It’s a well known fact that getting the right amount of quality sleep is essential to your health and well being. But what if you have to work the overnight shift, or have to deal with disruptive noise that prevents you from getting that restful nights sleep?
Some people will take measures to soundproof their home or individual rooms in order to reduce the amount of noise.
There are plenty of ways to do this to your home as well, and I would recommend starting here. But let’s say you are renting an apartment, or you cannot afford to remodel in order to soundproof your home, what can you do then?
There are white noise generating devices that will help cancel out the distracting background, or you can try wearing a pair of noise reducing headphones or ear plugs. Earplugs and headphones are the lower cost options, and that’s what we’ll cover in this article.
Are they Comfortable Enough to Wear While Sleeping?
Why not just use regular audio headphones? While you may fall asleep with standard headphones, you won’t last the night because they will be digging into your head and ears. When evaluating noise cancelling headphones for sleeping, the first thing you need to ask yourself is if you think you will be comfortable enough to sleep with headphones over your head or foam earplugs pushed in your ears. It’s not for everyone, and you may discover after some use that a white noise generator is the best option for you after all.
The Best Noise Cancelling Headphones for Sleeping
Don’t bother with the bulky headphones or earbuds, the best noise cancelling headphones for sleeping will have a soft, low profile headband that doesn’t dig into your face or pull on your hair when your head hits the pillow. The following head and ear products are my favorite for wearing to bed.
My #1 Choice – Bedphones On-Ear Sleep Headphones
BedPhones are specially designed, over the ear headphones, that are comfortable enough to wear in bed. If you’ve ever tried to wear earbuds to bed, you know that in ear headphones are not comfortable at all. The BedPhones on the other hand, have a small foam padded speaker that is thin enough to allow you to have them on your ears between the pillow.
In addition to the soft foam pads, the earphones have a small, rubber coated memory wire ear loop that makes them easily adjustable to your specific head shape. The wires can then be routed behind your head and down your back where they are out of the way during sleep.
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I really like the BedPhones for travel, because I never know when I’ll be in a noisy hotel, or someplace that has no background white noise to help me fall asleep. These headphones come with a soft sided travel case and extra pairs of foam pads which is great for frequent traveling. For more info, check out our comparison of BedPhones vs SleepPhones.
AcousticSheep SleepPhones – A Comfortable Noise Reducing Headband
The AcousticSheep SleepPhones is a noise cancelling headphone made of a soft headband, with a pair of tiny speakers embedded in the fabric.
The speakers are thin and flat to be as least intrusive as possible, and the cord comes out the rear of the headband so it won’t get tangled on anything. I recommend you run the cord down the back of your night shirt so that it doesn’t wrap around your head if you happen to be one who tosses and turns.
Music has been shown to improve sleep quality, so you can plug the headphones into your mp3 player or radio to send you off to dream land. Or, you can plug into a white noise device to lull your mind into submission.
The headband itself is made of a silky soft fleece material that is comfortable to wear all night. Some people say that it slips down on them, or turns causing the speakers to move, but they just might not have the correct size for their head. Start with a Medium size SleepPhone and go from there.
Dreamcatcher Quiet Sleep Mask Pillow – Ugly, but Effective
Stick with me on this one. The Dreamcatcher Mask may look like a medieval knight’s helmet, but it is actually a pretty solid set of noise reducing sleep headphones. This product combines a sleep mask with a headband and built in pillow.
Most sleep masks only cover your eyes, but the Dreamcatcher also covers your ears to block out sound, and acts as a small pillow wrapped around your head. If you need all sound blocked out, you should combine this with some super soft earplugs.
The mask is made from a quality cotton material, and it‘s gentle on your skin and will stay as cool as possible. Too much insulation on sleep masks can make you sweat, and that’s not a pleasant thing. Most people will tell you that this product will take a little bit of time to get used to, but when you do it is an effective tool.
Noise Cancelling Ear Plugs for Sleeping
Do you think headphones or a headband will be too uncomfortable to sleep with? Noise cancelling ear plugs may be the answer. Be aware that ear plugs are not the most comfortable to sleep on either, it’s mostly a matter of how much sound reduction you need and personal preference.
Hearos makes a couple different foam earplug products that may suit your sleeping needs. The Xtreme Protection Series should be your first stop. They are made from super soft foam, yet still achieve a noise reduction ratio (NRR) of 33 dB. A 42 pair pack will only set you back 14 or 15 bucks. If the Xtreme ear plugs are quite doing it for you, then try the Hearos Ultimate Softness Series, which also have a high NRR of 32 dB, but feature even softer foam. You won’t have much trouble sleeping on your side with the ear plugs in place.
One more popular option for you to think about, are the e-Plugz Earplugs. These 33 dB ear plugs are popular for their comfort and noise reducing ability. People use these for traveling, sleeping, and blocking out the snoring of your loved one. You can get them in a box of 20 pairs, and they come in a variety of colors.
How to Benefit From Noise Cancelling Technology without Uncomfortable Ear Plugs
Let’s say you tried both headphones and ear plugs for sleeping, but just cannot get comfortable enough to get a full nights sleep. You don’t have to give up. There is noise cancelling technology called white noise machines for sleeping.
Basically, these devices produce a sound called white noise that helps mask out background noise like streets, voices, and the dreaded snoring. With the background noise muted or greatly reduced, it gives your mind a chance to relax and stop focusing on those sound patterns, allowing you to get the rest you need and deserve. You can read all about them in our review article here.
photo credit: .Mik3