Do you need silence to sleep?

Mrs HYG has, for as long as she can remember, needed some sort of background noise so she can sleep, so since we’ve been together, we’ve had a fan in the bedroom (actually, many fans, because every so often she’ll be convinced that one is making “a funny noise” and we’ll have to replace it). We’ve recently upgraded to a dedicated white noise machine and it’s good, currently set to “New York Morning”, which is very agreeable.

Are you rocking any nighttime noises or do you need ABSOLUTE SILENCE to achieve sweet dreams?

prefer to have a bit of noise but not that fussed

I need sleeping pills and earplugs which just give me natural white noise through tinnitus.

I used to leave episodes of Seinfeld playing but I can’t do that any more.

Save it for Thursday


Can’t sleep without cries for mercy or screams of blood-curdling terror.


if it’s too quiet I notice my tinnitus

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Use ambient noise stuff pre-sleep to relax, but turn it off to sleep. I do like having the window open and listening to vague outside noises as I drift off, though, which I guess is similar.

The gf got me a white noise machine thing for when I’m travelling but I don’t have any great difficulty getting to sleep then, so I guess it’ll just take up room in my suitcase to spare her feelings.

  • Silence needed
  • Silence preferred
  • No feelings one way or the other
  • Noise preferred
  • Noise needed

0 voters

I need constant 100% white noise - if there’s any other noise whatsoever, no matter how small, I’ll instantly wake up (I can absolutely relate to the “fan making a funny noise” thing). It’s hell. I have no idea how people can sleep with activity going on elsewhere in the house.

On a more serious note I tend to use a Stuff You Should Know podcast to fall asleep to. This dates from a troubled time about five years ago when I couldn’t sleep because my mind wouldn’t stop thinking.

I think I probably don’t need the sounds so much anymore but it’s a habit/comfort thing now.

If I happen to be sharing my bed (with some lucky bastard or other) then I fall asleep to contented sighs.

Only noise I experience is the terrible snoring the TV puts me through. Kept me awake until 1.30 this morning.


can only sleep whilst listening to podcasts really

I need absolute silence.

I also need absolute darkness.

fine as long as there aren’t people tramping around the house, or watching youtube videos and laughing right next to my wall

Was it wayne rooney who insists on a hoover or hairdryer being on when he needs to sleep?

Silence would be fine, but it’s so hard to guarantee - I live on a quiet residential street but you still get buses, sirens, foxes, people messing with the bins at 1am etc etc. Having constant white noise helps drown those out, but you don’t really notice it - it sort of becomes the new silence, if that makes sense?

You’re thinking of an episode of TLC’s My Strange Addiction.

I think I remember that, he said he was so used to sleeping in hotels that he needed some noise, and if there was no air con / fan, he used a hair dryer.

I would probably change it to Silence Preferred. I live on a main-ish road so I can hear cars and buses sometimes but nothing too loud to keep me awake. Sometimes i’ll hear more than I do on a different day.

Sometimes I put in earplugs but the problem with that is I try to eat the ear plugs in my sleep and I have recurring dreams anyway of choking on stones/pebbles/marbles so I don’t really need any other small factors to make it more realistic.