In today’s modern world, fast-paced lifestyles create excessive amounts of noise pollution. In fact, noise pollution is more prevalent than it’s ever been before.
A shockingly high percentage of people live in big cities that frequently operate on a twenty-four-hour basis. This means that it’s becoming harder than ever to switch off and find respite in a world of constant noise and neon lights.
There is an art to sleeping with noise. Humans can easily adjust to their environments with the right know-how. The mind has a built-in mechanism that allows us to completely switch off and forget the noise around us. Focusing on the noise is the worst thing that you can do when confronted with noise pollution. It can exacerbate it and in time promotes unhealthy sleeping habits.
Behavioral modifications and sleep-promoting habits need to be incorporated into your routine. Keep reading to find out how you can train yourself to ignore any disruptive noise and become a pro sleeper.
How to Train Yourself to Sleep in Noisy Environments
Try to Forget The Noise Around You
Now, we know that this tip is easier said than done but it’s actually simpler than you might think.
When we focus on the noise around us we often get agitated and flustered. We become fed up and our ears start to adjust to the same frequency as the offending sound. Scientists have long thought that it may have been down to an ancestral trait that enabled us to hone in on distant prey when we were hunter-gatherers.
We no longer need this evolutionary trait and our perceptions can always be altered with a little effort.
Training your mind to focus on an internal monologue rather than on outside noise pollution is the best way to combat this issue. Try to remember the last time you zoned out or daydreamed during a boring conversation and use it when you’re having trouble drowning out the noise.
Focus on Something Else
You can use the practical exercises that we’ve outlined below to give your mind something else to focus on. They are all tried and tested methods to help to calm your nervous system and promote a healthy night’s sleep.
- Deep Breathing Exercises: Breath in and out very slowly and count up or down as you go. You can start low in counts of three and as you progress move on to counts of five or six.
- Progressive Muscle Relaxation: Going from head to toe, tense and relax your muscles in a continual motion until you feel it working. This is an extremely helpful technique that is used by Southeast Asian monks to aid in meditation.
- Visualization: This is one of the most powerful exercises on the list when done correctly. Visualise yourself in a beautiful tranquil space and start adding more and more detail as you go. Before you know, you’ll be whisked off into a dreamlike stance that will have you forgetting the noise and falling asleep in no time.
- Meditation: We all know that meditation is good for the heart and mind but it’s increasingly being used as a sleep aid, especially for drowning out noise pollution. Focus on the rhythm of your heartbeat and repeat an important message or personal mantra until total peace and solitude is achieved.
Distract Your Ears
Distracting your ears is a good way of drowning out any unwanted noise.
There are a multitude of different apps available that can help to promote sleep Including bedtime stories, white noise generators or ethereal musical playlists that make use of binaural beats and different frequencies.
Or, if you want to listen to a playlist that you already know, make sure that it isn’t too loud. If your musical sleep aid is too loud, it’ll have the same effect as the noise that you are trying to drown out. Don’t risk your own music becoming a distraction and play it just loud enough to comfortably hear.
Get Exhausted Before Bed
A lot of the time an inactive lifestyle can be the major reason why we have trouble sleeping.
When we are naturally tired, we tend to organically drown out any offending noises. This is because the body isn’t focusing on trying to sleep and is naturally tired enough to enter the sleep cycle naturally.
Try working out in your bedroom before bed. Don’t do any exercises that are ultra strenuous and think of it as a cool-down period where you can stretch, do a little cardio and really prepare your muscles for sleep.
This will relax your muscles and promote melatonin to be released by the brain, which is the body’s natural sleep hormone.
Have A Bedtime Routine
Studies have shown time and time again that a sufficient routine is sometimes all we need to promote healthy sleeping habits whilst experiencing external noise pollution.
Waking up and going to sleep at the same time each day synchronised the body’s internal clock. Your sleep-wake cycle is incredibly important and if it is out of balance it causes a range of sleep disorder symptoms including snoring, obstructive sleep apnea and night terrors.
Remember to turn off all electronics at least thirty minutes before going to bed because the light pollution can trick the body into thinking it is daytime.
Also, try to only associate your bed with sleep. Doing so will ensure a link between your bed and healthy sleeping habits. It’s an easy technique used to trick the mind into a state of positive association.
We will all have to sleep in and around noise at one point in our lives and it’s best to find personal solutions that work for you. Everyone reacts differently to external noise pollution but utilising the steps in this guide will give you a surefire way of combating noise-related sleeping issues.
If you have trouble sleeping it’s always a good idea to seek proper medical attention because there may be an underlying issue that needs addressing.