It’s been a while since my last entry; too much going on this summer! I hope you all are staying cool; it’s been a scorcher throughout most of the U.S. this month.
In recent entries we tackled how to keep your bedroom dark and cool. I’m finishing off this summer sleep writing triad today with some tips on how to keep your sleeping environment quiet during these summer months.
Summer presents some challenges to sleeping in a peaceful quiet place. It’s light out late, it’s vacation time, the kids are out of school, and the heat’s got people a little crazy. So there are block parties, summer traffic, teenagers out raising a ruckus in their back yards, barbecues that run late . . . you know, all the stuff that’s great fun when you’re in the fun, but not so fun when you’re in your bedroom trying to get some winks.
As I’ve mentioned before, sleeping during the summer months is best achieved if you keep your sleeping environment dark, cool, and quiet. Here are some suggestions to make for a quiet place in which to sleep.
1. Fix broken or uneven windows and door and window frames, basically anything that can cause a draft. Things that leak in unwelcome air will also leak in unwanted noise. Doing so will probably reduce your energy bills too.
2. Fortify your windows to insulate them from noise. Try thicker glass or double-paned glass. A cheaper and easier alternative would be to place thick, black curtains in front of the windows.
3. Try a little “white noise,” particularly if you live in an area in which outside noise is unavoidable (train tracks, a busy intersection, or what have you). A fan works well, because the convective effect of the circulating air cools you down as well.
4. If you live in an apartment, request a corner apartment farthest away from the street. And preferably as far away from loud, selfish, obnoxious neighbors as possible.
5. Sleep in a room closest to the center of your dwelling. The more drywall that separates you from the outside world, and the fewer windows in the room, the quieter in general your sleeping environment will be.
6. Sleep in the basement, if you must. Nothing like surrounding earth to insulate you from the noise and heat in the summertime.
7. Though earplugs may be helpful, I personally advise against this, simply because you want to be able to hear potential problems around the house: a crying baby, for example, a fire alarm, etc.
8. If your bed partner snores substantially, discuss this with your bed partner and consider informing his or her physician.
9. This is embarrassingly obvious, but turn off whatever beeping, pinging, whirring, droning electronic gadgets you have in your bedroom if you possibly can.
10. Turn off TV’s, radios, and iPods. Many people feel like they can’t sleep without background noise from such gadgets, but let me assure you that the reason why this feels this way is because of simply habituation: your body does not biologically require such noises, but if you’ve had some sounds in the room at night for years, it feels like you need them when you don’t. Turn off these devices and you should fairly quickly come to enjoy the silence.
11. Particularly if you work night shifts, have open discussions with your family and loved ones about how to keep the noise of other people from disrupting your sleep. As with most other situations, it’s always best to communicate openly and honestly about such topics!
Enjoy the rest of our summer, everyone! I wish you deep, comfortable sleep!