Woman sleeping with sleep sounds
Sleep Tips

How to Soundproof Your Sleep

In the day and age of mainstream true crime (yeah, we listen too), one thud in the night can ruin your sleep. The solution? More noise. It may sound contradictory but—trust us—it works.

Where exactly did this obsession with “soundproofed sleep” begin? Let’s throw it back to 2018. My allergies had been getting worse for years and finally drove me to an ear, nose and throat doctor. Between sinus rinses (TMI?) and getting an air purifier to help with nighttime allergies, I noticed something. After a few months, I couldn’t sleep without the air purifier running—not because of its air-filtering properties, but because the sound of the fan running helped me fall asleep.

So, whether you’re a nighttime overthinker, a light sleeper or just plain scared, here’s why you should soundproof your sleep.

Sleep Sound

Small noises throughout the night, like your A/C turning on and off, your floorboards creaking or your upstairs neighbor flushing their toilet can disrupt your sleep more than you think. Dr. Sujay Kansagra, our sleep health expert, recommends using a white noise machine to “dull out auditory distractions” at night. And you don’t have to buy a pricey, bulky noise machine—there are free apps that work just as well, like Sleep Score (#notsponsored). It lets you choose from white noise, pink noise, brown noise, rain sounds and more.

…or lack thereof

Does your partner’s snoring make you want to scream into your pillow at night? We don’t blame you. Dr. Kansagra recommends soundproofing your sleep with earplugs. He notes that if you can hear yourself breathing, that means the earplugs are doing their job: limiting noise disruption. And with such a wide array of options to choose from these days, you’re sure to find a pair that’s affordable and effective.

Double duty

If a noise machine or earplugs aren’t quite up your alley, there are plenty of other ways to soundproof your sleep that offer more than one benefit. For example, listening to an audiobook. We like to call this the grown-up version of a bedtime story; you can even set a timer to make sure it turns off at the right time. Now, if you couldn’t tell, our favorite double-duty soundproofing hack is the good ol’ air purifier. A quality air purifier with a HEPA filter helps ensure you’re breathing cleaner air, and its gentle fan sound will lull you to sleep in no time. Plus, fewer dust mites and allergens = better sleep.

Sleep is personal, so what works for one person may not work for another. Start with the free options that don’t require much investment, like an audiobook trial or a white noise app. But trust us, once you get on the soundproofed-sleep bandwagon, you won’t ever want to leave.

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