When we think of sound and sleep, most people automatically consider noise a disruptor to a solid night of sleep. However, it’s been proven that some people prefer some sound when they’re sleeping, and scientifically, it can even help improve the sleep cycle in some individuals. But before you go blaring your bedside speakers, let’s explore the impact noise has on a night of rest.
Environmental and personal preferences matter
For most of us, the need for some sound during sleep is largely dependent on what we’ve been exposed to. For instance, people who live in cities who have grown accustomed to traffic sounds or neighbouring apartment noises may find falling asleep in a quiet country house unsettling. Conversely, people who are used to total silence may find even light noises a nuisance during sleep.
What to do if you need some noise
For city dwellers and other sound-prone people, it’s important to add healthy, consoling sounds to your bedtime routine – don’t just turn on Netflix or fall asleep to Spotify. We suggest soothing sounds composed of different frequencies, such as pink or white noise. White noise is comparable to light TV static, which may be too harsh or tinny for some. In that case, try pink noise, which also includes a range of frequencies but emphasises the lower ones. Pink noise creates a deeper sound that some may find more comforting.
Additionally, some studies suggest binaural beats work the best. These sounds are designed induce various psychological states that are correlated with specific brainwave states. In other words, each ear is served a different frequency, and it’s up to the brain to hear the difference. This process creates an illusory auditory stimulus that the brain then tries to synchronise with, easing you into a deep, restful sleep.
What to do if you need no noise
We suggest investing in a pair of safe earplugs. There are many designed specifically for sleep, so they’re not bulky or uncomfortable. As always, it’s best to discuss with your audiologist before investing in a pair, as they should be able to recommend the safest brand to meet your needs.