The foundation of a healthy lifestyle is adequate sleep. You need it to reboot your body and provide yourself the best start for the next day. However, there are conflicting theories on the most suitable environment for this endeavor. Among the most controversial is whether it is better to sleep in silence or with noise?
Research shows that you experience better sleep when sleeping in silence. In fact, sleeping in a quiet environment can improve cardiovascular health, provide better brain recovery and reduce overall stress levels.
There is a lot of promotion and marketing behind sleeping aids. For example, some sleep experts recommend the use of white noise to improve your quality of sleep. However, there is still a lot of research pending on their impact.
As you read along, you will discover the scientific evidence why silence is better and the different methods of masking noise during your sleep.
Additionally, you will learn the accruing benefits of incorporating silence in your sleep environment. Finally, with the information from this piece, you should come to a satisfactory answer for the above question.
Silence is better than noise – Science proves it
There is a lot of scientific evidence to justify the positive effects of silence on your sleep. Below are some of the conclusions that stem from years of study into the matter.
1. Noise triggers a reaction in your body
Whether your neighbor is hosting an all-night party, car horns blaring from the highway nearby, or your baby crying uncontrollably, your body will elicit a reaction. That ten-minute interruption will affect your productivity the next day.
Do you remember the recent bash for your colleague’s newborn? Since then, how many times do they yawn or doze off during meetings?
Scientists conclude that silence is crucial to maintaining proper physical and mental health. In a 2003 study, the authors conclude that your brain creates new cells in the hippocampus region of your brain following two hours of complete silence. Consequently, your learning and memory abilities improve, leading to better brain function.
2. Most noise-making devices have a silence button
You will often come across terms like ‘automatic volume control’ or ‘adaptive volume leveling’ in the manuals of sleep noise machines. Furthermore, other devices come with a programmable timer to determine the machine’s active hours.
Therefore, it begs the question, if noise is conducive for your sleep, why is there an option to shut off the device. You be the judge of this irony.
3. Meditation and mindfulness are mainstream culture
Every single day, you face a constant bombardment of noise from different facets of your life. Whether it is your cell phone ringing or the clanking of computer keys, at some point, this can become overwhelming. To cope with the stress, mental experts recommend using meditation and mindfulness techniques.
Both techniques focus on achieving serenity by being one with your body both mentally and emotionally. Reaching this state requires you to be in a peaceful and serene environment.
For example, you now find many offices installing silence pods in their quarters. These provide isolation spaces free from the hustle and bustle of the office and allow you to revitalize.
4 Noise masking tips for better sleep
There are many ways to cancel out noise during sleep. Some venture to the extreme such as taking sleeping pills or blacking out from alcohol consumption. However, there are much safer and inexpensive ways to ensure a good night’s sleep. Here are some of them that you can try.
1. Soundproof your room
Adding a few pieces of cushioned furniture and thick carpets can help reduce the noise levels in your room. Similarly, using heavy fabric drapes, such as blackout curtains, for your windows will also help the situation.
Sound generally bounces off hard surfaces, while softer objects have a muffling effect. So, for example, you will hear an echo in an open room compared to one with furniture in it.
2. Turn things off
Your phone and alarm clock are some of the devices guilty of creating noise in your sleep bunker. Having them in silent mode or completely off is a sure way of maintaining silence during your snoozing hours.
3. Talk to your people
It could be your noisy neighbor or snoring partner who is guilty of the racket. Having a conversation with them can help mitigate the situation.
4. Earplugs and facemasks
There are certain situations where soundproofing is untenable, for example, sharing a room in a hostel. However, investing in some earplugs and a facemask can be just as effective.
A study from 2017 shows participants who wore earplugs and facemasks experienced lesser interruptions to their sleep than those who did not.
Benefits of silence during sleep
Sleeping in a quiet environment results in a ton of benefits to your overall well-being. Among the most crucial are:
1. It improves your cardiovascular activity
Loud noises cause your blood pressure to increase as an effect of your natural flight and fight responses. In addition, surges in adrenaline and cortisol levels lead to elevations of heart rate and blood pressure which can be detrimental to your heart.
2. It boosts your brain chemistry
Getting a good night’s sleep helps your brain recover from life’s daily stresses. The scientists in the study mentioned earlier observed the formation of new brain cells in the participants’ hippocampi that went through two hours of complete silence in their sleep.
3. You will be a better person tomorrow
Lack of adequate sleep increases your stress levels and irritability. Consequently, you tend to overreact and lash out. Instead, include some silence in your sleep and see yourself becoming a darling to all.
Without a doubt, there is overwhelming evidence on why it is better to sleep in silence than with noise. Until science proves the latter, you better keep it hush-hush during sleep time.