Noises are annoying when you are awake and trying to concentrate but they are even more annoying when you are trying to go to sleep. While some people can sleep through anything, most adults are light sleepers and a little bit of noise could disrupt their sleep. Fragmented sleep is less restful. Even disturbances that do not wake you up have an unconscious impact on sleep by altering the amount of time we spend in different phases of sleep. The many forms of sleep we cycle through each night, ranging from lighter phases (1 and 2) to deep (slow wave) sleep and rapid eye movement, are referred to as sleep stages (REM). Noise from the environment, such as planes and automobiles, has been found to promote stage 1 sleep while decreasing slow wave and REM sleep. Your brain basically rewires during REM sleep. The longer the REM sleep the better you will feel in the morning. Noise at night can induce an increase in the production of hormones like adrenaline and cortisol, as well as an increase in heart rate and blood pressure. These can also prevent you from achieving REM sleep.
So How Do You Mask Or Block Out Unwanted Noises At Night?
Here are few ways
Soundproofing Your Bedroom- You don’t have to go all gaga with this. Simple things such as installing thicker carpets, getting thick curtains, leaving less empty room, sealing the door, installing acoustic windows, plugging up insulation holes, are some ways you could make your bedroom more soundproof. If you are someone who works night shifts and sleeps during the morning, soundproofing your house could help prevent outside noise such as traffic, construction, and pets from disturbing you. You could also install soundproofing foam on the walls if you really want to make your roof soundproof. But that will obviously change the way your room looks.
Playing Background Noise – Our brains are sensitive to auditory stimulus, however our brain can also effectively block out background noise. If a sound or sound pattern is repeated, the “novelty detecting neurons’ ‘ soon stop functioning. If any component of the sound changes, they will temporarily restart shooting. The neurons can detect changes in a single sound’s pitch, loudness, or length, as well as variations in the pattern of a complicated sequence of sounds. We have this capacity because it helps us to tune out background noises such as the humming of a car’s engine or the tick-tock of a clock when driving. Our brain is amazing like that. You could trick your brain into false relaxation by playing various kinds of background noises.
Here Are Some Sound You Could Uses
White Noise – A form of static noise that combines all sound frequencies and is well-known for its ability to hide sounds. When a noise wakes you up in the middle of the night, it’s not the noise that jars you, but the rapid shift or inconsistencies in the sounds. White noise has a masking effect, which blocks out the abrupt variations that irritate light sleepers and individuals who are attempting to fall asleep. However white noise might not work for everyone. Some people get irritated by it rather than get relaxed.
Nature Sounds – For people who want a more relaxing background noise, nature sounds are the way to go. Nature sounds can include ocean waves, rain on roof, forest sounds, water creek sound, etc. Natural sounds help you rest since they are continuous, pleasant noises. They are seen as non-threatening sounds by your brain, which helps to decrease your fight-or-flight reaction. This helps you relax and sleep better by lowering your stress level.
Ambient Music – Ambient music is made up of electronic instrumentals that don’t have a constant rhythm. Ambient music not only drowns out background disturbances, but it also enhances sleep by relaxing the autonomic nervous system, resulting in slower breathing, a lower heart rate, and lower blood pressure.
Other Background Noises – Humming of AC, Fan, distant traffic, busy restaurant noise, are some of the background noises people use to fall asleep. These are practical noises that stay around us and don’t feel unnatural. They don’t feel intrusive and can help some people fall asleep better.