Is there anything more frustrating the night before a big day than being woken up by your neighbors throwing a party or a firetruck rushing from Dallas Fire Rescue down your street with the siren blaring? Research shows that nighttime noise isn’t just a nuisance; it can impact your health.
The Impact of Noise on Sleep
You cycle through four stages of sleep each night:
- Stage 1 and 2 are light sleep.
- Stage 3 is deep slow-wave sleep, when your breathing and pulse slow and your muscles begin to relax. This stage is important for immune function.
- Stage 4 is rapid-eye movement (REM) sleep, when you dream. This stage is important for memory and learning.
Nighttime noise extends stage 1 and decreases stages 3 and 4. Being exposed to nighttime noise can also cause your body to respond during sleep, raising adrenaline and cortisol levels, which increases your heart rate and blood pressure often without you waking up.
It’s not just loud noises that cause sleep disruption. One 2017 study published in the journal Noise & Healthfound that sounds as quiet as 40 dB – about the noise level in a library – can impact brain activity of healthy adults.
The Link Between Hearing Problems & Poor Sleep
If you have hearing problems, it doesn’t mean you don’t have to worry about nighttime noise. Hearing loss has been linked to insomnia and other sleep issues, and tinnitus has also been shown to exacerbate sleep problems.
Tips for Improving Sleep
Fortunately, there are ways to reduce noise and improve sleep. Follow our tips below:
- Use a white noise machine. You can buy a dedicated device or download a smartphone app, turn on a fan or run the air conditioner for the same effect. This will mask unwanted noises.
- Wear earplugs. This will block unwanted sounds, including your partner snoring, your pet scratching and passing sirens.
- Wear earbuds/headphones. Some models are made specifically for sleep for maximum comfort. You can play relaxing music or listen to a calming podcast.
For more information about the relationship between noise and sleep or to schedule an appointment with an expert, call Total Hearing Care of Dallas today.