Is a snoring spouse, barking dogs, traffic outside, or birds chirping at 4 am playing havoc on your ability to get a good night’s sleep? If so, you’re far from alone. “The research is pretty solid that noise can prevent people from getting a good night’s sleep,” says Ken Hume, a principal lecturer in human physiology at the Manchester Metropolitan University in England. What’s more, noises as quiet as 40 decibels – akin to the sounds between a quiet whisper from six feet and a normal conversation at three feet – can keep us from sleeping, reports the National Sleep Foundation.
Sleep is a precious commodity in many households around the world. For some people, it’s falling asleep in the first place. For others, it’s managing to remain asleep that’s the problem. One of the more common causes of problem sleeping is distractions brought on by noise in the environment. That’s why many people are beginning to take matters into their own hands in order to find sounds they sleep to so that they can ignore the sounds that tend to wake them up or keep them up at night.
What Sounds Distract from Restful Sleep?
Knowing how important it is to get a good night’s sleep only seems to pile on the pressure some nights when your brain is hijacked by every random noise of stray thought that crosses paths with it. Some of the sounds that may be preventing you from getting the sleep you so desperately need include:
- Barking dogs
- Dripping water faucets
- Garbage trucks
- Street sweepers
- Noisy Neighbors
Of course there are plenty more sounds that might be making a difference in your own little corner of the world, but these noises are some of the most commonly complained about.
People who sleep soundly often take the ubiquitous activity for granted. They are unfamiliar with the endless wakeful nights of the tormented insomniac. But most people have experienced insomnia at least once in their lives—a terrible night when no amount of tiredness can shut down an active brain. I’ve had many of these nights in my life. They often happen in times of stress, when my troubles occupy my thoughts. It took a few years of regular insomnia before I started really researching possible causes, from my diet to my brand of foam mattress. I was surprised to find some clear criminals among the commonly-used substances in my daily life. I didn’t realize that my lifestyle choices were sabotaging my sleep! They may be sabotaging yours too. Here are some common culprits.