Well, noise and sleep have a correlation; the correlation can have adverse consequences, depending on the levels of decibels of the former, on the quality of sleep. Noise is that unwanted, annoying sound from traffic, industries or even noisy neighbors. The levels of noise have been on the rise over the past 30 years and are projected to even rise higher. Sleep is an essential component of an individual health and though environmental factors such as noise can affect it, there are other factors that can influence its quality; from physiological reasons to disorders such as insomnia and your sleeping partner sleeping preferences.
Sources of noise
According to a recent online study in the EU, named The Silence Project, most people living in the urban areas find road traffic noise to be irritating. This is a true fact, considering the overwhelming evidence showing how car traffic noise cause immense sleep disturbance and reduces the level of concentration on important work activities. Also, noise from cars and their emissions impairs people learning ability.
Noise from home equipments and appliances can cause sleep deprivation especially when stereo systems are played at loud volumes till late at night. Though this is easily preventable or its effects mitigated by simply moving them out of the bedroom or switching the off, less can be done if it is emanating from neighbors. Additionally, your sleeping partner can be the main cause of your sleep deprivation especially if they are heavy snorers or are insomniacs. As you are well aware of, behaviors are contagious, so chances of you being an insomniac are high!
Neighbors can be a good societal addition but when they behave inappropriately by disturbing your sleep, then they become a nuisance. Most sources of noise from neighbors can be from loud arguing amongst themselves, loud alarms or music from parties. Additionally if their dogs are allowed to bark the entire day or their babies crying the whole night (the most irritating noise by the way) then steps should be taken to address the problem even if it is totally unintentional from them.
Protecting your ears from noise
Damage to your hearing capabilities is irreversible; therefore it is crucial to protect yourself from losing this sense. Apart from protecting yourself from external noise when sleeping, it is paramount to follow suit when working in noisy environments-those at or above 85db.
Earplugs are the first line of defense against noise.
They are available in various forms but all have that ability to be inserted into the ear canal where they expand and form a custom fit protecting the ear. They include the foam earplugs, which are widely used and disposable. They are made from slow recovery expandable memory foams. Others are the reusable pre-molded earplugs, and silicone plugs. When used when sleeping comfort considerations should be in play. Ear plugs are advantageous since they offer sufficient ear protection, are easy to use, readily available and cheap.
Apart from earplugs when sleeping, one can employ bedroom fans and white noise therapeutic machines in a well insulated household. Bedroom fans can efficiently cancel out background noise providing a sense of consistency and prompting the brain that it is bedtime. Alternatively, white noise machines can be a good way of associating sleep with natural sounds such as noise, ocean tidal change, birds chirping and so forth. They have prerecorded sounds that are played in a loop at comfortable volumes. If you live in urban area or near transport terminals insulate your room with sound insulating or absorbing materials as thick glass for noise elimination and perfect sleep.