It doesn’t matter if you’re a sensitive sleeper or a no-care-in-the-world sleeper; sound can wake you. Although, you may think our sensory cues are at rest during sleep, which is not the case. The thought process is that the whole body is at rest, but sensory signals are different.
For example, think back to last week; you must have been in deep sleep when some sudden sound woke you up or at least disturbed a dream. Not only sound, but light, temperature, comfort, and smell also can influence sleep. These sleep influencers are, according to recent research put forward by Sleep Science.
When it comes to sound, it has negative and positive effects on sleep. The influence of noise on rest depends on types, levels, preferences, and many others. For example, some people can sleep through loud music but not a low lyrical song. Everyone sleeps differently, and there’s no way to put sound as a sleep factor in one box. This is where sound preferences come in. Some people enjoy melancholic music because of their busy street to sleep better but can’t stand their partner’s snoring.
How Sound Affects Sleep?
Sound is an integral component of our lives during the day can become a bother at night. The sounds are more irritating when they’re abrupt. You may not wake up from the bed due to these sounds, but they can affect your sleep cycle. The potential sources of sound that can cause you to wake up include as simple as appliances to electronic devices such as a TV.
Other potential sleep-affecting sound sources are snoring, pets, and notifications from smartphones. Apart from sounds inside the house, outside noises can also wake you up like urban city noises, vehicles driving by, natural calamities, and others. A paper published in the Noise & Health journal concludes that environmental noise exposure at night contributes to cardiovascular disease. Low-level noises can also cost various health issues because of sleep disruption.
Environmental noises include sounds such as road traffic, wind turbines, planes, and trains. The World Health Organization issues these environmental noises to promote better sleep and deplete noise pollution. Research in Europe suggests that noise pollution can cause severe damage to health. For example, 30-decibel sounds can also affect sleep, and heavy traffic has around 70 decibels. A subway registers at 90 decibels, and an airplane takes off at about 100 decibels.
However, how noise affects people is different for every individual. Some people may wake up at 40-decibel noise while others can sleep through heavy traffic. There’s a study that suggests people have brain rhythms that helps them to tolerate noise. Sound can wake people during stage 2 of the sleep cycle. It is a light and NREM sleep cycle where we spend half of the night sleeping. Age is another factor since children and the elderly are more prone to wake up due to noises.
Apart from natural and outside noises, emotional noises can have more effects than others, causing sleep disruption. For example, research shows mothers wake up quickly due to their child’s movements. Also, people are more prone to wake up from sleep hearing their name than other beep sounds. Some people also become habituated to sleep through noise over time.
How to Benefit from Sound for Sleep
Most researches focus on how sound disturbs sleep; there are positive effects of sound during sleep too. For example, white noise moderates intermittent sound levels providing backdrops consistently for a peaceful sleep. A pediatrician explains how new environmental sounds and noises are harmful to the quality of sleep. However, sound machines help adults and kids to sleep well.
Sleep Science also supports the inclusion of white noises and sound machines to promote better sleep. The methods of sound devices and white noises are scientific with terrific results. People who have tried these techniques positively said that their sleep quality became better.
How to Control Sound in Bedroom
There are times when it’s just not possible to avoid noise. However, there are means to, at least, minimize noise and sound pollution in your room if not eradicate. These small and simple can help you, your partner and your family rest well and sleep better most nights.
Those who wake up considerably more at night due to some disruption should try tracking their sleep. Tracking your sleep can give you an idea of why you’re waking up, and then making changes might do the trick for you to sleep well. Following are different ways to minimize inside and outside noises.
Tips to minimize inside noises:
- Run laundry and dishwashing machine before you go to bed.
- Turn the ice maker off if your bedroom is near the kitchen.
- Turn sound off or minimize on smartphones and other such devices.
- Use noise-canceling buds if your partner snores loud.
- Use white noise, so there’s gentle background sound covering up other noises in the bedroom.
Tips to minimize outside noises
- Keep your beds far from walls connecting the outside walls.
- Seal all kinds of gaps in your windows and doors. Don’t let any space for sound to travel through the cracks.
- Use heavy blinds and double-pane windows to stop outside noise entering the bedroom.
- Use white noise just as mentioned for inside noises.
- Try earplugs or buds if you live in a heavy noise street.
- Plant shrubs and plants in the corners of your room to minimize outside noises.
One other way to control noises in the bedroom is using a motion isolation mattress. For example, sleeping with a partner can cause sleep disruption if they have a habit of waking up or moving a lot in the bed. A movement isolating mattress can help in such scenarios.
You can find such a mattress at a low cost with perfection for you at the nearest Mancini’s Sleepworld. The mattress store has also developed a new technology known as the SleepMatch that can help to determine the ideal mattress for your body. The technology takes inputs from your body and applies them against thousands of parameters. So, you can go home with the perfect solution for a good night’s sleep.