To Sleep in Silence or With Noise: Which One is Better?

Depending on where you live and your specific sleeping environment, trying to get a silent night can be challenging. Especially in today’s day and age when there is more technology, people’s working patterns are all over the place, and there are more cars on the road.

Other sounds throughout the night can also occur within the home that can disturb your sleep, such as a snoring partner, noisy neighbors, or barking dogs. All this can be frustrating and leave you with poor sleep quality.

This begs the question, are there any sounds that can aid sleep, and is sleeping in total silence the best way to get the most out of a night’s slumber?

During this guide, I will look into all the pros and cons of sleeping with or without noise and tell you how noise can affect your sleep. I will also tell you about some of the best tricks in the book to avoid noisy sleep disturbances.

So, is it better to sleep in silence or with noise? Let’s find out more.

How Can Noise Affect Your Sleep Quality?

How Can Noise Affect Your Sleep Quality

Noise is most likely to cause you to bother during the lightest stages of your sleep, meaning initially falling asleep in the first place can be a challenge. If you’ve passed this stage into deep or REM sleep, you’re much less likely to be disturbed by noise. However, that doesn’t mean it’s not possible.

Ideally, to achieve the perfect levels of sleep required for your health, there would be as little noise as possible in your environment. People who live with snorers or have rowdy neighbors who party into the night are at a much higher risk of sleep deprivation. It can eventually lead to mood swings, fatigue, lack of focus, and other health issues which can impact your life.

People react to noise differently, and some might find it easy to fall asleep no matter what is happening around them. Still, others find it impossible, even with something as little as a ticking clock. This is because of sleep spindles that occur during the second stage of sleep. People who produce more sleep spindles tend to get a better night’s sleep and are not interrupted by faint sounds.

People also tend to get used to the sounds of their environment. For example, if you live close to a subway, you’ll get used to the rumbling and the vibrations and be able to drift off easily, and those who live in the country will become accustomed to the sounds of wildlife in the early hours of the morning. This is what’s known as habituation.

Once your brain is familiar with these sounds, it can block them out while you fall asleep. Yet it remains alert enough for you to respond to other sounds, such as a crying baby, a barking dog, or the need to awaken to an alarm.

Avoiding Noise to Sleep in Silence

Some sounds are unavoidable, which, unfortunately for some, means they have difficulties when it comes to getting a good night’s sleep. However, no matter what the noise is that’s bothering you at night, all is not lost.

Below is a helpful list of suggestions to help you minimize noise and get a restful night’s sleep.

1. Earbuds


One of the most apparent and recommended ways to minimize sound in your home at night is to sleep with earbuds. Sleeping with earbuds works best for people who cannot control the sounds around them, such as other people’s snoring or a barking dog outside. Science has proven that people with earbuds sleep much more soundly, especially when paired with an eye mask.

You can also try sleeping with headphones and listening to calming music while you drift off. However, this isn’t recommended for everyone, as the music can pose a distraction for some.

2. Discuss The Problem

Discuss The Problem

If what’s keeping you up at night is other people’s noise, such as the neighbors playing music late into the evening. Perhaps your significant other is snoring too loud; therefore, see if the situation can be resolved with a polite conversation.

Communication can be key when it comes to being kept awake at night. Maybe discuss ways to minimize the noise in a way that works for everyone and come up with a fair solution.

If your partner is a snorer, then perhaps there are methods they can take, such as nasal strips or mouth guards, to help reduce snoring. However, if you think they’re suffering from sleep apnea, it’s essential to get this checked out by a doctor as soon as possible. Find out how to spot the signs of this sleep disorder within this guide to the symptoms, causes, and treatments of sleep apnea.

3. Sleep Environment

Making some slight adjustments to your sleep environment can significantly impact your sleep quality. It can be as simple as getting a rug for your hardwood floor.

1. Soft Furnishings

Soft Furnishings

Adding plenty of soft furnishings to your bedroom, such as thick rugs on hardwood floors, lined drapes, blinds, and plenty of cushions dotted around, can help to eliminate some sounds as sounds reverberate off solid surfaces.

2. Turn off Electrical Devices

Leaving on devices such as laptops, mobile phones, and other gadgets can be a distraction at night time, especially if apps are sending you multiple notifications and you have emails coming through. Turn as much as you can off altogether, and silence any applications you won’t be needing until morning.

3. Close Doors

Close Doors

For some people, sleeping with closed doors isn’t possible, for example, if you need to listen out for a baby crying or have pets in your room. However, where possible, keeping doors closed in the house can prevent drafts, prevent noises from occurring during the night, and lessen the chance of you hearing other people’s movements around the house.

4. Invest in Insulated Windows

Insulated windows can make an absolute world of difference when it comes to blocking out unwanted sounds such as passing traffic, city noise, and wildlife.

5. Home Repairs

Home Repairs

Keeping up with repairs on your appliances or plumbing fixtures, such as noisy refrigerators, dripping taps, or a buzzing light bulb, can keep you awake at night despite only being a minor noise. Make sure you get anything fixed that could be causing a distraction.

A Final Evaluation

So, is it better to sleep in silence or with noise? Sleeping in silence is the best way to ensure you get a full, undisturbed night’s sleep.

However, if, like some people, you find silence off-putting, and need sounds to sleep, then listen to something such as classical music. Nature sounds or meditation podcasts can aid you in drifting off to sleep without causing too much disruption.

Taking good care of sleep hygiene regarding your environment can dramatically affect the amount of noise pollution you experience throughout the night. For example, introducing more soft furnishings, getting a carpet laid, and closing your bedroom door can all make a significant impact.

Some people may be able to sleep through all kinds of noise levels, and various sounds throughout the night won’t affect them in the slightest. However, a simple pin drop can cause a night of distress for others.

Some say that sleeping with a fan or air conditioning unit in the bedroom improves their sleep. However, research has never shown that this kind of noise has positive results. However, science has shown us that listening to white noise can have constructive results in terms of enhancing sleep quality. It’s also shown to be highly beneficial to people living with insomnia.

Overall, everyone is different regarding what helps us get to sleep and remain asleep throughout the night. Still, if you’re struggling with noise pollution interrupting your slumber, I hope that the steps I have provided will have you on your way to a restored sleep routine.

Sarah Wagner

I'm Sarah Wagner, and I founded Sweet Island Dreams in 2022. It's a blog dedicated to helping people mental vacation virtually anytime they want. By providing information about the best sleep of your life, I help people drift away to paradise without ever having to leave their bed!