This Changed My Life is an ode to the small, seemingly chill purchases bought by Autostraddle writers and editors this year that made our lives infinitely better. Did these items LITERALLY CHANGE OUR LIFE? No, we’re being gay and dramatic. But perhaps a pair of sunglasses really did change your life — who are we to judge?
Let me illustrate a scene for you. It’s the middle of the night, and I’m under my weighted blanket with two pillows supporting my head. My hair is pushed aside because if it touches my neck while I’m trying to sleep, the feeling of it will cause discomfort throughout my entire body. I ensure that the pajamas I’m wearing are loose fitted and not too stuck on my skin. As I slowly begin to drift to sleep, I hear a noise coming from outside. It’s not the worst sound in the world and wouldn’t necessarily be categorized as a nuisance, but it’s there. Then I hear someone in my apartment walking to the bathroom, followed by the sound of the toilet flushing. Overstimulation takes place where sleep is supposed to be.
“You really need some good sleeping earplugs,” someone once suggested to me. To be honest, I never considered getting any. I’ve tried other methods like melatonin, chamomile tea, gentle yin yoga, not looking at a screen an hour before bed. I’ve also come to accept very little sleep in my life and learned to relatively function well without it. Insomnia has occupied itself in me for most of my life, even during my childhood years.
So, one night at 3 a.m. with drooping eyes, I went on my phone in search for some earbuds. Soon enough, I discovered Loop.
Loop creates high-quality earplugs that filter out much of the noise around you but still allow you to engage in conversation or hear anything that may be important. A large number of customers purchase Loop earplugs because of noise sensitivities from being neurodivergent, having anxiety, or difficulties with focusing. I personally got Loop Quiet, which is made of soft silicone and was particularly designed to be worn comfortably all night. It offers up to 27 dB of noise reduction, and frankly, I don’t understand the exact science behind that metric, but it works pretty damn good. I was SHOOK the first time I put them on because it really does change the noise level of your environment. My dad calls me “Rabbit Ears” because of my ability to hear things from far away. For the first time in my life, I couldn’t hear what was going on from a relatively not-close distance. And it changed everything in the best way possible.
To put them on, all you gotta do is insert it in your ear, turn it, and make sure it doesn’t stick out or appear visible from the front of your face. Each order comes with 4 different sizes of ear tips (which can easily be cleaned with some basic soap and water) and a silicone plug that can easily be removed from your ear once you’re done using it. You also get a neat keychain case for your earplugs to carry and be on the go with. The best part is that you can choose from different colors!! Who doesn’t love when things come in different colors?! I got magic mint, which is a cute blue-green color you can even style and coordinate with the rest of your aesthetic.
I’ll admit, it took me a while to get used to the earplugs. But god it feels amazing for my body to relax and not feel alerted by every sound that comes up. I’m getting more sleep, and I’ve started wearing them casually as I’m doing homework in the library or taking the bus to work. Sometimes, I forget they’re even in my ears. Since wearing them regularly, I’ve also noticed how I feel more grounded. I struggle with emotional regulation, and something that has a huge impact on that is any stimulation that’s happening around me. My Loop Quiet earplugs not only help me at night, but they also make my day-to-day responsibilities more manageable and give me the motivation to tackle them.
Besides Quiet, you can also get Experience, which is geared more towards productivity and attending concerts, or check out Engage, which was curated primarily for social gatherings. After such a positive experience with Quiet, I definitely would love to try the other products. If you’re not sure which type to get, you can take a quiz on Loop’s website and find out which is best for you.
Chloé Hayden, best known for playing Quinni on Heartbreak High and is an autistic disability rights activist, model, author, and celebrity I personally admire so damn much, has collaborated with Loop and has praised the brand many times on her platform. If that doesn’t convince you to exit this article right now and go on Loop’s page to purchase some earplugs, I don’t know what will.
Whether you’re trying to nap, work on an immensely frustrating assignment, or meet a cutie at a loud and bustling dyke bar near you, Loop can bring the noise down and have you more in your element. It’s not a stretch to say it’s one of the best things I purchased in 2022 — or even on of the best things I’ve ever bought period. I think it can benefit everyone, even people who don’t have noise sensitivity.