Any noise, no matter how subtle, is enough to keep me from falling asleep or jarring enough to wake me up. It’s not uncommon to wake up five or more times per evening. Once awake, the animals wrestling, bed mate snoring, neighbors running amuck, or creaky house noises keep me from the slumber my body desperately needs. On a good night, I may fall back asleep in 15 to 30 minutes. However, it’s more common for the thoughts churning around my head to keep the melatonin at bay, forcing me to lie awake for 60+ minutes.
I’ve tried foam earplugs, white noise generators, box fans, sleeping on the couch, and traditional ear buds; all the common techniques failed. Foam ear plugs are great at attenuating dangerous sound levels, but don’t eliminate distractions. White noise generators and fans do an ok job at focusing my attention on a different type of noise, but not enough. Sleeping on the couch in a quiet room works some nights, but is not good for a married couple. I had a strong feeling that some type of in-ear noise canceling or masking device would be the best solution. However, as a side sleeper, traditional ear buds are far too big and unconformable.
At my wits’ end and desperate for any solution, I began a reawakened interest in solving this problem. The five hours of sleep a night wears out the body quickly. In addition, research shows sleep deprivation has a wide range of long term negative affects.
Spend time with your favorite search engine querying for
sound blocking ear plugs for sleeping. The top results are the work of click-bait-scammers, whose SEO techniques rocket them to the top results, but never investigated what they are peddling.
I am not sure where I first ran across the Bose Sleepbuds 2, but the slim profile looked promising for a side sleeper. The online reviews were mixed. I found a quite a few positive reviews and a fair amount of complaints of ear pain after an entire evening of use. At $250, this is not an inexpensive solution. The negative reviews from side sleepers had me concerned, but the free return policy left me with nothing to loose.
It is hard to tell from the pictures, these devices are tiny. I know you are wondering, who is the sexy old man in these pictures? Yes, it is me. No, I am not a head or ear model, but thanks for asking. The pictures are here to help you understand how puny the Sleepbuds are in the ear:
Most of the material is a soft silicon shell which houses the electronics. The low-profile design fits snuggly and deep in the ear:
After two months of use, this is one of my best technology purchases. Contrary to the online reviews, I have no ear pain. The devices block almost all noise. I sleep from the time my head hits the pillow until the alarm goes off. Yes, it is an expensive product, but they work.