A good night's sleep is one of the most important elements of maintaining good mental and physical health, and everyone knows just how frustrating it can be when something noisy is preventing you from getting a solid night’s rest.
Whether it's naughty pets, loud neighbors, or noise pollution from nearby construction or roads, there are many things that can make getting a good night's rest incredibly difficult. This can have a wide ranging impact on your life, affecting your emotions, your mental health, and affecting your circadian rhythm which can have a huge impact on your physical health also.
In fact scientists have recently been learning more about how poor sleep quality can lead to a range of physical ailments as the body’s ability to repair itself and recover from the rigours of daily life are compromised.
It's quite surprising how much noise is needed to affect sleep quality too, and while many people think of obnoxiously loud disturbances, even small repetitive sounds can make it difficult for people to get to sleep.
It's believed that sounds of just 30 decibels can be enough to disturb sleep in some people, which is a very quiet level of sound when you consider that busy road traffic comes in at 70 decibels, and a conversation is about 48 to 50 decibels.
Luckily, there are a few things you can do to help yourself to sleep even when the noise can’t be stopped, and in this guide we’re going to give several methods for helping yourself to rest even when the noise won’t.
This is something that a lot of people use especially when travelling or in unfamiliar locations, and are convenient and easy to use.
While earplugs may not suit some people or be uncomfortable for some users, there’s no denying that a good pair of ear plugs can massively reduce the noise you’re able to hear while you sleep, which will in turn help you to sleep through various types of disturbance.
Ear plugs can be found for varying decibel ratings, however it's good to get a pair that still allow you to hear some sound in case of emergencies such as fire alarms or a crying baby for example. Foam ear plugs are the most common choice and are quite effective while also being good value for money.
But there are also alternatives to ear plugs…
Hibermate Ear Muffs Mask - Alternative or Combination
No doubt about it, good quality ear plugs are awesome for reducing noise! But if ear plugs aren't the best option for you, perhaps due to infection or discomfort, then what are the best alternatives?
Clearly, external ear muffs are an alternative option which you can use instead of ear plugs. They can be worn in nearly any situation, and are widely used by most professionals in dangerously noisy situations. Of course earmuffs are often worn for recreational use too, for example when you're using power-tools, your lawnmower or shooting. The Hibermate sleep mask with its ear muffs was specifically designed to be used while sleeping.
When ear plugs are used with ear muffs the resultant reduction in noise is almost scary!
One thing to note though is that even when you wear ear plugs, or ear muffs, or both together, sound can still travel through to your ears through what's known as bone conduction. Ear plugs and ear muffs reduce air conduction of sound by creating an effective barrier to sound waves travelling through the air to your ears.
Shut Down Your Home
A lot of people fall asleep with various devices still running, from televisions to phones, computers and even dishwashers. All of these devices being on and running adds a lot of noise and all of this can accumulate to a seriously disruptive level of ambient sound and also opens the door to disturbances like alarms and notifications, and these sorts of stimuli are the last thing anyone needs to worry about when they’re having trouble sleeping.
Turning off your devices is the best way to make sure you aren’t tempted or disturbed by these things.
Use Sound to Drown out Sound
One thing that is becoming more and more common is people using various different sounds to help themselves relax at bedtime, and to help drown out the drone of the outside world.
There are various devices to help make this a super comfortable and convenient choice, from white noise machines that many people find incredibly relaxing and can drown out annoying background sound, to special sleep headphones that can be worn to listen to relaxing soundscapes, music and even meditative or ASMR videos that can really help people to enter a totally relaxed state and drown out a lot of external noise entirely. There are even applications dedicated to providing a functional service that allows you to set your phone to turn off itself at a set time once you’re already asleep, as well as dim screen settings and other useful tools to improve your sleep quality.
Reposition your bed
Another thing to consider is the layout of your room. If your bed is near a window or an external wall you will be exposed to much more sound than if your bed is located in a better insulated area of the room.
This is a more expensive and extreme option, however if you have few alternatives soundproofing can be a way to massively reduce how much noise reaches you while you sleep and may actually add value to your property in some cases.
Close your Window
While having some cool air coming through your window can be nice as you fall asleep to prevent getting clammy at night, this will naturally allow a lot of noise directly into your sleeping space and can really lead to a lot of disturbance.
Sometimes it's better to keep the window closed and use a room fan or air conditioner to help keep you cool - and as a bonus the white noise these machines make can sometimes be very relaxing. Some people may find fans a disturbance however.
Noise cancelling curtains are a thing, and are a great choice for single pane windows that allow a lot of sound through them.
Thick specially designed curtains can shield you from noise pollution in these cases, but may be a little expensive and aren’t going to make a huge difference for most people.
Go to bed tired
If you’re tired enough, you can honestly sleep through most things. If you find that you’re going to bed and you’re not feeling very tired, try getting some more exercise in the day and settling down in the evenings to ensure that your body is well and truly ready for sleep when the time comes, which will make it less likely for you to be disturbed as your body more readily enters the deeper phases of sleep.