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While in school, there is a time for having fun and a time for studying. It is important to have a balance of both (more studying than fun I hope), but what happens when you are ready to study while your neighbors are ready to have fun? It is estimated that we are exposed to one billion stimuli per second. Though our brain can filter this number down, we still take in about 100 stimuli per second. Most of this stimulus is sound. The following are ways to help you block out the unwanted noise while you are trying to study.
Make Sure You Are Not Hungry or Tired
Being hungry or tired when you are trying to study can cause you to be easily distracted. Try to get the recommended hours of sleep for your age at night (8-10 hours for 12-18 year olds, 7-9 hours for people 18+) and eat whole foods like fruits and vegetables. These distractions can also cause you to be more easily distracted by sounds. To get better sleep at night, hang up light-blocking curtains and read our blog How to Sleep Better for more tips and ideas. The AcousticCurtainTM not only blocks out over 99% of light, but it is also thermal so it will save you money on your electric bills.
Create Your Own Noise
If you are the type of person who can concentrate with music playing, try putting on headphones and listening to your favorite music to help you focus. Classical music tends to be the most effective because it acts as a background noise without over-stimulating your brain causing you to lose focus. Pandora.com is a great FREE website that you can use to listen to any genre of music you like.
Sometimes the best solution is to just move areas completely. If your roommates are having a party and nothing you do seems to help you focus, try going to the library to study. Be sure to find a study floor instead of a group study floor to ensure that it is quiet and the least distracting as possible. If it is a pretty day outside, go to a nice local park. Being in a different environment can also help stimulate and awaken the brain.
Create a Soundproof Environment
Okay, so you aren’t hungry or tired and listening to music while studying is just another distraction. If you do not want to leave your home, then make your home a soundproof studying sanctuary! There are several ways you can go about this. One is acoustic ceiling tiles which are rather hard to find and install, especially if you are a college student living in a dorm. The second option would be soundproofing the walls with extra drywall, a WALLMATE®, or a heavy quilted curtain. A third option would be hanging soundproofing curtains over the windows and doors. The AcousticCurtainTM and AcoustiDoorTM keep out 90% of the external sound that normally comes in through the windows and doors. They are also super easy to install and come in pretty colors (including chevron).
Visualize What You Are Studying
Have you ever noticed that when you are focusing on something you are really interested in, the noises around you seem to quieten and what you are thinking about seems to be right in front of you? If the sounds around you are making it hard to focus, try visualizing what you are studying. For instance, if you are reading about different forms of businesses or elements in chemistry, try to visualize the type of business or atom instead of just reading about them. If you find the topic boring, try to make it relate to your life. It will make it more interesting and easier to remember when it comes test time!