One downside of urban living is the noise. I seem to have bad luck in this regard…

  • In Rio I lived next to an elementary school. The yelling and screaming started at 9am.
  • In Medellin I lived next to a road where noisy buses would constantly rumble through.
  • In Riga I lived next to a nightclub. I could feel the bass in bed.
  • In Tartu I lived next door to an apartment undergoing renovation.
  • In Zagreb I lived below an apartment that was undergoing heavy re-construction. They used a jackhammer to break up the concrete starting at 8am.
  • In Poland I lived next to a full-blown construction site with a crane.

In Rio I noticed that a good countermeasure to the noise was to turn on my fans to full blast. Even though the noise of the fan was loud, it would dilute the children noises and I could sleep. In Tartu I would leave on the kitchen fan above the stove to great effect. Then one day, in my curiosity about “white noise,” I found a web site that would change my life: Simply Noise.


Simply Noise is a white noise generator that blasts through your speakers, providing even more noise dilution than fans. If I wake up to the noise of construction, I just punch in Simply Noise on my browser and select the “brown noise” option. I jack up the volume and, even though it’s technically loud, I can go back to sleep as construction takes place right next door. I estimate I’ve saved at least 100 hour of sleep because of this technique.

There’s also a Simply Rain site (Rainy Mood is another option), something I use for naps because of its soothing qualities. I roll with maximum thunder because it makes my nap feel like I’m resting in a protective cocoon. I also use rain noises to troll my guests into thinking it’s raining outside.

The only noise that Simply Noise can’t beat is a nearby jackhammer. If you got jackhammering going in the floor above you, you’re shit out of a luck and have to wait until they’re done. But other than that, thank you Simply Noise for making my life a little bit better.

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