If you’re like 35% of adults in the United States, you’re getting far less than the recommended minimum of 7 hours of sleep per night. Sounds as faint as 40 decibels, or about as low as a bird chirping, have been shown to arouse the brain during the earlier stages of sleep 90% of the time.
If your sleep is being interrupted by loud traffic, upstairs neighbors, a snoring partner or any other disruptive sounds, it can take a toll on your health and quality of life. Fortunately, there are steps you can take to reduce noise levels and to use the power of sound to help you sleep better.
1. Creating A Quiet Sleep Environment
While there are many noises you cannot control, creating the peace you need for satisfactory sleep begins by eliminating excess noise within your immediate environment. If you have a snoring partner, try to fall asleep before they go to bed, encourage them to seek medical treatment for their snoring or consider sleeping in separate rooms. If you live with roommates, come to a consensus on appropriate quiet hours and communicate to ensure everyone respects the rules. Laying down rugs or carpeting, and hanging ceiling tapestries can also help absorb sound to keep your home quieter.
2. Turn Off Your Devices
In addition to a noisy household, technological gadgets can keep you awake in a number of ways. Notifications on your phone may jar you out of a deep sleep; by turning off the sound or better yet, turning off your phone completely, you can improve your quality of sleep.
While the ambient noise of the TV may help you fall asleep initially, the blue light from the screen ultimately leads to poorer quality sleep. Sounds on TV are also often inconsistent, and while you may drift off to a peaceful dialogue, you may find yourself waking up moments later to an explosive action scene. If you need background noise to fall asleep, look for alternatives rather than depending on the TV.
3. Calming Sounds Can Improve Sleep
While disruptive patterns of sound can make it challenging to get a good night’s rest, repetitive, low-frequency sounds, called white noise can improve sleep quality.
White noise is a consistent noise produced equally at all audible frequencies to drown out the abrupt and inconsistent noises that keep you awake. In addition to white noise machines, you can also choose a sound generator that plays calming rainforest sounds, ocean waves, gentle music or the sound of a heartbeat to help you sleep more peacefully.
If you’re suffering from poor sleep due to loud noises, begin by making a few simple changes to give yourself the peace and quiet you deserve. Getting a full night of uninterrupted sleep is vital for your overall health and wellbeing. Ensuring your environment is as relaxing as possible can help make better sleep possible.