The Sound of Silence

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Is there anything as annoying as trying to sleep when loud noises won't leave you alone? Probably not. Traffic, the phone, your sleep-mate watching television... the list goes on and on. While most people would agree that a quiet environment is essential to good sleep, few take proactive steps to ensure that their sleep environment is quiet.

Step one. Perform an assessment of your frequent annoyances and take action. Is the bedroom phone a culprit? Turn off your ringer or buy a new phone with that option. Birds chirping in the morning? Keep the window closed even if it's nice outside. Is your sleep-mate a loud snorer? Send them to the physician to be evaluated for sleep apnea. Is your sleep partner's loud TV or music keeping you up? Buy them a wireless headphone set if they insist on watching TV or listening to tunes in bed. You get the picture. Its time to make silence a high priority in your sleep environment.

Step two. Consider background sound to mask any disruptive noises you can't control. Fans and air purifiers work well for this. Ambient music is soothing and non-melodic and is another good option.Try listening to it with your smart phone on a music website or a dedicated app. If you want to go high-end, check out an ambient music machine for your nightstand.  The old-school approach is listening to low-key radio programs - think old-time AM talk radio. The modern equivalent is playing podcasts on your mp3 player. Avoid television programs though, especially those that are offensive or annoying. Combative cable news shows and the Jersey Shore are definitely out!