Sleeping is difficult enough without nearby construction. If you live near one, you’re no stranger to early mornings. The sounds of trucks, jackhammers, and drills are enough to get your day started on the wrong foot. If you like to sleep in, it may be difficult to do so. Thankfully, there are some things you can try to help you sleep through the construction noise.
How to Sleep Through Construction Noise
1. Check Your City Laws
Many cities have bylaws to restrict when construction work can start to minimize noise in residential areas. Depending on which city you live in, it may be 7am or 8am when they start, and 6pm when they end. Check your city’s laws regarding construction times to make sure they are not working outside their hours. If so, report a noise complaint to 311, the non-emergency number in most cities. You can also bring it up with your landlord to discuss a solution.
2. Research Upcoming Construction Projects
If you know when the construction near you will start, you can take steps to prepare for it. Soundproof your room, purchase noise cancelling products, or move to a different area before the noise starts.
If you decide to move, check if there are current or upcoming projects in that area and how long they will take. Simply take a walk around the neighborhood and try to spot any demolition going on.
3. Wear Earplugs
for the morning with earplugs. You may want to wear them throughout the night, or put them in before the construction work begins.
Earplugs are a great, inexpensive way to block out noise. Keep in mind, however, you may miss your alarm clock in the morning. Go for a good quality pair designed for sleep. That way, you won’t have to worry about adjusting them in the middle of the night. Earplugs may be uncomfortable at the start but overtime, you will get used to them. Check your local pharmacy for pair. Before putting one in, wash your hands thoroughly. Roll the earplug into a thin shape to make it easier to insert into the ear. Once it is placed in, hold it until it expands. Be careful not to push them in too far as that can damage the eardrum.
There are also more advanced earplugs on the market that provide an extra benefit. Some earplugs contain a chips that block out loud noises, but allow quiet sounds to be heard. This is beneficial for being able to hear your child or an alarm clock.
4. Move Your Bed
Move your bed as far away from the noise as possible. Noise can bounce off surfaces and be directed at where you sleep. If possible, move your bed away from the window. Position it away from outside walls and experiment different spots until your find a quieter area.
5. Take Your Mind off of It
Try to focus on something else. Take deep breaths. Slowly breathe in for 4 seconds, hold it for 7 seconds, and then slowly breathe out for 8 seconds. Focus on each breath to take your mind away from the noise. This will relax your body and help ease it back in to sleep. As you breathe, picture yourself in your happy place, relaxed and free of noise. As you begin to relax, think of every muscle starting from your head and working down to your feet. Overtime, this will become easier and make your mind stronger. Accept that the noise is only temporary and you’ll eventually get used to it. Having a good attitude like this will make it a lot easier to get more rest and become a stronger person.
6. Close Windows
Close the window before bed to reduce noise from the early morning construction. This probably won’t block it all out, however, it might be just enough to keep you asleep and well rested.
7. Insulate Windows
Make sure there are no air gaps coming in from the window, even when closed. Also, check for any cracks. If there are any, have it replaced which may be an immediate improvement. Seal off all air gaps using insulation foam which can be purchased at your local hardware store or online. Use thick, insulation tape that will keep it in place. If you live in an apartment, negotiate with your landlord to have sound proof material installed.
8. Soundproof Your Room
Soundproof your room to help increase acoustic absorbency. Similar to a recording studio, apply thick material to the walls and windows so that the sound is absorbed.
Other things you can try:
- Set up foam mats or absorbent panels against the walls that will help reduce the incoming noise.
- Install acoustic tiles which also help absorb sounds. You can find some at your local hardware store or online. Place them on the walls where the construction noise is coming through.
- Block the gap under the door and the floor. You can use a long pillow or blanket, but make sure it is thick enough to fully fill in the gap and block out the noise. You can also use a door sweep that can be found at your local hardware store or online. They are made out of aluminum and silicone, and placed at the bottom of the door. Door sweeps also improve the air quality by preventing dust from getting into the room. It can also make the room more comfortable since it blocks out drafts.
9. Use Blackout Curtains
Blackout curtains can help reduce construction noise and absorb echo from within your own home. They’re also a great way to keep light out. Event the slightest bit of light can disturb our sleep, so having something that blocks out light and help reduce noise can be very beneficial for your health. You can even hang a blanket against the window or wall, depending on the direction of the noise. The softness of the blanket will help absorb the noise. Acoustic blankets may also help if you’re willing to make the investment.
10. Listen to White Noise
If you’re a light sleeper, listening to white noise can help you achieve a deeper, more restful sleep.
What is white noise?
