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Nobody wants to wake up at night to the sound of their bed partner snoring. It’s just not pleasant. Not only is the snorer’s sleep impaired, but yours is too. While the snorer in your life explores their options to stop the noise, you need a way to sleep peacefully at night. Since it is not realistic to sleep with large over-the-ear headphones, one of the best options to block out the noise is a noise-reducing earpiece such as an earplug or earbud. The perfect option will not only be comfortable in your ears while you sleep but will fully block out the unpleasant sounds of your bed partner's snoring. With multiple options when it comes to earbuds and earplugs, it’s important to review the features of each type to find what will work best for you.
Available in single-use or reusable varieties, earplugs essentially fill your ear canal to reduce the volume of noise entering your ear. These can commonly be seen at really loud events like music concerts or auto raceways. Musicians may wear the disposable, foam ones when performing, or concert-goers may use them to muffle the loud music. These are especially geared toward dialing back the volume of loud noise without eliminating it completely. You’ll still hear anything loud; it just gets a little quieter. If your bed partner is a soft snorer, the disposable earplugs may help, but these are often not the most comfortable devices to use. They tend to stick out slightly since they don’t go fully into your ear, which can lead to a less-than-comfortable night’s sleep, even if it is quieter. Reusable earplugs tend to be a bit more expensive than the standard, foam ones, but allow you to use them multiple times so they can save you some money in the long run. If you’re looking to these as a solution for a completely quiet night’s sleep, you most likely won’t get it. Because snoring occurs at the lower end of the sound frequency scale, any loud noises at the higher end will still come through. This includes whistles, screams, and certain levels of conversation. If you experience snoring, live near an active train track, or have noisy neighbors, you won’t be able to quiet all the noises that impact your ability to sleep well.
These earpieces are what you use to listen to music or go hands-free with your phone without having to put the conversation on speaker. They’re often a one-size-fits-all option that sits within the center of your outer ear. While they help you hear what’s coming out of them better, they’re not designed to block out all the outside noise around you. You could use them to play soothing, ambient noise while you sleep in order to minimize snoring, but that is only masking the noise so you won’t be completely sealed off from your environment. Loud snores may still get through and disrupt your sleep. The single-size option for most of these earbuds can impact how comfortable they feel throughout the night as well. While some come with wings or loops to tuck behind the ridge of your ear, this added feature isn’t always designed for comfort while you’re laying down. Often a more expensive option than earplugs, prices range from about $50 to over $250. Additionally, noise-masking earbuds typically lack the level of performance you’re looking for to completely block out the sounds of snoring. Not only can they allow some unwanted noise to break in, but they lack bass and can sound “tinny” if you’re listening to pre-programmed, soothing noises.
Earbuds that offer complete noise cancellation fit into your ear a little differently. They’re inserted into your ear canal to create a better seal to fully block out noise. They have additional technology called Active Noise Cancelling that directly addresses unwanted noise. A microphone within the earplugs takes in the sounds around you and creates an opposing sound. This sound is the exact opposite in frequency. It essentially flattens the offensive sound and voids it out. You won’t hear it at all. This is especially effective for low-frequency sounds like snoring that often still come through with traditional earplugs. With size options often available, this option is better suited to stay inside your ear all night. QuietOn 3, for example, is one of the smallest noise-cancelling devices on the market and was designed not to interfere with the comfort of your head on the pillow. Having analyzed ear anatomies to find the perfect shape, these specific earbuds also have extra cushioning to make them more comfortable. The fit creates a total blockage of unwanted sounds. They target low-frequency noise, which is where snoring sits on the scale. Prices are typically around $250, but the value for the superior results and sleep comfort makes the purchase worthwhile. Another benefit of noise-cancelling earbuds like QuietOn 3 is that they’re not Bluetooth enabled. This added level of safety is possible because you don’t have to stream in other sounds to block the unwanted noise. The noise-cancelling takes place within the device itself, which means you don’t have to hook up to an external source for the earplugs to work effectively. This also alleviates many people’s concern about potentially harmful radiation waves.
This concept may sound elusive to you if you’ve been sharing a bed with a snorer for some time, but it’s not impossible. You can get close to that perfect sleep by blocking out the noises that are most often interrupting it, like snoring. According to the Mayo Clinic, bed partners of snorers wake up, at least partially, an average of 21 times per hour. This is almost as often as the snorer shakes awake from their own noise. This means nobody is getting any quality rest. You can take matters into your own hands, and help yourself while your bed partner works on finding the best remedy for the actual snoring. Finding the right earbud or earplug for snoring enables you to block out the noise that keeps waking you up, which means a better night’s sleep. This in turn translates to a better day overall because you experience less fatigue. Being sleep-deprived during the day can lead to slower reaction times, poor performance at work, and increased irritability at home. With products like QuietOn 3 with technology specifically designed to cancel out all noise, you’ll finally be able to address the problem of waking up because of a snoring bed partner.