Especially if you live in a city or a busy neighborhood, outside noise is a fact of life. Some people grow accustomed to environmental noise if it’s constant enough. But for many of us, sudden or periodic noises outside our bedroom windows can jostle us awake, even if just briefly.
Airport noise, a vigilant neighborhood dog, or the otherwise pleasant sound of chirping morning birds can break the continuity of your sleep. Not only can “noise pollution” steal your slumber and make you feel drowsy the next day, there is some evidence that sounds such as those from constant, loud urban traffic or close proximity to an airport may have a negative effect on health. For example, some studies have suggested that long-term exposure to intense noise pollution could be associated with hypertension.
Most of us don’t live under a flight path or next to railway tracks, but masking noise is still important to quality sleep. The solution: use a white noise machine, fan, or air purifier to create a background hum and block unwanted outside noise. Earplugs also work well for many people.