Health & Wellness

Sleep with Covid mask on: Can you Sleep with a Surgical Mask?

As the world continues to grapple with the COVID pandemic, the use of face masks has become an integral part of daily life. While masks are crucial for preventing the spread of the virus in public spaces, a common question arises: Can you sleep with a surgical mask on your face?

The COVID pandemic has brought about many changes in our daily routines, one of which is the widespread use of face masks. While masks are a common sight in public places, some may wonder about the feasibility and safety of wearing a surgical mask while sleeping.

This article explores the practical considerations and potential health implications: Can you sleep with a surgical mask on your mouth?

  1. Can you Sleep with a surgical Mask on
  2. Benefits of Sleeping with a surgical Mask
  3. Is it safe to sleep with a surgical mask on

Here’s what research and expert opinions suggest about can you sleep with a covid mask on overnight

Benefits of Sleeping with a Surgical Mask

Can you Sleep with a Mask on

1. Protection Against Respiratory Droplets & Airborne Particles

Wearing a surgical mask during sleep may provide an extra layer of protection against respiratory droplets, which is particularly beneficial if the person wearing the mask is infected.

Masks can also filter out airborne allergens, such as pollen or dust mites, reducing the risk of respiratory allergies and asthma symptoms

2. Environmental Protection

A mask can serve as a barrier against harmful particles present in the environment, like air pollution or cigarette smoke, which could otherwise irritate the respiratory system.

3. Germ Transfer Prevention

Wearing a surgical mask can prevent the transfer of germs and bacteria that may cause common colds or other infections during sleep.

4. Humidity Benefits

The humidity created inside the mask may help combat respiratory diseases such as COVID-19 by promoting muco-ciliary clearance, a defense mechanism that removes mucus and potentially harmful particles from the lungs.

It is not safe with a surgical mask while sleeping.

1. Comfort and Breathability

Comfort and breathability are important factors to consider when wearing a surgical mask during sleep. A cloth mask made of breathable fabric may be a more comfortable option.

2. Potential Discomfort and Breathing Difficulties

The mask may cause discomfort or difficulty breathing due to the restriction of airflow, which can interfere with sleep.

3. Skin Irritation and Pressure Marks

Prolonged use of a mask can lead to skin irritation and pressure marks on the face.

4. Anxiety and Claustrophobia

For individuals with claustrophobia or anxiety disorders, wearing a mask during sleep may induce feelings of unease and contribute to restlessness.

While surgical masks may provide some filtration benefits, their efficacy in filtering out allergens or pollutants during sleep can be limited.

1. Nasal Strips or Dilators

Nasal strips or dilators can help open up the nasal passages and improve airflow without covering the entire face.

2. Humidifiers

Employing a humidifier in the bedroom can add moisture to the air, which can alleviate dryness and congestion.

1. Choosing the Right Mask

Opt for a mask that fits comfortably and securely over your nose and mouth without causing discomfort or hindering breathing.

2. Proper Hygiene

Wash your hands thoroughly before handling the mask, avoid touching the inner surface, and replace disposable masks after each use.

3. Clean Sleeping Environment

Keep bedding clean and washed frequently to prevent any accumulation of allergens or irritants.

4. Consult with Healthcare Professionals

If you have specific respiratory concerns or need personalized advice, consult with a healthcare provider.


While there are potential benefits to wearing a surgical mask during sleep, such as protection against respiratory droplets and airborne particles, there are also several considerations and risks to keep in mind.

Comfort, breathability, and the potential for discomfort or breathing difficulties are important factors to consider. Alternatives like nasal strips or humidifiers can offer relief for sleep-related issues without the need to cover the face.

Ultimately, the decision to wear a mask while sleeping should be made with attention to personal comfort, health conditions, and after consulting with a healthcare professional.

Dr Maria

MD. Board Certified physician. Fellowship In Family Medicine UK. 8 years of medical experience in Lifestyle-related health disorders. Graduated from AIIMS – All India Institute Of Medical Science, INDIA

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