Noise reduction for night shifters

When one person in the house begins to work night shifts, it affects everyone in the house. No matter how many plans you draw up in order to make it work, there’s always going to be some sort of effect passed on to the day shifters. Short of moving out completely, there’s nothing that can be done really to minimise these effects. Or is there? Today we’ll take a look at further steps we can take towards eliminating unnecessary noise in the household.

One of the main culprits for waking us up is the floor. Many older buildings have creaky floorboards which sound something like a mixture of a squealing rat and a death rattle. Now these are fine if you want advance warning of a chainsaw murderer attempting to creep up on you once in a while, but become annoying if they are heard day in, day out, week in, week out. The best way to insulate the noise coming from them is to put down a good, thick carpet. Not only does this mute the noisy floorboards, it also reduces the amount of noise they make, as any civilised person won’t walk on a carpet with shoes on their feet.

Another annoying household sound is that of squeaky hinges. You can oil them from time to time to reduce the sound, but if you want to eliminate it, you’re better off removing the hinge completely, coating the pin with lithium grease and then putting it back together. If the doors in interior of the house make a loud noise when being opened or closed, it might be an idea to leave them ajar.

A lot of unnecessary noises come from the kitchen – kettles boiling like banshees, microwaves and refrigerators beeping – it can sound like an alien orchestra on LSD at times. To avoid this unnecessary din, avoid leaving the fridge and freezer doors open too long and switch off the microwave one second before it’s done. Buy a modern kettle which doesn’t sound like a jet is taking off when it comes to the boil. If you’re using appliances such as home mixers, choose one with a quiet motor – you can read up on this at Mixer Picks, by the way.

If you want to listen to the radio or watch TV, do it on your smartphone with a pair of headphones – and make sure the headphones are good enough to not make the rest of the house start dreaming that a snake is slithering around somewhere. If you want to watch your smart TV, go ahead, but use Bluetooth headphones with it.

Sometimes it’s just impossible to eliminate the noise that we make, despite all our good intentions – soft tiptoeing around and technological noise-reducing wonders we purchase. What good is tiptoeing in and out of the bathroom only to flush the toilet five times and then proceed to drop the bottle of shampoo when taking a shower? Why eat breakfast in silence and then get in your car and rev the engine to the max before screeching off up the road?

Sometimes we just have to resign ourselves to the fact that that’s the case and our household is full of extremely light-sleepers who will jump out of bed in shock at the sound of a cat purring in another house in a nearby town. That’s ok because we can ‘paint over’ the harsh, sudden sounds with a softer, masking noise:

Sometimes people sleep better with fans in their rooms, or when using the air conditioning, not only because of the effect on the room’s temperature, but because of the noise the appliance makes. It’s constant and non-descript. The whirring becomes a blur of noise which our minds are adept at filtering out. We do this filtering all day long – filtering out the noise of traffic to focus on a conversation, filtering out the sounds of the car on the road to listen to the radio. You can use these types of sounds to disguise the noise you make as you move around the house. If you don’t have air conditioners or fans at home, try tuning the radio to a frequency on which there is nothing being broadcast. This white noise will allow you to go about your business as usual and leave your housemates undisturbed in their slumber.