If you’ve ever felt groggy from being woken through the night by abrupt noises, you know it’s a recipe for a rough morning. While some sounds can nurture sleep, others snap us awake and make it difficult to go back to catching zzzs. In this article, we’ll answer the question “How does noise affect sleep cycles and some tips for reducing unwanted noises during prime sleep hours.
How Noise Interferes with Sleep
It may surprise you to learn that even when you’re sleeping, noises can still be disruptive enough to wake you. What’s more surprising is these sounds don’t even have to wake you to interfere with sleep, since the sleeping brain remains aware of sounds in the environment. Because of that, you might suffer from a restless sleep that leaves you tired because you did not spend enough time in deep and REM sleep, the deepest and most restorative sleep cycles.
Whether you have a loudly snoring partner, a roommate who talks at all hours of the night, or any other noisy sleep distractions, we have some helpful tips and suggestions to get your rest back in control.
- Consider covering the noise with sounds you enjoy – White noise machines are a wise investment for those who struggle to sleep due to noisy sleeping environments. For example, those moving from a rural to an urban setting can benefit from white noise machines that cover sudden loud noises with a continuous sound. There are also pink noises, like the sound of steady rainfall, and brown noises, like the roar of a river, which work well, too.
- There’s always an app for it! 2017 is full of apps meant to provide workable solutions to many issues, including noisy bedrooms. If you cannot or do not want to invest in a sound machine, explore your options for apps that can provide white, brown, or pink noise. There are also sleep-oriented music apps ideal for those struggling with this issue.
- Use appliances to mask unwanted noise – Fans are the original white noise machines, but your air conditioner, ceiling fan or air forced space heater can also provide you with effective white noise creation.
- Consider earplugs – Though a distinctly old-school answer, they work wonders for blocking out all of the ambient noise and sound. However, keep in mind that if you count on an alarm clock, this is not the right solution for you.
- Modify the entire bedroom – This involves moving furniture to optimal locations to reduce noise, adding sound-proofing panels to the walls where noise enters, and insulating floors, windows, and ceilings safely.
- Sweep the house for buzzing appliances- The humming of an electrical device may be what is causing the problem, and the solution as simple as removing it!
- Train yourself to ignore it – This may sound impossible, but experts have discovered that many of us can actually use relaxation methods and mindful forgetfulness to learn how to sleep in a noisy environment.
And be sure not to forget that morning noises such as barking dogs, garbage trucks or early traffic could be another noise concern. If so, take these same steps to address these early morning noises before it interrupts your healthy and natural sleep cycle.