Are you a light sleeper or do you sleep like a rock? Regardless of the type of sleeper you are, sound has the potential to significantly impact the amount of rest you get as well as your overall health.
Sound affects you (even if you aren’t aware of it) while you are asleep. The health effects of noise range from increased incidence of heart disease to disrupted sleep and a lowered immune system.
How Noise and Sounds Affect Your Sleep
It’s been found that noise is most disruptive to your sleep during the lighter stages. These are the stages that occur at the beginning of the night and then reoccur throughout the night. Some noises can even rouse you from deeper sleep, as well as REM sleep.
To get the amount of sleep you need, you have to protect your sleep environment against any type of unwanted sound for the duration of your rest. Noise during the night can keep you from falling asleep, and sounds throughout the night may wake you up.
Even if a noise doesn’t wake you, it can have a detrimental effect on the quality of sleep you get. While resting, your sleeping brain continues to not only register but also process sound. If there are noises, then it can create restlessness even if you don’t fully wake up. These interruptions can affect overall sleep quality as well as the movement from lighter to deeper sleep stages.
Noise Harms Health
A recent study has shown a link between the exposure to environmental sounds at night and cardiovascular disease. In fact, even lower levels of noise can impact your health because of the disturbance to your sleep.
Research conducted in Europe has suggested that noise disturbances may result in significant health side effects, and WHO estimates that western Europeans are losing more than one million years of healthy life because of noises related to traffic.
Sounds and noises that are as low as just 30 decibels can affect your rest. By comparison, traffic comes in at 70 decibels, while a subway registers at 90 and an airplane taking off at 100.
Noise Disrupts Sleep and Rejuvenation
The severity and intensity at which noise impacts your sleep varies. In fact, one study has shown that your brain rhythms play a significant role in your ability to tolerate noises while you are sleeping.
Most people are going to awaken during stage two sleep, which is considered non-REM or light sleep. This is the cycle you spend about half of the night in. Another factor that impacts how sensitive you are to noises and sounds while asleep is your age. The elderly and children are most vulnerable to sound disruptions.
Even more troublesome are emotional noises. There is evidence that mothers are more easily woken up by their baby’s movements and that a person’s brain will be more active if it hears their name than random sounds, such as beeps or bells, while asleep.
Minimizing Sounds Inside Your Sleeping Environment
If you want to minimize disruptions to your sleep, take steps to minimize the sounds and noises you are exposed to. Some tips to help you eliminate some of the disturbing sounds include:
- Run the washing machine or dishwasher before bedtime
- Turn off ice makers
- Place bookcases against the walls to serve as a buffer
- Turn off the television
- Turn off your phone
- Consider noise-cancelling earbuds if your partner snores
To take control of your sleep, you may also have to minimize noises coming from outside the home. You can do this by closing all windows and doors and using earplugs, but you may notice this isn’t enough.
Soundproof Bedroom Windows
If that’s the case, then consider soundproof bedroom window inserts. Sun and Sound Windows can provide these inserts for your home, apartment or other location. Once installed, the inserts can block up to 75 percent of all low-pitched noises, such as air-conditioning compressors and big trucks, as well as 95 percent of all high-pitched noises, such as pool pumps and bus brakes.
If you want to begin sleeping better and ensure your health isn’t affected by outside noises, then contact Sun and Sound Windows for an estimate on how quickly and easily you can soundproof bedroom windows in your home.