Earplugs

August 20, 2019

Earplugs

When you were in high school or college, you might have read it. Homer’s “The Odyssey”. This sequel to his “The Iliad” is focused on Odysseus and his road home after the Trojan War. There were many characters introduced in this story, one set of them being the Sirens. It was told that these creatures would play music and sing enchanting tunes which would cause the sailors to lose control of their boats, be shipwrecked on the island with the Sirens, and the sailors would ultimately succumb to their deaths. In order to avoid this, as the men are about to pass the island they are advised to plug their ears with wax, thus keeping out the songs from the Sirens and not being lured by them. Written towards the end of the 8th century B.C., this is the first recorded documentation of earplugs.

 

After “The Odyssey” was written, earplugs have certainly advanced. There are four main types of earplugs: Foam, Wax, Silicone, and Custom Molded. There are many uses for earplugs, as well. People who are around loud noises, such as any workers who will be near machinery, should always block out excess noise. It could take just one exposure to loud noise to cause hearing loss. Prolonged exposure to noise can kill cells in the ear, which can also lead to hearing issues. Swimmers use earplugs to keep water out of their ears to prevent otitis externa, also known as swimmer’s ear. And then there are earplugs to help us sleep.

I use disposable foam earplugs when I sleep. I find that, though they don’t block out all noise, they do block out enough noise that it helps me with my slumber. Earplugs do have a tendency to push wax into one’s ears. As I am aware of this, I make sure to clean my ears on a regular basis. I also know that foam earplugs can attract bacteria, so I toss out plugs that were in my ears. If I need to put earplugs back in, I always use a new pair.

A friend of mine has been using custom-molded earplugs for many years. He told me it was the best investment he’s ever made. Costing a few hundred dollars, custom-molded earplugs fit the user’s ears nearly perfectly and can potentially block out the most noise. My disposable foam earplugs cost about $.16/pair meaning I spend approximately sixty dollars per year on my earplug supply. I would need to keep the same pair of custom-molded earplugs for at least 5 years to cost the same as what I spend on my disposable ones. I am not opposed to the idea of custom-molded plugs (I already explained how he told me they were the best investment he ever made.) I am only saying that I recommend if you want to try using earplugs for sleeping, do your research and find out what the best option is for you. Remember to factor in cost, fit, and overall effectiveness.

 

Earplugs can be measured by the amount of noise they block out which is measured in decibels (their NRR or Noise Reduction Rating). I have found with foam earplugs that the higher the rating, the denser the material, which affects my comfort level. You will want to look at this rating, and possibly try a few different types, before you purchase any large quantities of earplugs for yourself. And earplugs do take some getting used to. It took me a few days, maybe even a full week, to get accustomed to the feeling of having something inside of my ears while I slept. After years of wearing them, however, I find that when I try to go to sleep without them, it becomes a struggle. Earplugs aren’t for everyone. If you are prone to ear infections or other ear issues, it probably would be best to search for another alternative. Before starting using earplugs, you should talk to your doctor about if they are a good option for you to try.

Do you use earplugs to help you sleep? Can you sleep without them?






Leave a comment


Also in Somniloquy With L&C...

Give The Gift Of Sleep
Give The Gift Of Sleep

December 09, 2019

Sleep. We all need it. This Somniloquy with L&C blog is entirely dedicated to it. One thing in life that is certain is we can't live without sleep. Now that the holidays are upon us, what better gift is there to give than the gift of sleep? Here are some ways that you can give the gift of sleep to your family, friends, and even to yourself, this holiday season:

View full article →

Sleep Inertia
Sleep Inertia

December 05, 2019

You just woke up and you feel, well, foggy. You can't think straight. And concentrating? Your current ability to concentrate is currently slim to none. In summation, you feel as if you are still asleep. This morning grogginess and fogginess has a name - sleep inertia. It’s the period after you just wake up when your body is still in a state of sleep and hence why you are having problems focusing. What causes sleep inertia?

View full article →

Staying Warmer When It Is Cooler
Staying Warmer When It Is Cooler

December 02, 2019 1 Comment

When you walk outside, you might be thinking that “Baby It’s Cold Outside” could easily have been written by Frank Loesser today. Most likely not in Florida, where Lavender & Chamomile is headquartered, but in other parts of the country. We know brisk nights have replaced those balmy and beautiful ones. As Autumn creeps along and we head towards Winter, the temperatures will take a dubious dip. We know the benefits of sleeping cooler, but we may get to a point where it feels too cold to sleep comfortably. Alternatively, setting the heat too low can dry the air, which can irritate your skin or even hamper your breathing. So you can get some super slumber, here are 5 tips to help you sleep more comfortably when it is colder:

View full article →

Get 10% OFF Your First Purchase

Join our email list for expert tips from our Somniloquy Blog and a 10% discount!