Nothing is worse than tossing and turning all night, struggling to get to sleep because you are surrounded by too much noise. Unfortunately, many types of noise are difficult to control.
Nighttime noises can come from a wide range of sources. Whether you live in an apartment building with noisy neighbors, have a busy road right outside your window, or are trying to get some shut-eye while sleeping with a partner who snores, there are some steps that you can take to get a better night’s sleep. Below are some helpful tips for learning how to sleep with noise:
1. Try using a fan or white noise machine.
Even though it may sound counterproductive to add yet another noise to the mix, listening to the sound of white noise can actually do wonders to help you sleep. This sound, which is similar to the sound of TV static, helps mask other sounds. Because it is a constant, steady noise, it is far less disruptive than other noises that may start or stop suddenly.
You can create white noise by using a special machine known as a white noise generator. Alternatively, you can also try turning on a fan. The noise of the fan creates a soft form of white noise that can help block out the sounds that are keeping you from sleeping.
2. Listen to relaxing instrumental music.
Much like listening to white noise, putting on soft instrumental music can help you sleep in a noisy environment. Because the music provides a steady sound at a constant volume, it is less likely to disrupt your sleep then sharp sounds that start and stop like snoring.
Avoid music with vocals, opting for instrumental tracks instead. Without words to distract you, your brain is much more likely to relax. Additionally, try to find music that plays at a steady volume throughout the song without any parts that are softer or louder. Meditation music is usually a good choice.
3. Ignore the noise.
When a noise is keeping you from falling asleep, it is only natural to focus all of your attention on it. Unfortunately, as you lay there focusing on the sound, it only makes the problem worse. The more you pay attention to it, the louder it seems and the more difficult it is to fall asleep.
One technique that you can practice is trying to accept and ignore the sound. Instead of fighting against it, acknowledge that it exists and that there is nothing that you can do about it. Then, do your best to focus your attention elsewhere. For instance, try focusing on your breathing, paying attention to each breath that you take.
Alternatively, try doing progressive muscle relaxation. With this technique, you focus on each of your muscle groups independently, visualizing the muscles relaxing deeply. Start at the top of your head and work your way down to the bottoms of your feet. By the time you are done, you probably won’t even notice the noise anymore.
4. Change your environment.
Even though you may not be able to control the noises outside your home, you can take steps to modify your bedroom to make it a quieter space. If you have hardwood flooring, consider installing carpeting. The carpet helps absorb sounds, keeping them from echoing around the space. Adding curtains to your windows can have the same effect.
Speaking of your windows, don’t forget to close them before falling asleep. If your bedroom is too hot, consider using a window-mounted air conditioner. An air conditioner not only helps keep your room cooler but it also generates a low level of white noise that helps block out sounds.
5. Follow a strict bedtime routine.
It is a lot easier to sleep in a noisy environment if you are tired. Sticking to a regular bedtime routine can train your body to go to bed at the same time each night. This has the effect of making it easier to sleep.
To prepare for bed, shut off your electronic devices at least an hour before you go to sleep. The light from the screens on your smartphone or computer can interfere with your body’s internal clock, making it more difficult to sleep.
Instead of playing with your phone or checking your email, try performing a relaxing activity like taking a bath or reading a book before bed each night. Once your body adapts to the new routine, it will be much easier for you to sleep. When you are tired at bedtime, you may have an easier time ignoring the noises around you.
Learning how to sleep with noise isn’t always easy. By experimenting with these techniques, however, you should be able to find a way to combat the noise so that you can finally get some rest. You may need to combine several techniques to get the best results. In the end, however, it will be worth it since there is nothing better than a good night’s sleep.