We all need sleep to maintain a healthy mind and body. The average person needs about 7 hours of sleep each night, totally about 2,555 hours a year! In the end, you’ll have slept for almost 30% of your entire life. However, sleep isn’t a numbers game – not exclusively at least. The quality of your sleep is crucial to your daily performance, mood, and overall health. If you are not waking up refreshed each morning, it could be that you aren’t sleeping well enough because of unexpected noise pollution disrupting your sleep.
When you don’t sleep well, you know it. You might be cranky and irritable, your eyes are heavy, and you’re more accident prone because of a serious lag to your mental processing. However, there are ways that poor sleep affects you of which you may not be aware. Things like your heart rate and blood pressure, muscle tension and stress, and even hormonal changes that can influence your mental health.
One of the biggest factors that is disrupting your sleep is noise – particularly if you live in an urban environment. A study done by the World Health Organization found that sleep is disrupted with just a noise increase of 32 decibels. That means a birdcall or just the ambient noise in a residential area is enough to cause biological effects, like bodily movement or rousing from deeper stages of sleep. Even if the noise isn’t loud enough to wake you, it’s still preventing you from getting the deep and restful sleep that you need.
If you’re exposed to noises over 40 decibels, like rainfall or an air conditioner, you’ll start experiencing fragmented, disruptive sleep. This is when your wellbeing starts to suffer, leading to Environmental Insomnia or worse.
Table 1: "Effects of different levels of night noise on the population's health"
Ironically, everyone’s heard of light canceling or blackout curtains for bedrooms and offices, but not a lot of people are familiar with noise canceling or soundproofing in the bedroom for improved sleep. Most people know better than to sleep with the TV on nowadays. But, what about the noises over which you don’t have control? The crazy neighbors arguing in the middle of the night, the motorcyclist that likes to go for a midnight ride or the random animal calls that happen throughout the night. It’s the sounds that you can’t control that likely disrupting your sleep the most.
Soundproofing your bedroom isn’t as hard or as expensive as you might think it is. It might not be quite as simple as light-canceling curtains, but the reward is tenfold. With technological advances, you can easily soundproof the bedrooms in your house with acoustical panels, fabrics, tiles or insulation on your walls, ceiling, and floors. You can even forgo noise-canceling windows by installing window plugs that block out noise to create the perfect sleep environment.
Don’t let the early birds or night owls destroy your chances of getting restful sleep. Soundproof your bedrooms now for a healthier, restorative night’s sleep. Check out our tips for soundproofing on a budget.