Getting to sleep in a noisy home


Person in bed

It’s hard enough sometimes to unwind, relax and fall asleep without having to put up with the added distraction of noise. Having both lived in mega-cities all our lives and travelled to many others, we’ve often had to come up with ideas on how to block out the noise, or risk either not sleeping or having a disturbed night’s sleep, and let’s face it, that’s not a great way to start your day! But it’s not just what’s going on outside. You may share with noisy flatmates, have different work patterns with your family, live in a flat with night owls above or below, or sleep next to a snoring partner. Whatever the case, getting to sleep in a noisy environment can be difficult. Noise has a big impact on the quality of sleep we get each night. While some people seem to be able to manage this even when a juggernaut is rolling by, most people we know agree the quieter, the better. But when silence is no option, what can you do? Here are some tips we have found useful.


Focusing on the noise is one of the biggest obstacles to falling asleep in a loud place. So don’t do it. Instead, acknowledge that there’s noise around you and choose to ignore it. Easier said than done for many people but it does work. Thinking about the noise and how much it’s driving you crazy will only amp up your nervous system and energize you rather than relax you. Instead, acknowledge its presence and assert that you have the power to overcome it.


Good quality sleep requires more than just silence. It’s generally thought the best sleep is achieved in a dark, cool room. Any research we have done on the ideal temperature to fall asleep in is between 17-19 degrees. Make sure your bedroom is as comfortable as possible, sleep in super soft bed linen and have the most sumptuous duvet and pillows. You may need some soothing fragrances, from a reed diffuser, to a spritz of calming room perfume or a lavender bag placed under your pillow which have all been known to help. A luxurious bedroom promotes sleep and will make falling asleep easier. The only thing left to tackle is the noise. 

Beautiful dreamy lavender fields


Adding noise-absorbing pieces to your space, like rugs, blackout curtain panels, extra pillows, or blankets, will help to reduce how far and how loud noise travels in a room. The acoustics in a space can be minimized by fabrics and furniture.


Drowning out noise with more sound might sound like defeating the object at first but soothing music can be helpful in reaching a state of calm and distract you from those that annoy or distract you. Create a music playlist of calming sounds and play it softly through noise cancelling headphones or earplugs.


Prepare for a deep sleep ahead of time by creating structure to train your body to getting a good night’s sleep. We try and stick to a schedule during the day and aim to go to bed at the same if we can. Eat healthy meals and it's a good idea try to avoid too much alcohol and avoid caffeine too soon before bed. Exercise has been known to work for us, after all an exhausted body is better for sleep than a restless one. Mind you, it’s best to avoid doing anything too energetic just before bedtime or sleep will never come! We also find switching all electrical gadgets off helps too.

Ear plugs are the old school way to block out noise. They offer a quick, reliable and efficient solution to quieting a loud environment. They can be so good, in fact, it may be hard to hear the alarm in the morning (as happened to one of us a few times!). And for a more traditional way to help you drift of, take a warm bath or shower to relax you. 


Some people rely on a more zen like approach to help them block out noise and let them drift off. Whilst we’re no experts, we’ve read reports on deep breath exercises, progressive muscle relaxation, visualisation and of course meditation. Or you could try old favourites like counting sheep! Do some research and find techniques that will help you relax your body and transport your mind out of the noisy reality.


  • You may need to rearrange your furniture, put the bed as far away from the noise as possible.
  • Carpet seems to block some of the noise as do other furnishing like curtains or even rugs.
  • Have you checked your windows? Are they sealed correctly? This may be a reason why your room may be noisy.
  • If you can, plant trees or bushes outside your bedroom window to provide a buffer between you and the noise.
  • If your neighbours are part of the issue, you should try talking to them, you’d be surprised how many people have no idea how much noise they may be making.

We hope you find these tips useful. For more information on how to get the best night's sleep, visit our Sleep Health blogs.

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