TAMPA, Fla. — Many public fireworks shows are canceled because of COVID-19. As a result, more people are planning to set off fireworks in their neighborhoods. That means if you're close to one of those displays, you might have trouble getting to sleep on Independence Day.
You're probably wondering what you can do to block out the noise, besides stopping the fireworks yourself. Fortunately, there are plenty of options for you to keep your home quiet and get a good night's rest.
The common earplug is one of the best methods of blocking noise you don't want to hear something. You can get a pack for as little as a few dollars at a local store. Here are a few tips to help you choose and wear your earplugs.
- Be sure to check the decibel number on the packaging. The higher the number, the more effective the earplugs are at canceling noise.
- The CDC says you should follow the "roll, pull, hold" process when inserting a soft foam earplug. Roll it into a thin "snake," pull the top of your ear back with your opposite hand and hold the earplug in until it expands to fill the ear canal.
- Check the fit when you're done. If you can hear more sound with your hands at your ears, try to reinsert the earplug.
There are some more items you can invest in to keep the blasts of fireworks from filtering into your home. You might even have some of these already on hand.
- Blackout curtains or drapes. The lifestyle blog Zeel says curtains designed to block out light can also keep noise away. Look for dark, heavyweight curtains or drapes strong enough to do the job.
- White noise machines. These produce ambient noise to filter out unwanted sounds. You can get machines with a simple humming tone or with natural sounds such as waterfalls.
- Rugs. Yes, the throw rug you put down for decoration could help drown out loud booms from fireworks. That's because sound bounces off thick surfaces such as heavy rugs. You can even hang them on your walls to help keep your home quieter.
It's not just having the right gadgets in the right places. The inability to fall asleep could lead you to become more distracted by fireworks and other loud noises. Some simple lifestyle changes can help you drown out the rockets' red glare, while also getting a good night's sleep.
- Turn off your devices before going to sleep. The Sleep Foundation says you should keep TV viewing and use of computers, phones and tablets to a minimum before going to sleep.
- Keep your bedroom dark. Turning electronics off can help, and so can those aforementioned blackout curtains.
- Watch what you eat -- and when. Don't eat too late and be sure to avoid alcohol and caffeine close to your bedtime.
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