How to Mask and Block Out Unwanted Noise

Noise can be a real problem to your sleep. Whether its outside, such as:

  • People talking in the street
  • Traffic
  • Barking dogs
  • Noisy neighbors

Or whether the noise originates inside your house, from:

  • Snoring
  • Heavy breathing
  • Other people in the house who are awake

If noise is keeping you awake at night, here are some ways to mask and block out that unwanted noise.

How to mask noise

How to block out noiseMasking the noise involves introducing your own relaxing background noise to mask other noises so you can’t hear them. Masking is particularly effective for traffic and any other low level noise that keeps you awake.

There three types of noise that work well to mask noise. In order of preference, they are:

  1. White noise – A type of static noise that contains all the sound frequencies mixed together that’s well known for its ability to mask noises. You can buy a white noise MP3, stream it for free from the Simply Noise website, buy a dedicated sound machine or generate it yourself using a fan.

  2. Nature sounds – Anything with constant noise such rain, streams or waterfalls work best. Bird sounds are often too quiet to block out noise. Ocean waves on their own don’t work very well either because you can hear the noise you’re trying to block in between the waves. Nature sounds vary dramatically in quality so always ensure you listen to a preview of sounds before buying them.

  3. Ambient music – Soft relaxing music that helps you sleep. Ambient music only works well for quiet noises. Otherwise you would have to play the music at too loud a volume for sleep.

The trick is to strike the balance between having the background noise loud enough to block out the noise but quite enough so that it doesn’t disturb your sleep. In most cases through, the background noise can be surprisingly quiet to block out most sounds.

How to block out noise

If the noise is loud or difficult to mask, consider getting a good pair of comfortable ear plugs specially designed for sleeping in.

Not all ear plugs are the same. There’s a variety of different types available. They vary in comfort, how well they fit in your ear, and how good they are at blocking out sound.

For a selection of the best ear plugs for sleeping, take a look at my ear plug reviews. There I go through the pros and cons of each type of ear plug to help you find the ones best suited to you.

How to become less sensitive to noise

Sometimes the problem isn’t the noise itself that’s keeping you awake, but your reaction to the noise. It’s known as noise sensitivity – when what you feel after hearing the noise is worse than the tangible disturbance the noise creates.

It’s a problem I suffer with myself. For example, I used to live next door to a neighbor who kept their dog outside allowing it to bark all night long without doing anything about it. Now just the sound of distant barking at night makes me feel the same anger and frustration about people who seemingly don’t care about anyone else but themselves. The sound has become an emotional trigger. It’s not the sound that’s the problem, it’s my reaction to it.

You might feel the same way by hearing ‘that noise’ that just sends you over the edge. When really, if you changed how you felt about it, it wouldn’t really bother you.

If you can identify with this, there is help out there to help remove those emotional triggers. Hypnosis Downloads, providers of the excellent Insomnia Beater Pack, have two hypnosis sessions specially for this type of problem

I can’t explicitly recommend these because I haven’t tried them myself, but I can recommend Hypnosis Downloads as a company. Each hypnosis session comes with a 90 day money back guarantee so if you suffer from this problem and blocking out or masking the noise isn’t an option, then these hypnosis sessions are definitely worth a try.