How can I block out sounds during sleep?

I apologize in advance it my question is unusual and out of the scope of this forum since it is about the anti-hearing rather than hearing.

I have a situation when I need to block as much as possible outside sound during sleep. I tried multiple earplugs with advertised attenuation of 33db, but either they don’t work as supposed or I need a higher level of blocking. Using big and heavy noise cancelling headphones during sleep is hardly an option.
Any suggestions?

My Audiologist got me to use a sound machine, I find that setting it to white noise works best for me and my wife. The white noise works great for me to mask my tinnitus.


Not sure what type of hearing plugs you’re choosing. There are soft foam ones for insertion that claim “30” dB reduction (never worked great for me) and soft silicone you can form all around, supposedly lower rated but far better in performance for me in comparison to the plugs. I’d just play around to see what works.

@eskie227 I tried different ones with, latest but nothing works to reduce noise to the level that I cannot clearly hear (and my hearing obviously not great). Based on suggestion above will try the sound machine.

Have you ever tried something like these (which are much cheaper at a pharmacy)?

New Ear Plugs,Noise Reduction Ear Plugs for Sleeping, 6 Pairs of Molded Silicone Earplugs, for Sleeping Noise CancelingSuitable for Sleep, Work, Travel, Concerts, Swimming, Etc. (White)

Agree that sound machine is worth a try. I’d also try sleeping on your right side with your right ear covered by a pillow. Can’t imagine you’re hearing much through your left ear, unless it’s tinnitus. In that case, sound machine is definitely the way to go.

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@MDB Yes, sleeping on right side is much better, but I cannot keep it during all night. BTW, not asking for medical advise (and all type of disclaimers) but looking at my test, do you think I have any chance that hearing aid can compensate the left ear loss? I don’t think I have tinnitus.

Loss in left ear seems like hearing aids would help. A lot depends on your word recognition scores. When I said I can’t imagine you’re hearing much through it, I meant without hearing aids.

Understood. The word recognition is on the left is 36% with NU-6 LIST 2A (Int).

My take is that hearing aid will help some, but with that kind of word recognition score, that ear will have notable difficulty with speech. However, your other ear likely has notably better word recognition and can help compensate, That kind of word recognition score in both ears would make me think about cochlear implant. It still might be worth inquiring about.

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If you haven’t been getting the needed sound you need in that left ear, word understanding will be low. It is possible if you do get the needed sound with a properly fit hearing aid into that ear you might relearn speech. It would take patience and effort to do this.

We have members with worse audiograms than yours that understand speech pretty good. You might have other issues I am not aware of or I just don’t understand, not an expert.

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I wear foam earplugs every night and when inserted properly, they attenuate probably 98% of ambient sounds in my environment. I have to have my phone alarm set to a specific alarm that apparently pierces that barrier and effectively wakes me up. Otherwise, road noises, AC hum, clocks ticking–absolute zero.

I have two specific ones that work well–I think comfort being a very important factor, too, because they are almost completely inside my ear canals. I use either Laser Lite NRR 32s (Howard Leight “brand”) or Mack’s “Ultra soft” with NRR 32. Walgreen’s store brand clone of the Mack’s work well, too. They’re likely the same thing anyway.

To me, there are two ways you can reduce what you hear when wearing earplugs. First is to make sure they fit and are inserted absolutely correctly. If your ear canals are too large, the foam ones won’t expand enough to block enough sound. The other way is to find an earplug design that works sort of by baffles and then some small amount of suction. By that I mean, there are earplugs that have several circles of baffles. If you put those in (again, nice and tight in the eardrum), and then pull on the stem ever so slightly, that has the effect of creating a negative pressure space between the eardrum and the earplug, essentially completely preventing the eardrum from moving except for very low frequencies. I have used the latter type in very loud industrial environments with great success, but but they are NOT comfortable for sleeping, I’ve found.

Hope this helps.

I think the noise suppressor you need depends on the noise frequency you need to suppress. You may already have a hearing loss and only need suppression for good levels.

We used to use a cotton wool type (it wasn’t cotton wool) to suppress gunfire sounds. It did not suppress speech. Another was the expanding foam type. A third similar to HA buds with double flanges and a stork to aid removal. These had to be properly fitted for size. These were designed for specific frequency ranges.

It may help to get into account that I need to suppress human voice sounds, infrequent but loud (not snoring).

Go to an audiologist and get custom fitted sleep plugs. Nothing else can compare :slight_smile:


I need these for my eyes!

At granddaughter’s graduation in basketball arena several years ago, I used ear pods (cheap, not Apple) with brown noise recording downloaded into my iPhone and streamed to the ear pods. Did a decent job of drowning out the crowd noise. I cared not for the ceremony; just wanted to be a good grandfather by attending. Later that night they masked my wife’s snoring so that I could sleep.

Now, with my KS-10s, I could stream to them should the need arise.