First, it’s important to define what noise pollution actually is.
Sound, according to Google Dictionary by Oxford Languages, sounds are “vibrations that travel through the air or another medium and can be heard when they reach a person's or animal's ear.” Noise is a type of sound, an unwanted sound to be exact. EarCare, PA, an AudigyCertified™ practice that pioneers education around hearing, defines noise pollution as any sound that reduces one’s quality of life.
Knowing the importance of sleep and its effects on our overall health, it is safe to say any sound that disturbs sleep, whether during the day or night, is going to fall under the definition of noise pollution.
Environmental noise is the most common form of noise pollution that causes sleep disruptions. Environmental noise is the noise of our daily life - think transportation noise from cars and public transportation, industrial noise such as construction sites and recreational noise such as sporting events or playgrounds.
A minimal dose of these noises can be beneficial. It gives the body and mind a boost of energy. But, too much environmental noise pollution increases stress leading to sleep disturbances. This is why The Noise Control Act of 1972 was established by the United States Environmental Protection Agency. This act “establishes a national policy to promote an environment for all Americans free from noise that jeopardizes their health and welfare.”
Managing noise pollution so it does not disrupt your sleep starts with
paying attention to your surroundings.
Close your eyes throughout the day. What do you hear? Now, how does that sound make your body react? Your body doesn’t lie. If the sound around you makes you tense in your shoulders or sweat or scrunch your eyes, it is noise pollution, and too much of it will disrupt your sleep. If you find yourself surrounded by this type of noise more often than you like, take measures to manage the noise pollution with one or multiple of the following:
- Invest in noise cancelling headphones
- Meditate multiple times throughout the day to mindfully separate your body from the noise
- Enjoy relaxing sounds with binaural beats
- Take breaks where there is less noise pollution, such as parks
Adequate noise pollution prevention not only leads to less stress during the day, but a more restful and quality sleep at night.
How do you block out noise pollution during the day? Tag us @nollapelli on Instagram and share your tips!