How Effective Are Ear Plugs?
Regardless of how good our ear plugs are purported to be, they never seem to block out all noise in its entirety, which can be confusing as we imagine that we only "hear" through our ears. Experiments however show that part of our hearing comes from vibrations captured by the bones around our ears and throughout our head, meaning that all noise does not enter through the ear canal, which is essentially the part of the body that ear plugs block. We can literally "feel" noise as it vibrates through our heads.
Because of this, even though the ear canal is blocked, some residual noise will be received by our bones, allowing us to hear it. Whilst feeling the music can be fun it's definitely no fun to experience the frustration of trying to block a snoring spouse and finding that earplugs are just not cutting it. While high noise reduction earplugs when used properly will block out most snoring you may need something extra.
How To Effectively Block Noise
Have you ever wondered why it's so nice to fall asleep to the sound of rain on the roof? The soothing sound and effect of rain falling on the roof at night is white noise. White noise can be described as"noise whose amplitude is constant throughout the audible frequency range"
It may seem counter intuitive to add another layer of noise when trying to drown out snoring but it works because white noise blends and masks the snoring so even though you hear it your brain stops noticing it because of the constant nature of the noise. Your brain becomes habituated to the noise and voila you get a good nights sleep.
A comfortable pair of earplugs are still your first line of defence in "the war against the snore" but if you sleeping significant others snore can wake the dead and earplugs are not quite cutting it it's time to get some soothing white noise going.
Check out http://naturesoundsfor.me/ to make your own mix of soothing nature noises that you can playback on your ipod to send you off to the land of nod.