Everyone has been jolted out of a deep sleep at some point due to an unexpected onslaught of noise. This could be from outside factors, like honking vehicles and city traffic, from alarms or other heartrate-boosting signals. Or it could just come from a loudly snoring partner.
And how these excess noises affect your sleep can vary widely. Some noises even cause us to lose our sleep for the rest of the night.
Take a closer look at how noise affects your sleep quality, and what you can do to keep it quiet once again.
Basically, how noise affects the quality of your sleep – and whether or not you wake up from these sound-induced interruptions – is dependent on the frequency, and the noise itself.
For example, people who live in big cities or neighborhoods with heavy traffic can often ignore the constant background noise. It’s because it actually becomes a part of their sleeping routine over time. This is why some city residents report being unable to sleep when they are staying in the country, or other quiet environments.
But if the noise is jarring and signals some sort of danger, then the damage to your sleeping patterns can be much more noticeable.
Most often, being woken up by loud noises occurs during your lightest sleep stages, or minutes after you’ve closed your eyes.
But truly disruptive sounds can pull you out of a deep sleep. And they can affect the quality of your rest for the remainder of the night. If this happens on a regular basis, you may notice an increased feeling of irritability and restlessness – both while you’re sleeping, and when you’re awake.
When we are constantly awaken by outside distractions, our bodies and brains can become stressed and alert. This leads to twitching, moving, and tossing and turning all night long. Unfortunately, it carries over to the daytime, too. And then you may notice that you feel more stressed and anxious when you aren’t getting the rest you need due to these interruptions.
The good news is that it is possible to block out or remove those jarring distractions, and get the rest you need. Here are a few common noise-makers when we are trying to rest, and how you can alleviate the problem.
When it comes to snoring, both parties in a couple suffer. The snorer may very well have an underlying sleep condition, like obstructive sleep apnea. This makes it impossible to get a good night’s rest. Meanwhile, the spouse or partner is likely jolted awake by periods of deep and especially loud snores.
Luckily, this is a fairly easy situation to fix, as a sleep apnea diagnosis and effective treatment are both easier to obtain than ever. So if your partner’s snoring is affecting your rest, ask them to get an at-home obstructive sleep apnea diagnosis test to get to the root cause of the excess noise.
Have you ever been woken up by a sudden loud noise on the TV, or from an alert or call on your phone?
Then turn off the distractions!
While we may feel like we have to connect to the world on a 24/7 basis, all those excess electronic distractions can damage your sleep in more ways than one.
The blue light that is emitted from screens can interfere with your naturally occurring circadian rhythms. Plus, late-night texts and calls can signal the portions of the brain that tune into to signs of danger to wake up and respond.
So turn off your ringer, turn off the TV and computer, and enjoy a quiet night of rest, and a break from modern technology, that you truly deserve.
When it comes to outside noise, like loud neighbors or traffic, there’s not a lot that you can do to eliminate the root of the problem. Hence it’s important to find alternative options that work for you.
Try comfortable noise-cancelling headphones or earplugs designed for sleeping. Or maybe invest in a white noise machine to drown out the other background noise. You could even try getting sound-proof windows or walls to truly eliminate the excess distractions.
With a few smart investments, you can make your bedroom a peaceful place to be, even if the rest of the world won’t cooperate.
Noise can cause a myriad of problems when it comes to our ability to sleep well on a regular basis, but it doesn’t have to! By identifying and addressing the problem head-on, you can do a world of good for your ability to rest. You’ll enjoy plenty of peace and quiet in both the short term, and the long term.