We live in a noisy world; there are phone notifications, traffic, dogs barking, kids running up and down the halls, people talking much too loudly. Suffice it to say that it’s enough to keep you up all night.
Let’s face it. We don’t get enough high-quality sleep in our lives as it is. The problem is only enhanced when we’re surrounded by noise. Anything we can do to help make it easy to catch up on good-quality sleep is ultimately a step toward better mental and physical health.
Thankfully, there are many ways to make your bedroom a quiet place to get some rest. From gold standards like a quality set of earplugs to concepts you may never thought have like properly padding your doorways, we’re here to talk about creating a quiet sleep environment.
Tips for Soundproofing Around the House
Sound can be tricky in the fact that it gets in where you least expect it. While proper professional soundproofing can be on the pricey side, there are a number of smaller steps you can take to ensure your room will be as quiet as it can be.
Seal the cracks and gaps along your door frames, window frames, and other small gaps. This can be done with the careful application of caulk or other sealants of your choice. If there are gaps and cracks in easily visible areas, you may want to consider, for example, transparent caulk. If sealant doesn’t seem useful or appropriate, you might want to use towels or blankets to block the base of doors, for example, to muffle noise.
While blackout curtains and blinds are great for keeping light out when it isn’t wanted, they are also useful when it comes to blocking a certain degree of sound, too. Some blinds come with built-in soundproofing and are available at certain home improvement stores and online.
Using White Noise Machines
Sometimes, we need at least a little bit of noise to fall asleep, and that’s okay. White noise is a tried-and-true way to get to sleep and stay asleep if silence just isn’t doing the trick.
White noise is essentially noise containing many frequencies but with equal intensities. It takes the form of basic TV static, a flowing river, soft music, and similar noises. White noise means you can hear it without needing to concentrate on it.
White noise machines and even mobile phone apps can be useful, providing uninterrupted white noise of your choice in a loop. In a pinch, there are videos on YouTube designed for just such white noise purposes.
Certain portable fans are designed with white noise in mind and there’s, of course, the added bonus of keeping your room nice and cool, which most people find helpful for sleeping.
Noise-canceling headphones might be a good idea depending on your comfort level. This could also enhance your white noise experience.
Working with Noisy Neighbors
Talking to noisy neighbors or even those particularly loud individuals in your own house is a delicate subject. All the same, sometimes these subjects need to be breached.
Some people are light sleepers where others can take a bit of noise and keep on snoring, so we all have different tolerances when balancing sleep and noise.
When you get down to it, the noise conversation is a compromise. If you can be calm about it, talk to the noisy party, and make sure they understand the noise is affecting your sleep, which is, in turn, affecting your health.
However you go about the rest of that conversation, don’t do it angrily. As the old proverb goes, you attract more flies with honey than with vinegar.
Don’t start a “noise war.” Turning up your TV, your radio and anything that makes noise just to get back at your neighbors isn’t going to help anyone. In fact, it may only serve to make even more people angry!
As a last resort, if negotiations have failed, you may want to consult local law or bylaw enforcement to see if taking action is the next best resolution.
This is a common-sense solution, but it takes time and testing to figure out if it’s the right one for you.
Memory foam earplugs are pretty basic – simply insert them into the ear and they expand to block the ear canal. They are one-time use earplugs and are a simple, easy, cheap way of cutting down on noise.
Silicone earplugs come in moldable discs which can then be placed inside the ear. While these are more expensive, they can be used several times per pair so long as they are kept clean. Eventually, the silicone will lose its flexibility and you’ll have to get a new pair.
Wax earplugs are a fairly recent development. They are multiple-use and moldable to fit the ear. The wax requires “warming” in your hands before use, but that little extra work seems to be worth it, according to the consensus.
Prepare Your Mind for Sleep
When you’ve done all you can to soundproof your space, you’ll also have to quiet your mind. Sometimes, all the noise that remains after you’ve done everything in your power can be quieted through careful focus and mental exercises.
Take your mind away from any outside noise that isn’t already blocked. Focus instead on slow, steady breaths.
Work your way down your body, mentally noting and relaxing each muscle as you move along. Picture yourself in a calm, quiet place that makes you relaxed and happy, and you’ll be blocking out the noise in your head in no time at all.
There are a number of small steps you can take to create your ideal, quiet sleeping space, from the mental to the physical. With this in mind, we would love to hear your suggestions on tips and tricks you’ve used to help yourself fall asleep. Let’s talk about it in the comments below!