In my previous post, I explored how day-time noise impairs our cognitive performance and what we can do about it. But there is another big elephant in the room – our night-time sleep. Sleep or the lack of it has a big impact on our ability to perform at our best, both physically and mentally.
Less or disrupted slow-wave sleep, for example, entails poor memory and poor wound healing.
Among the worst offenders interrupting our night-time sleep is the all too familiar sound of SNORING. Snoring can be loud – very loud indeed. A loud snorer can reach more than 90 decibels of peak sound pressure level. That is about as loud as a lawn mower.
Intrigued by the capabilities of some of the newer devices to block out noise and sophisticated white noise apps, I decided to run an experiment to answer this question: What is the best way to block out snoring noise?
Test equipment and candidates
- An iPad equipped with a sound level meter (Noisee for iOS).
- Two different white noise apps: myNoise for iOS and White Noise by Tmsoft for iOS and Android.
- Earplugs of different sizes by Hearos, 3M, and Mack with a noise reduction rating (NRR) of 29-33 (an NRR of 33 is about as good as you can get).
- Good-quality earbuds (a good fit is vital for sound quality and noise isolation).
- The best earmuffs I could find, with a noise reduction rating of 31 (3M Peltor X5A).
- DIY noise isolating earbuds and sleep headphones.
- The best noise cancelling headphones I could find (Bose Quiet Comfort QC35).