City life is definitely exciting: you have direct access to shops, restaurants, clubs, and more. But urban living can come with some downsides, too. When you’re in the heart of the hustle and bustle, it can be challenging to tune out the regular city sounds to get a good night’s sleep.
In fact, according to Sleep Education, noise is one of the most common sleep disruptors for those who live in urban areas. It’s one of the common reasons why 33% of renters move and why 50% of homes on the DC Metro market didn’t sell the first time they were listed. So what can you do to get in your recommended seven to nine hours of sleep a night when you live in a downtown area? Here, we’ve collected some of the top tips you can use to help catch some Zz’s when the world around you is wide awake.
Set up blackout curtains
When you’re looking for new window treatments for your home or apartment, make sure that the window treatments you choose are blackout curtains. Blackout curtains help to block out the light from outside including the lights from street lamps and car headlights that could be keeping you awake. Research shows that those who live in areas that are brightly lit with street lights are more likely to receive fewer than six hours of sleep. Blackout curtains help to keep that artificial light out so you can get the shut-eye you need.
Listen to white noise and meditation apps
It can be difficult to listen to meditation apps like Calm and Headspace to help you fall asleep when you can hear your neighbors, delivery vehicles, and passersby outside. A good way to mitigate the noise is to listen to meditation apps alongside white noise. Certain apps like Rain Sounds can play at the same time as your meditation app, helping to block out extraneous sounds.
Choose appliance locations carefully
Sometimes the call is coming from inside the house. If the appliances in your home are noisy on top of the noise you’re already dealing with the outside, you may want to consider moving your appliances around. Some of the biggest culprits when it comes to appliance-related noise include your AC unit and your refrigerator. AC units need about 20 BTU per square foot of space and are best installed away from bedrooms and rooms with frequent activity. If you can move your refrigerator, place it somewhere with natural soundproofing like an alcove, which can help to reduce some of the noise coming from the fans and compressor on the back of your fridge.
It can be tricky to find some peace and quiet when you live in the city. But by following the tips above, you can hopefully catch a few more hours of sleep by reducing some of the noise.