A light sleeper trying to sleep

Tips for Light Sleepers | How to Reduce Noise and Disturbances

February 23, 2015
Healthy Sleep

Estimated reading time: 4 minutes

Sleep Disturbances

Noises are all around us when we’re trying to fall asleep. The ticking of the clock to the slamming of a door keeps us tossing and turning all night long. Many factors can determine why some noise is bothersome while other noise is relaxing. If you’re a light sleeper, these noises can ruin your sleep!

An important thing to remember is that our brains continue to process multiple things during sleep. The time of night, which stage of sleep you’re in, and your emotional connection to the noise are all important factors in determining if you’re going to be disturbed by noise or not. Stages 1 and 2 of sleep are the most susceptible to noise disturbances.  This is because in stages 1 and 2 an individual is in their lightest sleep.

Also, the emotional connection to the noise is an important factor in determining disturbances. The whimpering of a dog or the crying of a child is more likely to wake a person from their sleep. This is because of the emotional connection with the noise and the sense that a loved one is in need. Here are a few tips for light sleepers that will help you get the rest you need.

Implementing White Noise

A great tip for light sleepers is to use white noise. You can create white noise by running a fan, air conditioner, or some other type of comforting noise. Another solution could be a YouTube video of a constant storming sound or a sleeping YouTube video that plays hours of constant, soothing sounds. This calming noise works as background noise. White noise camouflages other more disruptive noises which may be keeping you tossing and turning all night. It is important to test out the optimal volume level of white noise you can tolerate.

Turn Off the Television!

A TV that's turned off.

It’s very important to not use the TV for white noise. The TV should be shut off during a full night’s sleep. This is because of the different tones and volumes broadcasted from the television. Have you ever found yourself suddenly awaken by the sound of an infomercial in the middle of the night? This is because of the increase in volume or different tones used to garner customer attention. It’s important to shut the television off and use a different alternative for white noise.

Environmental Factors

There are also some outside environmental noises that you have no control over. This could be living near a major highway, airport, railroad tracks, etc. Some people become accustomed to the variety of noises the outside environment throws at them. However, others find it a constant struggle to deal with these noises. Studies have found people that who live in these unique places are shown to have increased blood pressure due to exposure to these intense noises. A way to deal with these profound noises is to find a source of white noise to help camouflage the noise.  Earplugs may also be a solution for others to help deal with these noises.

Putting the Family to Sleep

One of the best tips for light sleepers is getting the kids to bed early. Start to wind them down by using soft music or similar noises 30-45 minutes before bedtime. This will prepare the children for bed. Also, make sure the television and video games are off! This can cause over-excitement and arouse the children instead of calming them. Finally, a good source of white noise will keep the children asleep while you prepare yourself for bed.

Now that the children are asleep, let’s address you! If possible, turn your phone off or charge it in another room. The vibrating of the phone from the numerous texts, emails, and other alerts are constant stressor on the mind. Use an old alarm clock instead of your phone! An alarm clock with enough power to wake you up but doesn’t startle you will do the trick.

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