Lesson 16. The Grinch Hates It Too… and I Don’t Mean Christmas
“And then, oh the noise! Oh, the noise, noise, noise, noise! There’s one thing I hate! All the noise, noise, noise, noise!” –Dr. Seuss; How the Grinch Stole Christmas
You’ve probably guessed by now that today's lesson is about the noise. Specifically, controlling the noise in your bedroom. In this lesson, we'll look at good noise and bad noise. But Jason, you say, isn't any noise while you're trying to sleep, bad noise?
No. If you can miraculously secure absolute silence, that would be great, unless absolute silence is too loud for you. And by that, I mean that it is so quiet, it is bothersome. Some people are actually quite bothered by this. Still, your room should be as quiet as possible to prevent noise from waking you. More on this in a minute.
So silence is good; golden, some say, but some noise can be helpful. This helpful noise is called White Noise. White Noise is a sound that is steady in the background. You almost don’t notice it until it stops. It helps to mask common noises, like everyday sounds that can distract from sleep (people talking, that kind of thing), or peak noises.
A peak noise is something that does not blend in with background noise; think of a door slamming or a dog barking. That would wake you, or at least pull you out of a deeper level of sleep into a lighter one for a time.
Silence or no noise is good.
White noise is good.
Common noise is bad.
And peak noises are bad.
If you want to block out all noise, consider getting earplugs. It might take a little getting used to, but they work best in eliminating all but the loudest sounds. A jackhammer street repair might get through, but probably not bird sounds.
If you want to try some white noise, I have the following recommendations: The first is to get a fan. This serves three purposes, actually. We've talked about it a little in a previous lesson, but the constant hum of the fan is a source of white noise that helps you to sleep. It also provides airflow and temperature regulation, all of which are helping to aid in your sleep. For my money, the fan is the best source of white noise on this list, but here the rest anyway.
Sound screens, sometimes called White Noise machines, create a constant blowing noise. Being a therapist, I'm very familiar with these machines. The therapist will turn them on just outside the office door; this way, people in the hallway or waiting room cannot hear someone else's therapy session. They work well for sleep too, and can usually be found online for under $100. But my fan was $15, and it works just fine.
Moving water is another soothing sound found in a therapist’s office. It is the gentle, but continuous trickling of water from those little office waterfall sculptures. The gently flowing water sound will lull some people to sleep. Try it, unless you think it'll make you want to pee all night. These range widely in price from very cheap to very expensive.
Audio sleep tracks. Speaking of water trickling, you can get a CD or MP3 or whatever format you like of gentle, soothing sounds. Examples are ocean waves crashing, jungle sounds, babbling brooks, etc. When my daughter was an infant, the sound machine mimicking a heartbeat from within the womb put me out in seconds. If you don't like these sounds, then some soft, gentle instrumental music may help you sleep. The volume should be barely discernible so as not to wake you later. It also needs to be peaceful; nothing energetic.
The next lesson is entitled, Emotional & Mental Health Plays a Role in Your Sleep. In it, we will look at your emotional and mental health. Until then, Happy Zzz’s.