How Noise Affects Your Sleep

Sleep noise

Not having your sense of hearing can affect a lot of people and their daily lives, but, they try to use various auditory aids (hop over to this site to know more) which help them partially and temporarily regain their auditory senses. However, this is not the same when people sleep. When we end our day and sleep, we tend to look forward to a restful night, without noises trying to wake us up.

We, as humans, react to sounds in the environment even while we sleep. A moderate noise can increase your heart rate and blood pressure even without waking you up. A louder noise can wake you up and increase your heart rate by up to 30 beats per minute. Not surprisingly then, noise can affect your sleep and overall health. This is why most people choose to soundproof their bedroom. Whether that’s buying soundproof curtains or having a soundproof ceiling, there are many things you can do to block the noise out. Check out to find out more information.

Some people react more to sound if they have sleep conditions like insomnia, which affects their sleep tremendously. In this case sometimes a simple soundproof may not be enough and things like CPAP Direct masks, could be better for sleep disorder patients to get a more comfortable night’s sleep. Also, if you are suffering from insomnia, you might want to take the quality of your mattress into consideration. Having an uncomfortable mattress could be enhancing your problem. You might want to get a comfier and more luxurious mattress online, or you can check out Winstons Beds – with a tagline ‘Search Our Selection Of Luxury Mattresses And Sleep Soundly‘. Of course, it does not work miracles but it can aid in assisting with their health, however, sound can still affect these patients so they should also take heed to the contents of this article.

The Studies:

One review found that sound levels as low as 33 dB can cause physiological arousal (increased heart rate, etc.) during sleep. Whether the noise induces arousal depends on the acoustic properties of the noise, number of incidents, stage of the sleep cycle and individual noise susceptibility. People are also more likely to react to emotionally charged sounds that have personal meaning, like a baby crying. Repeated incidents cause delayed sleep onset, more frequent awakenings, less deep sleep and less REM sleep. This can lead to impaired alertness, mood, cognitive ability and performance the next day. Most disturbingly, chronic exposure to environmental noise is a risk factor for cardiovascular disease (a 10 dB increase in noise level is associated with an increased risk of between 7% and 17%), with nighttime noise exposure being the most harmful according to another study. Here are the dB levels of some common nighttime noises:

dB levels

Another study, however, found that it isn’t the dB level that causes arousal at night, but the difference in peak dB from the baseline noise level. The study exposed participants to either noise from an ICU or noise from an ICU + white noise. They found that arousal was only increased in the noise from an ICU condition.


Exposure to noise at night can disturb your sleep and increase your risk of cardiovascular disease. If you live downtown in a city or are otherwise exposed to noise at night, a fan, white noise or earplugs are probably the way to go. Good luck!


Basner, Mathias, et al. “Auditory and non-auditory effects of noise on health.”The Lancet 383.9925 (2014): 1325-1332.

Griefahn, Barbara, et al. “Autonomic arousals related to traffic noise during sleep.” Sleep 31.4 (2008): 569.

Jarup, Lars, et al. “Hypertension and exposure to noise near airports: the HYENA study.” Environmental health perspectives 116.3 (2008): 329.

Portas, Chiara M., et al. “Auditory processing across the sleep-wake cycle: simultaneous EEG and fMRI monitoring in humans.” Neuron 28.3 (2000): 991-999.

Stanchina, Michael L., et al. “The influence of white noise on sleep in subjects exposed to ICU noise.” Sleep medicine 6.5 (2005): 423-428.