White noise is static sound emitted from different frequencies, such as a fan, or the fuzzy television screen when there’s no signal. When we first hear it on a television, our first response is to turn it off, since it can be very loud and shocking to hear at first. This white noise, however, may be a good solution.
noise is great for blocking out external noise. The brain focuses on the static frequencies, making it easier to relax. As humans, we’re programmed to always be on alert, even while we sleep. A distant bang or car driving by triggers our brain so that we can quickly wake up to protect ourselves. White noise doesn’t affect our protective senses, since it is very subtle to our consciousness. As a result, the frequencies help prevent external sounds from entering the consciousness.
There are many white noise sounds available. A fan is a great option. If you’re near a construction site, invest in a loud fan, such as a box fan. They provide multiple speed settings and consistent, loud white noise. If you’re area isn’t too noisy but you get the occasional racket, go for a smaller, tabletop fan. These are more subtle than the box fan, yet they still provide decent white noise.
Another option is to invest in a white noise machine. It can provide many different sound choices beyond white noise, such as vacuum cleaner, copier, hair drier, rain, thunder, and more. Adjust the volume to your liking and enjoy.
White noise is not only beneficial for sleep, but can help reduce anxiety and improve your productivity. For instance, if you have it on while you work, it may be easier to focus. It may help tinnitus, which is a constant, loud ringing in the ear. Also, if you have baby, it may help them sleep through the night.
11. Download an App
An alternative to a white noise machine or fan is to use an app. There are many available for free such as Rainy Mood on iPhone and Android. Simply type in “relaxing sounds for sleep”, “white noise”, or your favorite sound. Popular ones include nature such as rain, wind, and river sounds. Choose one that is most soothing to you. Play with the settings to get the most out of it.
12. Use Noise Cancelling Headphones
Construction noise can sometimes be too intrusive and the only way to block it out is to use headphones. High quality, noise cancelling headphones can be a great way to limit disturbances in the early morning when they start work.
How do Noise Cancelling headphones work?
Noise Cancelling headphones create sound waves that imitate external noises to cancel them out. A built-in microphone first listens to incoming sounds. Electronics within the headphones then match the incoming sound and produce a wave to counteract it. As a result, ambient sounds are played through the speaker.
For some, headphones can be uncomfortable to sleep in. Be sure to invest in some that are designed specifically for sleep. They should be comfortable throughout the entire night.
13. Change Your Sleep Schedule
Train yourself to become an early riser. This may be easier said than done but overtime, you can train your body to become accustomed to it. Getting up early has its benefits. For one, there are less distractions. If you’re someone who has a busy schedule, getting up early can boost your productivity and open more time to plan and execute tasks.
Going to bed early can be difficult. To make it easier, exercise during the day. When exertion is spent, the blood starts to pump and muscles begin to work, making it easier to fall asleep. So as a first step to becoming an early rise, try to find time in the day to go to the gym, run, or walk.
Go to Bed Earlier
As a next step, go to bed earlier. Start with small steps such as going to bed 30 minutes earlier than your normal bed time. Increase this each week until you’re able to get 7-9 hours of sleep before the construction starts in the morning.
Take a Melatonin
Take a melatonin supplement which helps regulate your sleep-wake cycles. Taking this supplement tells your brain to prepare for sleep and make yourself tired. Before taking melatonin, consult with your doctor to make sure it is safe to do so.
Eat healthier. Avoid sugary foods and drinks at night which will keep you up. Eat whole foods early in the evening to give your body enough time to digest and absorb the nutrients. Eat foods that promote the production of melatonin. These foods include fish, cherries, nuts, and leafy greens. You can also incorporate herbal tea, such as chamomile or peppermint into your night time routine. They help the body relax and get to sleep.
Be a Morning Person
Trick you mind in becoming a morning person. It’s too easy to complain about early mornings, especially when everyone does. You begin to believe that mornings are this horrible thing in your life. If you do something as simple as adjust your subconscious mindset to think that your’re actually in fact, a morning person, it will be easier to change.
Avoid caffeine. This means no coffee, tea, and soda. Caffeine creates more stress and anxiety at the end of the day, making it harder to relax and fall asleep. Even when you do eventually sleep, the caffeine in your system can prevent you from getting a deep sleep.
14. Plant Trees
As a long term solution, plant trees and other plants in the yard, directly in front of your room to help absorb some of the noise. They can act as a buffer between you and the construction site, as well as passing cars, people, and other noise.
15. Move to a different Bedroom
For a more extreme option, you can move your bed to another location in the house, further away from the noise. If you live in an apartment, check with your landlord to see if there is another room available away from the main street and construction site.