How to Block out Noise without Ear Plugs
Whether you are trying to sleep but your upstairs neighbor finds it convenient to vacuum his apartment at 1 in the morning, or you’re studying for a test but the traffic jam outside of your home is so loud that the horns start to resemble the melody of Mozart’s Requiem, you might be desperate for some earplugs.
But as earplugs are sometimes very uncomfortable, either they fall out or they jam tightly in your ear, and let's not start about how easy it is to lose them, you might want to look for an alternative.
Luckily for you, we've thought of some methods you could use to block out the noise and have a great night's sleep or a peaceful and quiet place to study.
How to Block Noise Without Ear Plugs
1. Making your Room Soundproof
When closing the windows and pulling the blinds doesn't seem to be helpful, you should consider soundproofing your room or your entire home.
Yes, this isn't the most cost-efficient method but in the long run, it can be the most effective.
Of course, it all depends where the noise is coming from, so we’ll talk about that now.
Soundproofing your Window
If the noise is coming from the outside, you should use some weatherstrips in those little holes around your window.
This way, your window will prevent any sound waves from going into your room and will also bounce the waves back.
Not only that, your room will be much more isolated as well.
Click here for our full guide on soundproofing the windows.
Soundproofing your Door
There are a lot of articles suggesting you use MDF or fiberglass panels on your door but this is just a temporary solution.
If you want to isolate sounds coming from the outside or even from your own home, you should consider getting upholstery on your doors.
Your doors will look much better, your room will be much more insolated and the noise coming from the outside will be minimal.
Of course, doing upholstery on your doors is expensive, but there’s no price tag on a good night’s sleep.
For our guide on soundproofing the doors, click here.
Soundproofing your Walls
As far as the walls are concerned, you have two options:
Soundproofing your Ceiling/Floor
As far as the floor is concerned, if your downstairs neighbor is loud, there are not many options but to put a thick rug in your room.
But, if your upstairs neighbor’s footsteps in the middle of the night are keeping you up at night, there’s a solution.
You can put acoustic foam even on your ceiling and it will work great. Of course, it’s not very eye-catching but it will do the job.
2. Making your Entire Home Soundproof
If you want to go berserk and make your entire home soundproof, that will cost you a lot of money but it will also get you that much-needed sleep or quiet studying time.
You can upgrade the outside walls of your home with Styrofoam by sticking them to the walls and then cement over them.
Styrofoam will not only make your home much warmer in the winter months but also insulate any sounds from the outside.
If you live in a flat, however, you can do the same thing, but on the inside of your walls.
Of course, besides costing a lot of money, this method also takes a lot of time because you’re giving your whole home a reconstruction so this may not be for everyone.
3. Isolating Sound with Equipment
Maybe you don't have a couple of thousand bucks lying around to spend on total sound isolation, or maybe you just don't want to ruin your home with acoustic foam and Styrofoam.
Either way, you might want to consider some of this equipment which might help you in your struggle with noise.
Sound Isolating Headphones
Sound isolating headphones have been a thing for years now and they help when you want to study.
Back in the day, these kinds of headphones were expensive, but now you can pick them up for less than a hundred dollars.
Now, you might be asking yourself how to wear those massive headphones when you want to sleep, and there's a solution to that problem as well.
The new Apple AirPods Pro offers complete sound isolation with a price of just a few hundred dollars, but luckily you don't have to spend so much money to get the same thing.
Tons of off-brand earphones offer the same thing basically but of course with much less efficiency.
But who cares. You can pick up similar earphones for just a few dollars and you won’t mind sleeping with them on knowing that they’re inexpensive but do the job.
How to fight noise? You might want to consider fighting fire with fire.
There are white-noise machines you can buy that distribute white noise, such as on old TV’s when the fuzz appears, but you can also just type “white noise” on YouTube as well.
The great thing about white noise is that it’s of a low Hz and your brain barely even registers it after a while but is still more focused on the white noise than on other noises from the distance.
Although this solution isn’t perfect, it works for some people. You can even play white noise on your basic pair of earphones and it’s like you have isolating earphones.
You might also like: White Noise vs Pink Noise vs Brown Noise
There are tons of pillows being marketed as sleep pillows that can make you fall asleep faster and keep your brain distracted from the outside noises.
They do this by playing music directly from the pillow because there are small speakers in the pillow itself and also a mini music player for changing the tune and controlling the sound.
You can even play ASMR videos and listen to them through this pillow which works quite well for some people.
However, these pillows aren't for everyone and they won't help a lot if your neighbor is having a party upstairs.
4. If All Else Fails, Use Your Other Senses
If you find that nothing is helping you in falling asleep because you’re constantly being woken up by noisy neighbors or the traffic outside, you should trick your brain into falling asleep.
Herbs are Your Best Friends
You can get a warm cup of tea before you go to bed and it will make you feel more relaxed so you’ll fall asleep much quicker.
Also, you can use essential oils from herbs such as thyme, spearmint, lavender and so on. You can even light a few aromatherapy candles.
If even that fails, crack-open a beer and call it a day.
Of course, this isn't going to help you block out the noise, but rather make you sleepier so you won't be bothered by the noise as much.
Learn to Adjust
If the noise is an everyday norm for you and you don't have any more strength to fight it, just deal with it and learn how to sleep in noisy surroundings.
This will help you save some money for trying to fix the problem by buying things to block out noise and will also train your brain to not react to noise and you won’t be woken up.
As you can already tell, this is easier said than done and doesn’t always work but you should try at least.
You might even consider doing some meditation in your bed and meditate yourself to sleep if you find that it can help you.
Conclusion: On Blocking Noise without Ear Plugs
No matter what method you choose to block out noise, do know that you might need to experiment a bit and see what works for you the best.
Also, you might want to deal with the problem without any products and just learn to sleep in noisy areas so that you can cope with this issue in the long term.
Either way, we hope that this article was helpful and that you have a good night's sleep tonight and if you have any suggestions please write them in the comment section below.
- Making your Room Soundproof
- Making your Entire Home Soundproof
- Isolating Sound with Equipment
- If All Else Fails, Use Your Other Senses