6 Essentials I Use to Drown Out Noise and Stay Calm on My Busy (and Very Loud) Street

<p>The Spruce / Aliyah Rodriguez</p>

The Spruce / Aliyah Rodriguez

Within a five-minute walk in any direction (really, pick one) from my apartment, there is a fire department, police precinct, hospital, an event space, a nighttime lounge, and four schools in my area. Needless to say, my street can get very loud at any given time of the day.

As the noise levels in my neighborhood increase, I've learned the one thing that's most important to me in my home: making my bedroom my sanctuary, rather than just a place to sleep at night.

Things that weren't a concern five to six years ago are now some of my biggest pain points—namely, working from home during the day and having to endure four schools letting students out for lunch/recess at the same time.

I found myself wanting to control the uncontrollable, which led to many frustrated days and nights when children just having fun would distract me from my work or an ambulance siren would wake me up from my sleep.

The solution? Controlling what I can control: the amount of noise that gets into my room and the environment that I've cultivated within it.

These six essentials not only keep me cozy and sane, but they also reduce the amount of street-level noise (and believe me, it's a lot) that makes its way into my 12th-floor bedroom.

Better Homes & Gardens Modern Leaves Rod Pocket Blackout Single Curtain Panel



My first step in solving this issue had much less to do with noise and much more to do with having an east-facing window that isn't blocked by another high rise. Sturdy blackout curtains are your best friend for limiting the amount of light that gets into your home—but did you also know that they're great for soundproofing?

The heavier the curtains, the better—think of materials like velvet—for reducing noise but I went with this style because I wanted something floral print in my room.

Better Homes & Gardens is owned by The Spruce's parent company, Dotdash Meredith.

LectroFan EVO Sleep Sound Machine



I will admit: I thought sound machines wouldn't be for me until I found myself facing this problem. The blackout curtains were great, but I still found myself being startled awake by any number of sirens passing by.

I started doing some research on sound machines to see if one would be the right fit for me and I took the plunge with this one. Not only does this sound machine have 22 sounds to pick from, but it also has a timer so it automatically shuts off just before I wake up in the morning.

It's been great at reducing the noise coming from outside as well as noise coming from elsewhere in my apartment (hello, creaky floors!) as well as any noise coming from my upstairs neighbors.

Yogasleep Travel Mini Portable White Noise Machine



I loved the first sound machine so much that I bought a second! The first sound machine has a few ocean wave sounds, but I also wanted some tranquil rain sounds during the day while working. This one is portable and has been great for overnight stays, too.

The bonus is that both machines have noises that complement each other well so I can have both running at night if I need a little extra to drown things out.

MUSICOZY Sleep Headphones Bluetooth 5.2



Before I ever gave sound machines a try, this eye mask with built-in headphones was my go-to. If you're the kind of person who doesn't like the white noises that fan machines typically have and would much rather have a more customizable approach: this one is for you.

I love queueing up a nice "meditation music" playlist on low volume and letting it play on a loop throughout the night. Bonus points if you're a book lover like myself: this product is great for winding down with audiobooks before bed.

Harlem Candle Co. "Frederick" Luxury Candle

<p>Harlem Candle Co.</p>

Harlem Candle Co.

Outside of my essentials for reducing the outside noise that gets into my apartment, I also cannot live without these items that keep me calm even when noises do get through. I've been a big fan of the Harlem Candle Company for years and my two favorite scents are both deeply connected to my neighborhood. The Frederick scent is one I burn year-round but I also love their St. Nicholas scent during the winter months when I want something a little more cozy and less floral/fresh.

Life Wellness Center Rose Water Spray

<p>The Spruce / Aliyah Rodriguez</p>

The Spruce / Aliyah Rodriguez

Lastly, I'm very into using scents to maintain the peaceful atmosphere in my room but sometimes a scent can be a little too much and do more harm than good, you know? When I don't want to light a candle, I use this rose water spray both in the air and on my linens to give my room a delicate scent that fades very nicely over time. It's been my secret weapon and, when I recently had guests, I received rave reviews about the scent and how it really matched the atmosphere I am trying to create in my space.

Editor's note: The writer received samples for editorial consideration, but all opinions are her own.

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Read the original article on The Spruce.