If you live in a big city, surely you will not even notice the noise pollution in which you live and sleep until you spend a couple of days in the country and that unknown silence becomes uncomfortable. There are people so accustomed to noise that they cannot sleep in a country house because of the lack of noise pollution.
One of the most appropriate solutions is to isolate your house from all external noise, making it a safe space to sleep and focus during the day. There are many other benefits offered by proper insulation of a household, but today we will focus on how dangerous can noise pollution be for people with standard lives.
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Noise during sleep can trigger other important problems
In the last thirty years, many studies have been developed with the objective of evaluating the effect of noise on sleep and on health in general. Noise has important repercussions both on the architecture and microstructure of the dream, as well as on the autonomic functions and, more in the long term, on health and quality of life. The primary effects, the responses that occur simultaneously or immediately after the noise occurs, are the increase in brain activity, body movements and autonomous responses. These effects involve numerous awakenings and changes to more superficial sleep phases, in addition to a subjective perception of poor quality of rest. Sleep parameters from polysomnography (PSG) such as sleep latency (the time it takes a person to fall asleep), percentages of deep sleep. The frequency of awakenings and waking time during the night worsen as the decibels increase. In general, it can be said that the ability to reach the deepest phases of sleep is the one that is harmed the most by exposure to sound pollution.
Noise also has other immediate effects such as increased heart rate, respiratory rate, blood pressure and vasoconstriction. This type of response can be elicited by even very low noise levels. It is possible that people have the sensation of being used to noise, but the body never stops reacting to these stimuli.
Noise affects not only the quality of sleep but also the physical and cognitive performance of the next day. The side effects of sleep interrupted by noise are similar to those of patients with chronic insomnia: daytime drowsiness, tiredness, need to nap to compensate for lack of sleep, decreased performance at work and increased traffic accidents. The body’s biochemical responses also change as a result of noise exposure: for example, the amount of stress hormones, such as noradrenaline, adrenaline and cortisol, are higher the next day.
Ultimately, the effect of noise exposure can be understood as a long-term effect on health and quality of life. In fact, there are works that show that there are a greater number of prescriptions for medications, and admissions to the psychiatric hospital of people living near airports. In any case, it is difficult to draw conclusions about these epidemiological data, since the confounding variables are numerous. The consequences of exposure to noise during sleep depend on many factors, mainly factors dependent on noise and factors of the person. The type of noise (continuous or intermittent), intensity, spectrum, frequency, duration and difference between the level of background noise and the maximum amplitude of the stimulus are aspects that determine the impact of noise on sleep.
Noise as a cause of insomnia
But even if you have gotten used to sleeping with the noises of the street, surely your quality of sleep is not the healthiest. In any case, noise is one of the main causes of insomnia and can even alter the sleep cycle to the point of chronic insomnia. Noises that disturb sleep can come from different areas.
The noise of traffic in a large city can be an impediment to falling asleep and, at best, to get a good night’s sleep. The particular location of each dwelling also affects sleep, if you are near a train station, an airport or a factory that announces the entry and exit with a siren. Living above a cocktail bar can turn the necessary sleeping process into a real odyssey.
There are other noises that do not let us sleep, closer to the noise pollution that comes from the outside, as can be noisy neighbours who drag the furniture, who walk in heels, who play music very loudly or who waste passion and decibels the moment of love If your partner snores, your snoring can also be the cause of your insomnia.
Can insomnia be avoided by noise?
When we face an insomnia problem we always talk about the need to follow proper sleep hygiene, to prepare ourselves conscientiously to go to sleep and to think about the importance of sleeping well. However, what can we do if the insomnia is caused by noise? Obviously, we cannot stop the traffic on the street, nor cancel the night time of the trains if we cannot even prevent the neighbours from shouting at night.
Specialists say that one of the most effective and simple measures against noise that does not let you sleep are earplugs. But many people feel uncomfortable with them, so they cannot fall asleep and many more fear falling asleep with them on if they do not hear the alarm.
The rest of the recommended measures to avoid insomnia due to noise are much more expensive. A bedroom without noise goes through insulation, which can be quite expensive, although a more economical technique is to line the cork walls. When noise comes from the street, double glazing becomes inevitable, something that will also have a favourable effect on maintaining the ideal temperature of the room.
Nevertheless, here at Fletcher Insulation we will be happy to offer you a very competitive price on an insulation service that remains unmatched in terms of quality.