The increase in honking cars and roaring planes has soared and new noises – car alarms, surround sound home theaters, an assortment of telephone rings continue to add to the din.
Studies have shown the correlation between noise exposure and heart disease. The higher the noise levels, the higher the risk of hypertension (a major risk factor of heart disease). From these studies it is estimated 3% of all fatal heart attacks can be attributed to noise.
Excess noise can cause the production of stress hormones epinephrine, norepinephrine and cortisol, which, if kept in circulation can lead to problems such as high blood pressure, stroke and heart disease. Night time noise is of particular concern as our nervous systems should be recharging while we sleep. Unfortunately, if we get used to night time noise, our hormonal reactions don’t change, meaning you sleep through the noise but it can still make you sick.
Apart from moving house, what can you do to turn down the noise:
– Wear earplugs to bed
– Use noise reducing headphones instead of earphones
– Keep MP3/ipod volume lower that 60% of maximum
– Buy quiet home appliances
– Install sound absorbing insulation in floors, walls and ceiling to soak up sound vibrabtions
– Give yourself some quiet time each day