkillers are good. We are talking about ibuprofen and paracetamol. However, if you have an ongoing health condition, you might want to ask your doctor if you can take these medications. Perhaps, they will prescribe something specific. Likewise, children below two years old are not recommended to take over-the-counter medicines unless there is a go signal from the pediatrician.

Drink Water and Do A Simple Swallowing Exercise

Another simple activity before you go to bed is to drink water before you sleep. This could help alleviate the pain brought by the ear infection. In addition, you can practice a neck and swallowing exercise. This will stimulate the muscles that could also reduce the pain.

Elevate Your Head

We recommend that you elevate your head as you sleep. There are a few ways to do this. You can either use multiple pillows, a wedge pillow or buy a recliner bed. However, we do understand that getting pillows is more economical.

When your head is elevated, you allow the fluid from your ear to drain faster. This could also lessen the pressure from your ear. Hence, professionals would suggest that you sleep in this position.

Meanwhile, we’ve found a nice wedge pillow online, and we highly encourage you to get one for yourself.


How to Sleep with Ear Infection - Tip Top Sleep

Check the latest price on Amazon.  

This amazing pillow gives you three elevation choices, and you can easily adjust it according to your preference. It also uses 100% memory foam, which guarantees ultimate comfort. What’s good is that you can even use it even after your ear infection has been cured. It’s known to be beneficial for people suffering from acid reflux and neck pain. Take note that even those who underwent surgery claim that the pillow is nothing short of outstanding.

Get Quality Memory Foam Mattress

Experts also suggest that you get a quality memory foam mattress to improve your sleeping system. This can also prevent earaches from occurring. The core reason for this is that foam mattresses will adjust to the shape of your body’s contours, which makes it easier for you to sleep comfortably. Here’s one we highly recommend.

Sweetnight 12 Inch Soft Pillow Top King Size Mattress

How to Sleep with Ear Infection - Tip Top Sleep

Check the latest price on Amazon.  

This king mattress is a crowd favorite because of its impressive gel memory foam. Pressure will be relieved and is ideal if you can’t sleep at night due to ear infections. What’s even better is that this bed is suitable for sharing. Even if you or your partner move too much, one will not be distracted, and they can continue having a quality sleep. Most of its buyers can attest to the quality, and we bet you will not be disappointed too. 

Switch Sleeping Positions

As much as you can, avoid sleeping on your back as this can add pressure to your ears. Resting on your side is a good choice, as long as it is not the infected side.

Manage Your Allergies

For adults, one of the possible reasons why you experience an ear infection is because of an upper respiratory infection; an example would be a cold. A temporary solution is to use nasal or oral decongestants. This can clear the blockages and can reduce the pressure from your ears, nose, and even throat.

You can also take an antihistamine, but only after your doctor has prescribed it. Remember that this is not recommended for children.

If you want to learn more tips about how you can manage ear infections, here’s a video that could help you.

Conclusion, How to Sleep with Ear Infection

An ear infection can be downright annoying. But if you know the tips on how to take care of yourself, you would soon realize that your condition is already cured, and you can go back to your normal routine.

Also, as a rule of thumb, never self-medicate or even attempt to treat your ears on your own. We’ve heard several stories about people getting deaf in an attempt to treat their ear infections. Don’t be like them.

By Michelle D.

Meet Michelle, founder of Tip Top Sleep, a website dedicated to helping you achieve the best sleep possible. With over 50 years of combined experience in the realm of sleep, Michelle and her team provide easy-to-follow tips and strategies to help you feel better, function better, and live better through optimal sleep. Let us help you prioritize your sleep and discover the power of a good night's rest.