A good night’s sleep is incredibly important. If you’d like to know how important, check out this article.
But there are so many things that can interfere with our desire for a great night’s sleep. It might be general anxiety or worrying about an event the next day. Or maybe it’s too much light or caffeine.
Then there is the snoring partner.
Is there an affordable solution that doesn’t involve building an extra room in the house or divorce?
The good news is yes. And it’s not only affordable but simple – ear plugs.
However, choosing the right type of earplugs is important. You’ll be wearing these earplugs for 7-8 hours overnight, so they need to be comfortable. Importantly, they need to reduce the noise caused by the offending snorer, but from a safety point of view, you still need to be able to hear smoke detectors or other alarms.
Good quality earplugs include noise rating standards in their specifications. In the US, earplugs have a Noise Reduction Rating or NRR. European brands tend to use SNR, which stands for Single Number Rating.
In both cases, the SNR or NRR rating provides a rough estimate of the noise reduction offered in decibels. For example, an SNR of 20 corresponds to roughly a 20-decibel reduction in the noise that you hear.
The average peak level of a snore is around 50-65 decibels (db)2 to put that into perspective, the faintest sound audible to the human ear is 0db, while 30db would be like a whisper or a library. A normal conversation or sewing machine is around 60db, and a lawnmower is closer to 90db.2
So, earplugs with an SNR or NRR of 30 would be a reduction in 30db, blocking the snore without completely blocking hearing.
In terms of comfort, the softness of foam can be appealing, but getting the right size is important. Then there’s hygiene – keeping them clean when you wear them every night.
Ideally, a custom fitted earplug would be great, but they are less affordable.
However, there is a third option in terms of material that is both affordable and effective. There are earplugs that soften with body heat conforming to the unique bends, turns, bumps and twists of anybody’s ear. They’re made from a flexible thermo-active compound that use your body temperature to carefully mould to the shape of your ear.
So, they’re almost custom-fitted.
The Otifleks range of products includes earplugs specifically designed for sleep, including a low-profile design particularly useful for side sleepers, with an SNR of 30-33, depending on whether you choose foam or thermo-active option. They are also available in several sizes, so that you are sure to find the perfect fit for the perfect night’s sleep. Check out the full range here.